Sound Insulation Testing – Education
Approved Document E of the Building Regulations requires party walls and floors in schools to demonstrate acoustic performance.
Building Bulletin 93 lays out the requirements for teaching and study spaces, including:
- Airborne sound insulation of walls
- Airborne sound insulation of floors
- Impact sound insulation of floors
- Reverberation times – how long it takes for the echo to decay
- Ambient noise levels – the indoor noise level based on external noise and/or building-generated noise
There are further performance requirements that can apply depending upon the purpose of the room.
Typically for every 4 classrooms/teaching/study spaces with the same wall or floor construction, 1 of each of the above tests/measurements would be taken but the specific sampling is identified for each project.
For more information on the requirements and sound testing visit our FAQ page.
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Our Sound Testing Process
Our air test engineers are home-based and well-placed to cover Greater London and the City, Kent, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, we are able to test all over the UK.
Our process is as follows:
We are happy to talk through what is involved, what to watch out for, and when to test. We can provide guidance and checklists.
We provide a quote based on the number of units and sampling based on guidance in BB93 and from the Association of Noise Consultants –PDF Plans are needed to confirm the type and layout of rooms.
We confirm a date. Our engineer will call you ahead of the test date to talk you through the preparation and process plus agree the timings.
4. On the day of testing
Airborne tests involve creating noise of a known level (approximately 100dB) on one side of the party/separating wall/floor and measuring the volume on the other side to calculate the amount of noise that the wall or floor is insulating. Measurements are taken in multiple planes and positions, reverberation (echo) and background noise are taken into account. The result is expressed in decibels (dB) as DnTw with corrections including traffic noise (Ctr).
Impact testing is done using a tapping machine that simulates footfall on the uncovered floor surface. The level of noise is measured in the unit below and the result is expressed in dB as LnT.
Reverberation times are measured by making a short, sharp, loud noise then stops abruptly and measuring the time taken for the sound energy to fall by a certain amount.
Ambient noise levels are based on LAeq noise level measurements taken over an appropriate time period.
Testing typically takes place very close to completion but before carpets or other flooring is laid.
Please see FAQs.
We issue a short-form UKAS test report.
If the worst should happen and there is a failure, we put you in touch with an experienced acoustician who can provide design/remedial advice ahead of retesting.
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