Posted: 27th March 2023
Sound testing is required for most new houses and flats in England and Wales. It is applicable for both new build properties and flats formed by the conversion of an existing building. The purpose of the test is to confirm if the installed soundproofing meets the minimum performance in Part E of The Building Regulations.
So, how much does sound testing cost?
Our standard price for a set of SITMA accredited Building Regulations airborne sound tests between a pair of houses is £395 + VAT for sites within a 50km radius of our Highworth offices. However, the price for each development depends on various factors, which we will discuss below.
ACA Acoustics will provide you with an accredited formal test report for you to submit to your Building Control Officer. We offer a fast turnaround to arrange the tests and to issue the report once the tests are complete. We will usually send you the report the next day. Sometimes if we have all the relevant details in advance, we can even issue the report by email whilst we are on site!
Unlike some companies, we are not just sound test engineers. ACA Acoustics’ team are fully accredited and experienced acoustic consultants. This means we can guide you on the best way to soundproof your separating walls and floors. If you do fail your tests, we offer free advice on the best remedial works to pass Approved Document E. And, because we don’t supply any products you can be sure that our recommendations are what is best for you and not what is going to earn us the most commission. Other services include noise impact assessments for planning, noise assessments for Approved Document O, and noise monitoring during the construction phase.
We also offer a FREE initial sound insulation design review service! Get in touch to find out more and to take advantage of this great offer.
The price for your sound insulation testing depends on the number of walls and floors that need to be tested.
A common misconception is that sound tests are required to 10% of the properties on a development. However, it is slightly more complex than that.
Paragraphs 1.11 to 1.26 of Approved Document E explains the process to determine which walls and floors should be tested. In summary terms, the development is split into groups for the number of houses (including bungalows), flats, and rooms for residential purposes. The groups are then split into sub-groups if needed. Sub-groups are required if there are more than one type of separating wall or floor construction. Sub-groups may also be required if there are different flanking or junction details.
If your development only has flats with the same construction separating walls and floors throughout, for example, then only one group is required with no sub-groups.
Once the number of groups and sub-groups is confirmed, we will need to carry out one set of tests for every 10 properties within each group/sub-group.
There are other considerations which can affect the work required. For example, impact sound insulation tests are not needed on floors with flats over commercial properties.
Luckily ACA Acoustics can calculate the number of tests you need, based on your layout drawings and construction details.
The sound testing cost for your site will depend on how many airborne and impact tests are required. Discounted prices are offered for additional sets of tests carried out during a single visit to site.
The distance to your site from our offices will also affect how much your sound tests will cost.
Again, there isn’t a simple answer to this question. A set of tests between houses normally includes two airborne sound tests. A set of tests for flats includes up to six individual tests. Two airborne tests on separating walls, 2 airborne tests on separating floors, and 2 impact tests on the floors. However, if your site doesn’t have enough separating walls or floors to carry out all the individual tests then the number of tests can be reduced accordingly.
Sound insulation criteria for flats and houses is detailed in The Building Regulations Approved Document E.
|Airborne Sound Insulation
DnT,w + C’tr
|Impact Sound Insulation
|Floors and Stairs
|Material Change of Use (conversion)
|Floors and Stairs
Building Regulations specifies the airborne sound insulation performance as a DnT,w + C’tr. This is the performance that is achieved by a test on site. It is important to keep this in mind, as product manufacturers often publish data as an Rw or Rw + C’tr. These are the performance tested in a laboratory. The DnT,w + C’tr is often around 5dB to 10dB lower than the equivalent Rw + C’tr, although that isn’t always the case and that the correlation between Rw and DnT,w is variable.
What this means, is that the published performance for an acoustic treatment is very unlikely to be what you will achieve on your site. An experienced acoustic consultant will be able to advise you on appropriate wall and floor constructions and soundproofing treatments.
To obtain your free quotation and find out how much sound testing will cost on your next project, please get in touch with ACA Acoustics.
We also recommend you take advantage of our FREE initial sound insulation design review service. Making mistakes on your soundproofing works can be very costly and getting advice from ACA Acoustics’ experienced consultants can help you pass first time.