Sound Insulation Testing – your questions answered

sound insulation testing

What is sound insulation testing?

Sound insulation testing checks the resistance provided by the part of the building (the floor or walls) which separates different buildings from each other to the passage of sound.

Why is it needed?

Building Regulations Document E requires that in new homes which are joined to another building or part of the same building which is not exclusively used by the same occupants (e.g. semi-detached or terraced houses and flats), the sound insulation performance of the separating floors and walls is checked. This is to ensure the homes have been built to a standard which gives reasonable conditions for living without excessive noise transfer between dwellings.

Sound insulation testing may also be needed in some commercial premises. It can be required in schools, for example, to ensure rooms such as classrooms are protected from noisier areas by adequate sound insulation.

Tests on sound insulation can also be carried out if there have been noise complaints in existing properties to assess if the property has been constructed properly and meets Building Regulations.

Does it have to be carried out?

Sound insulation testing has been mandatory for certain property types since 1st July 2003 and for new build properties since 1 July 2004. It is not required for detached properties or for internal floors and wall within a single property.

Does the new homes development need to be completed?

For testing new build properties the homes should be at least at the second fix stage and the internal doors and windows should have been fitted and working.

How do you do sound insulation testing?

There are two types of sounds to be tested, airborne sounds and impact sounds. These sounds are tested differently.

Airborne sound is noise such as talking or music which travels through the air. This is tested by generating a controlled noise on one side of the wall or floor. This sound is measured and it is also measuring using a sound level meter on the other side to establish how much noise is transmitted through.

Impact sound is made by something hitting the wall or floor and the noise transmitting through it. The test for this sound uses a machine to simulate footfall noise on the floor which is then measured by a sound level meter in the home below.

What do you need to do the testing?

In addition to access to the property, we need to generate quite loud noises to carry out the testing so you should warn people about this in advance. Although we are working with noise, the area being tested needs to be quiet so we can accurately measure the noise level of the test. Here at Falcon Energy, we are very experienced in carrying out sound insulation testing so we can do this quickly and efficiently with minimum disruption to you. This ensures you have little downtime and your construction schedule is not impacted by the tests.

How do I know what testing I need?

The sound insulation tests you require depend on the number of homes, the separating floors and walls and the layout of the build. Don’t worry though as you’re in safe hands. Our experienced and qualified UKAS Engineers can determine the quantity of tests needed for your property. We will work to keep within your deadlines and costs low.

If you need sound insulation testing for your current project, please call our team on 01403 253439 or email We can provide you with expert advice and are happy to offer a free, no obligation quote.

Posted in Energy, Sound Insulation Testing.