How to Pass Your Sound Test First Time
It’s a total hassle. Suddenly your nearly-complete building isn’t so close to the end. You have to get the experts in to work out why it failed, and by how much. You have to move around contractors, decorators and flooring fitters, complete extra tests, and maybe even knock holes in your beautifully plastered walls.
Well, we’ve got good news: sound testing doesn’t have to be so daunting. With the right approach, and some handy tips, you can easily ensure your next project meets building regulations and passes sound insulation testing first time.
Get Advice on Best Practice Before Starting Construction
Essentially, sound testing is needed for new buildings where there will be two adjoining dwellings separated by a party wall or floor.
The most effective way to ensure your project passes a sound test is to plan the project with sound insulation in mind. This does not need to be costly, and can save considerable time at the end of the project, not to mention avoiding escalating remedial and re-test costs.
If you are unsure of how to build the separating floor and wall constructions and associated junctions across your development to satisfy part E of the building regulations, we can offer a design service. The degree of guidance you require can vary, from site visits and design reports to initial testing of constructions to know your starting point for construction.
Our experienced acoustic consultants work with developers, contractors, architects and planners of all sizes from the early design stage to help minimise any potential issues right through to project completion, ensuring that all properties are compliant with Building Regulations Document E.
Check Construction Against Plans
When your project is underway, we recommend that you regularly check the construction against the plans for deviations from the design. Seemingly minor alterations and poor construction quality can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your sound insulation measures.
Get A Sample Test
If you aren’t sure whether your development will meet the requirements, then we can conduct a sample test before your project is complete. This survey sound test will be carried out at the earliest possible stage to ensure structures are passing.
If this sample test fails, or produces an unsatisfactory result, we can help with design advice to offer suggestions on how to achieve the required standards.
Know When Your Site Is Ready
One of the simplest ways to help your development pass is to ensure you book the sound test at the right time. Before your sound test, we suggest that building work is 100% complete, but the building is not decorated, and does not have floor finishes or furnishing. The room should be free of building materials or other clutter.
The following criteria should be followed to provide you with the best chance of passing your sound test:
Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable
Skirting boards are fitted and sealed
Light switches, light fittings, appliances and plug sockets are properly fitted
Get Site Conditions Right
On the day of your test, you can help to speed up the testing process and ensure accurate results with a few simple actions. You should ensure:
Engineers have access to both sides of the party walls and floors – even if one side of the wall is an occupied dwelling
There is access to all rooms in the dwellings to be tested
Spaces to be tested are tidy and empty
The buildings being tested should be vacant –even general movement during the test can have a negative impact on results
All noise sources such as radios and fire alarms should be turned off
Halt all noisy works around the buildings being tested during testing
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail
Sound insulation design can be a minefield, but at Soundtesting.ie we are here to help. Our acoustic consultancy service is a straightforward way to ensure acoustic performance requirements are achieved to comply with the Building Regulations Document E.
By considering sound insulation within your project from the earliest stages you can have confidence that your project is designed to pass testing. Monitoring construction, completing sample testing, booking testing and the right time and by preparing your site adequately you will know you have done everything possible to pass your sound insulation test and complete your project on time.