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Acoustic Testing

Acoustic Testing (or Sound Testing) will likely by required within your planning conditions. Acoustic Surveys measure the noise and vibration that can negatively impact the relationship between a building, the environment and the neighbours.

Acoustic Testing - At what stage(s) does this apply during your build?

What is Acoustic Testing?

Acoustic Testing (also referred to as Sound Testing), can be required as part of Planning Conditions, or in some cases under Approved Document Part E in England and Wales.

Where requirements are in place, the developer must ensure their building meets the maximum decibel levels that you should expect to hear from your immediate neighbours.

Detached buildings and homes do not require acoustic testing.

Commercial buildings may be required to have noise and vibration tests completed to assess the background noise of the surrounding area. Schools will need to adhere to the targets set out in Building Bulletin 93 ‘Acoustic Design of Schools’.

In residential buildings, a developer can either:

  • Build party walls in line with the specification set out in Robust Details
  • Commission acoustic tests to be carried out on a selection of party elements in your development.

Top Tips for Acoustic Testing

  • In residential buildings, separate tests are also required on walls adjoining corridors in blocks of flats.

  • For commercial buildings, the right design measures can enhance concentration and communication in schools, efficiency and collaboration in offices, and relaxation in private spaces.

  • Building a school? Make sure you have paid attention to the specific requirements in Building Bulletin 93 “Acoustic Design of Schools”. Separate tests are required on walls adjoining corridors in blocks of flats, and more strict targets need to be met on newly constructed schools.

  • If you are constructing in line with Code for Sustainable Homes or BREEAM you may be expected to achieve tougher targets in exchange for valuable credits. Losing these credits could become costly elsewhere.

  • Your Building Control Officer (BCO) can request more or fewer Acoustic Tests than the Building Regulation states.

The Energist Approach

  • We can review your plans and planning conditions and talk to your Planning Officer (if you'd like us to). 

  • Our acousticians can carry out tests – ideally this is done just before carpets are fitted. In residential buildings, the tests and targets vary depending on the type of homes in the development.

  • We suggest the easiest, no-nonsense approach and protect your BREEAM credits.

  • We will complete the surveys in a timely way and send the report and certificates within 7 days. 

You may also need:

SBEM Calculations  |   SAP   |   CSH   |   BREEAM  |  Noise and Vibration

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