Month: August 2023

Sound Insulation Testing – Questions & Answers

Sound Insulation Testing – Questions & Answers

Sound Insulation Testing – Questions & Answers
APT sound testing often get asked a similar bunch of questions in regards to sound insulation testing. Over the last couple of years we have collated these questions and answers and to help our valued clients we have shown these below.

What is sound testing for Part E
Sound Insulation Testing is a method of quantifying the sound insulation performance of  walls and/or floors. Sound testing can be carried out on party walls, party floors or facades of any building.

What is sound insulation?
Sound insulation is the property of a wall and /or dividing partition to resist the passage of noise.

Why do I need sound testing on my Project/Property?
The largest single reason for disputes between neighbours is noise complaints. Approved Document Part E – Resistance to the passage of sound describes minimum standards to be achieved by newly built domestic dwellings.

What building regulation do we work to?

Approved Document Part E, sets out minimum standards for sound insulation performance to be achieved by party wall and party floors. Building contractors may show compliance with Part E of the Building Regulations by two methods. One method is to register plots to be built with Robust Standard Details Limited and the other is to show as-built performance by Pre-Completion Sound Testing to Part E of Building Regulations.

When are Pre-Completion Sound Tests carried out?
Pre completion Sound testing is carried out when the construction of party walls and floors are largely complete. Windows should be in place with any vents closable. Internal and external doors should be in place, along with skirting, cornicing and plug sockets in place. Sound testing on floors must be carried out before any soft coverings are in place.

 Do detached properties require sound testing for Part E of Building Regulations?

No, only attached properties require sound tests, detached properties share no common partitions with any other properties.

Are internal walls/floor between rooms within a single dwelling sound tested?
No, Laboratory test based performance standards (Rw) exist for certain internal walls and floors, but they are not intended to be verified as-built by on site measurement and therefore sound insulation testing is not a requirement.

How many sound tests are needed on my Project?

Approved Document E states that one set of sound tests is required for every 10 units in a group or sub-group. A group or sub-group is defined where significant differences in construction or layout occur, for instance:

  • For a pair of semi-detached Houses – a set of tests would usually comprise two airborne sound insulation tests of a separating wall.
  • For Flats (up to 10 units) – a six pack would normally be required, this comprises of: two airborne wall tests, two airborne floor tests and two impact floor sound tests. The easiest way to work out the number of tests required is to multiply 1 x 6 packs for every 10 flats, i.e. if you have 22 flats you will require 3 x 6 packs which equals 18 sound tests in total.
  • For Rooms for Residential Purposes (student accommodation, hotel rooms, care homes etc.) – a set of tests would usually comprise: one airborne sound insulation tests of a separating wall; one airborne sound insulation test of a separating floor; one impact sound transmission test of a separating floor.

How are plots selected for Sound Insulation Testing?
We will usually specify the sound insulation tests that are required. We first look at the plans then work a testing schedule taking into account testing through both the projects lounges & bedrooms where possible. We will also try and undertake testing across walls and floors in different areas of the building.

The building control officer, warranty provider or other concerned parties may require you to carry out sound testing in specific areas or plots. However where this has not been stipulated we can advise accordingly. When we have specified the sound testing schedule it should always be checked by building control and/or the client to seek their approval before the commencement of testing.

How do I Preparing my Site for Sound Insulation Testing?

APT always send out a checklist with our fee proposals to help you prepare for the sound testing, as we always want our clients to be fully prepared so they can pass their sound testing at the first attempt.

Will the sound insulation testing disrupt work on site? 
There should be minimal site disruption during the sound insulation testing. However, although high levels of noise are generated but in order to make accurate test measurements, relatively quiet conditions are needed to take accurate measurements. This means that anyone working in the testing area will have to leave temporarily and any noisy works in the vicinity of the test rooms will need to be halted i.e. using power tools.

How long will the Sound Insulation Testing take?

The time taken for London sound testing varies with site conditions, but generally a ‘6 pack’ set of tests on houses and flats takes about one to two hours. Obviously this depends on the site being fully prepared in line with our sound testing checklist.

How do I know if I’m ready for a sound insulation test?
The plots should be at least at second fix stage – for further details please refer to our checklist.

Do I need all internal and external doors and windows installed?
Yes, all internal and external doors must be fitted and operable prior to the sound testing. Trickle vents must also be installed where required.

 What if I only have 110 volt on site?

Unfortunately we cannot undertake the testing; we will need 240V to undertake the sound insulation testing.

Should I inform my neighbours of the impending sound testing?
If the building is attached in any way to occupied properties then you will need to inform the neighbours. To comply with Part E we need to gain access to the neighbouring properties to undertake the sound test. You will need to ensure that access is provided to the neighbouring properties throughout the sound testing.

Can you offer advice to help me to pass my sound insulation testing?
We offer an acoustic design service to help you design your buildings partitions to pass Part E sound testing. If you send through the relevant drawings such as sections and plans during the design stages of the project, we can check the design to see if there are any junctions or details where ‘noise flanking’ may occur. You can then change your design to lower the chance of a sound test failure.

Do you have a check-list to help us prepare for the sound testing?
Yes, we have an informative checklist to help prepare for the testing, please visit our website at to download the checklist.

Is it easy to upgrade the sound insulation in my Existing Home?.

Yes of course. If excess noise is causing you stress and anxiety, in comparison upgrading the walls/floors to your existing property can be a worthwhile process. its normally quite easy to upgrade walls and floors/ceilings to lower sound transmission. Sometimes it can be as easy as installing an acoustically (insulated) backed board against the offending partition. In all instances it is important not only that the right products are used to cause minimal disruption but they are also fitted correctly in-line with manufacturer’s guidelines. .

Rest Assured

We believe in working with our clients whether they are existing home owners suffering acoustic problems or large developers requiring a more expansive service to achieve sound testing compliance. We believe that by being involved at the beginning of a project we can often save our clients expensive and difficult remedial works at the completion stage of a project.

If you would like more information on our full range of services, including Sound Insulation Testing, please contact us now at or call us on 01525 303905.

Understanding Air Pressure Testing in the Property Sector

Understanding Air Pressure Testing in the Property Sector

Understanding Air Pressure Testing in the Property Sector
The property sector is a dynamic and ever-evolving industry that constantly seeks innovation and technology-driven solutions to improve the quality of construction and reduce energy consumption.

One such innovation that has gained prominence in recent years is air pressure testing. This technique, also known as air infiltration testing or blower door testing, has become a game-changer for the property sector, helping to enhance building performance, energy efficiency, and overall sustainability.

What is Air Pressure Testing?

Air pressure testing is a diagnostic tool used to assess the air tightness of buildings. It involves the use of specialised equipment, such as a blower door, which is essentially a powerful fan that is temporarily installed in an exterior door frame. By manipulating air pressure inside the building, this test helps identify areas of air leakage and drafts, pinpointing weaknesses in the building envelope.

Why is Air Pressure Testing Important in the Property Sector?

Energy Efficiency: In an era of increasing energy costs and environmental concerns, property developers and owners are increasingly focused on constructing energy-efficient buildings. Air pressure testing helps identify areas of energy loss through leaks and gaps, enabling targeted improvements to enhance insulation and reduce heating and cooling costs.

Regulatory Compliance: Many regions have established strict building codes and standards to promote energy efficiency and sustainability. Air pressure testing is often a mandatory requirement to demonstrate compliance with these regulations. Failing the test may result in delays and costly modifications, making it crucial for property developers to get it right the first time.

Improved Indoor Air Quality: Properly sealed buildings not only save energy but also provide better indoor air quality. Air pressure testing helps reduce the infiltration of outdoor pollutants and allergens, creating a healthier and more comfortable living or working environment for occupants.

Cost Savings: Identifying and addressing air leaks early in the construction process can lead to substantial cost savings over the life of the building. Reduced energy consumption, fewer maintenance issues, and extended equipment life all contribute to the long-term financial benefits of air pressure testing.

Sustainable Practices: As sustainability becomes a central focus in the property sector, air pressure testing aligns with the industry’s green goals. It aids in minimising a building’s carbon footprint by ensuring it operates efficiently and uses energy more responsibly.

Challenges and Considerations:

While air pressure testing offers numerous benefits, it’s essential to consider some challenges:

Expertise: Proper testing and interpretation of results require specialised knowledge and equipment. Property developers should collaborate with experienced professionals to ensure accurate assessments.

Integration: Incorporating air pressure testing into the construction process demands careful planning. Coordination with other construction activities is critical to avoid delays.

Cost: While air pressure testing can lead to long-term savings, there are upfront costs associated with equipment rental and testing services. However, these costs are often outweighed by the benefits in terms of energy savings and compliance.

Air pressure testing has emerged as a vital tool in the property sector, helping developers, builders, and owners improve energy efficiency, meet regulatory standards, and create more sustainable buildings. By focusing on building envelope integrity and identifying air leaks, the property sector can reduce energy consumption, lower operational costs, and contribute to a greener and healthier future.

Embracing air pressure testing is not just a choice; it’s a strategic move towards a more efficient and sustainable property sector.

Air Tightness Testing

Air Tightness Testing

APT Sound Testing provides Air Tightness Testing throughout the United Kingdom. We undertake air testing on all types of projects from single dwelling to the largest commercial buildings. We are one of the few companies that are UKAS accredited to undertake both Air & Sound testing in compliance to Building Regulations and Standards.

Air, Sound and Air Tightness Packages

This means we can undertake Air, Sound and Vent Testing Packages during the same visit which provides our clients with cost savings and improved on site co-ordination. Unlike many companies we do not subcontract our works.

Air testing to achieve satisfactory levels of air tightness became a legal requirement in 2006 in England and Wales, under Building Regulations Part L and is becoming increasingly important to help produce greener buildings, via reducing carbon emissions due to the fact that energy is not being needlessly lost from residences via large air leakage paths etc. Building Regulation Part L defines ‘air leakage’ as the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the fabric of a building. The general public recognise it as draughts.

When you lose energy through the building fabric this is known as the building emission rate. New projects/developments must meet specific requirements for air testing and emission rates. The usual target for a standard dwelling is 5.0m3/hr/m2; however for commercial buildings the target rate is often much lower – around 3.0m3/hr/m2

Wherever air infiltration occurs, there is usually exfiltration somewhere else in the building. During the summer, infiltration can bring humid, outdoor air into buildings. In winter, exfiltration can result in moist indoor air moving into cold wall cavities and may result in condensation and mould and/or rot which could result in serious damage to the property.

We undertake air tightness consultancy and design reviews to help support our clients from the design stage of the project through to the precompletion air testing to achieve building control signoff. If you need to undertake your testing on Saturdays or Sundays, we offer an ‘out of hours testing’ service to help reduce the impact of testing during working hours.

We also offer substantial cost savings for combined air and sound testing packages. This is due to our multi skilled engineers being UKAS accredited to carry out the Air & Sound Testing, in fact most of our clients now use our ‘3 step’ precompletion package as it negates the need to employ multiple companies.

On site co-ordination is also improved, with both tests being undertaken on the same day in a planned methodical manner. We can also provide out of hours testing (if required) to help reduce the impact of testing during working hours.

We provide a friendly expert advice for helping properties achieve required emission rates for air testing. Simply the use our contact form on this page, or call our offices, to chat about your specific air testing requirements with our knowledgeable team of air tightness consultants.

We can help with your Air Tightness Testing
APT Sound Testing we have large amount of experience in understanding the requirements of Approved Document L, along with extensive experience of carrying out thousands of successful air tightness tests on a wide range of developments across London and the UK.

In order to achieve the required air tightness target (which is getting lower all the time) and to avoid the risk of a failed air tightness test, we strongly recommend that early consideration is given to the design of the air leakage line within your project.

By working with our customers throughout their design and construction stages, we can provide advice and guidance on the most feasible ways to avoid air leakage and attain compliance for the air tightness test. Please download our air tightness checklist to help you prepare for your test.

Call us to day at 01525 303905 or visit our services contact page and we will get back to you as as as we can.

Noise Complaints in Existing Apartment Blocks

Noise Complaints in Existing Apartment Blocks

Noise Complaints in Existing Apartment Blocks
Over the last few years we are noticing a rise in noise complaints in existing apartment blocks. There may be many reasons for this. Noise problems range from airborne noise transmission from voices TVs and music to footfall impact noise caused by high heels on wooden/tiled floors – it is usually the impact noise that is noticed most by the residents if the unit above has changed their floor finish from carpet to wood.

Noise Complaints

In many cases even if the floor assembly has been designed and constructed to provide adequate airborne isolation, impact noise can still be a major problem.

One of the main problems is if works to the floor finish have been undertaken, changing it from carpet to timber. Even if it passes the sound test, the perceivable rise in impact noise often leads to complaints, as carpet and underlay normally provides a good degree of impact sound isolation.

Taking this into account it’s very important that impact isolation design, is taken into account before the installation of a hardwood and/or ceramic tile finish.

If you think you may have a problem with sound in your dwelling and/or you have encountered complaints from a neighbour due to changes you have made to the floor finish then please contact us now. Try to describe the noise problem in as much detail as possible. Describe the nature of the sounds, when and where you or your neighbour can hear it.

Is it impact noise or airborne noise or a combination of both? The more information you can provide us, the quicker we can try to determine the nature of the problem and find a solution. It may be as simple as the installation of an acoustic resilient membrane to the floor.

In our experience, if careful consideration is shown to the acoustic element of the floor upgrade, it should reduce the chance of complaints at a later stage, which will also avert costly legal battles at the end of the project and which often leads on to expensive remedial works.

We can come in prior to works commence and undertake a sample sound test of the existing floor partition, thereafter we can advise on the acoustic design of the floor. once the works have been completed we can then undertake a final precompletion sound test to show compliance with Building Regulations Part E.

If you are about to make changes to your apartment floor, and you require acoustic design advice, then please contact us now at: or phone me directly on 01525 303905.

Sound Proofing – Noise damping in Party Walls

Sound Proofing – Noise damping in Party Walls

An important element of a robust soundproofing design (or acoustic design) is the introduction of noise damping within the party wall construction. In all cases, careful selection of good quality soundproofing damping materials will contribute towards a successful sound test. Noise damping materials can be acoustic resilient layers and rubber panels which help to reduce vibration within the party wall construction.

Noise damping

Noise damping in party walls
Dense recycled rubber panel systems are high performance wall soundproofing solution aimed at providing good noise damping performance. Unlike other acoustic solutions, this dense recycled rubber is fairly easy to install and will provide a reliable soundproofing-barrier.

Many of these types of acoustic upgrade systems are quite easy to fit, as the acoustic rubber panels just need to be cut to size and stuck to the party wall covering the entire party walls surface. Proprietary adhesives are usually supplied with the rubber panels. The wall can then be finished off by adding two layers of acoustic plasterboard.

When used correctly, this simple upgrade system, can improve the performance of a single skin brick wall by 7-10dB or achieve 46dB to 48dB Dnt, W +CTr which exceeds the requirements of Approved Document E for party walls 43dB Dnt, W +CTr in conversion projects.

As with many acoustic solutions there is quite simple ways to upgrade to this system to achieve even higher levels of soundproofing. By adding two layers of 15mm soundboards you will further improve the party wall performance particularly at low frequencies.

On projects where space is tight, a single layer of 15mm soundboard can be applied; however, this will result in a small loss in overall performance over the two-board system, but will still out perform the original wall.

Need help with your soundproofing design?

Getting the acoustic design right from the word go, is key, and APT Sound Testing can help in all areas of sound insulation design and testing. Get in touch on  to request a quote or call us on 01525 303905 to discuss your development.

Please Note: although we take every care to ensure the information was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the user’s professional judgement. It is the responsibility of the duty-holder or person carrying out the work to ensure compliance with relevant building regulations or applicable technical standards.

Air Tightness Testing & the Property Industry

Air Tightness Testing & the Property Industry

Air Tightness Testing & the Property Industry: Enhancing Efficiency and Sustainability

In today’s property industry, the focus on energy efficiency and sustainability has become more pronounced than ever. With growing concerns about climate change and rising energy costs, property developers, homeowners, and regulatory bodies are seeking innovative ways to optimise building performance. One such crucial aspect gaining prominence is Air Tightness Testing. This post will delve into the significance of air tightness testing in the property industry and how it contributes to creating more energy-efficient and sustainable buildings.

Understanding Air Tightness Testing:

Air tightness testing, also known as air leakage testing or blower door testing, is a procedure that measures the rate of uncontrolled air leakage in a building’s envelope. The building envelope includes walls, roofs, windows, doors, and any other structures that separate the interior and exterior environments. The primary goal of this test is to identify and quantify areas where air may be escaping or infiltrating the building, leading to energy wastage and discomfort for occupants.

Why is Air Tightness Important?

Energy Efficiency: An air-tight building helps prevent unwanted air leakage, which can account for a significant portion of energy consumption. By reducing drafts and air exchange between indoor and outdoor spaces, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can operate more efficiently, resulting in lower energy bills and reduced carbon emissions.

Comfort and Indoor Air Quality: A well-sealed building ensures a consistent indoor environment by minimising temperature fluctuations and improving indoor air quality. This results in increased comfort for occupants and a healthier living or working environment.

Sustainability: The property industry plays a vital role in sustainability efforts. Reducing air leakage means reducing the overall energy demand of a building, which aligns with global goals to minimise the carbon footprint and combat climate change.

Compliance and Certification: Many building codes and energy efficiency standards require air tightness testing as part of the compliance process. Additionally, certifications like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) take air tightness into account when awarding green building credentials.

Benefits for the Property Industry:

Reduced Operational Costs: Improved energy efficiency leads to lower utility bills and increased property value. Developers can market energy-efficient buildings as a valuable asset, attracting eco-conscious buyers or tenants.

Positive Reputation: Incorporating air tightness testing and focusing on sustainability can enhance the reputation of property developers and management companies. A commitment to environmentally-friendly practices can attract a broader clientele and foster positive relationships with stakeholders.

Long-Term Investment: Energy-efficient buildings tend to have a longer lifespan and lower maintenance costs, making them a more secure long-term investment for property developers and owners.

Air Tightness Testing & the Property Industry
Incorporating air tightness testing into the property industry is a step in the right direction towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient future. By optimising building performance, we can reduce carbon emissions, lower energy consumption, and create healthier living and working spaces for occupants.

The property industry has a unique opportunity to lead the way in combating climate change while reaping the benefits of improved operational efficiency and enhanced reputation. Embracing air tightness testing is a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved, contributing to a more sustainable and prosperous future for generations to come.

We can help with your Air Tightness Testing

APT Sound Testing has a large amount of experience in understanding the requirements of Approved Document L, along with extensive experience in carrying out thousands of successful air tightness tests on a wide range of developments across London and the UK.

In order to achieve the required air tightness target (which is getting lower all the time) and to avoid the risk of a failed air tightness test, we strongly recommend that early consideration is given to the design of the air leakage line within your project.

By working with our customers throughout their design and construction stages, we can provide advice and guidance on the most feasible ways to avoid air leakage and attain compliance for the air tightness test. Please download our air tightness checklist to help you prepare for your test.

For more information please call us to day at 01525 303905 or use the online contact form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

About APT Sound Testing in London

About APT Sound Testing in London

We undertake sound testing on all types of residential buildings and commercial buildings. We also undertake sound testing on schools and buildings containing rooms for residential purposes.

We provide provide UKAS accredited sound testing for London and the whole of the UK as required by Approved Document E of the Building Regulations.

Sound Testing in London

Experienced Sound Testing Engineers
The team of experienced sound test engineers at APT Sound Testing are dedicated to giving our customers the best quality of service and offer acoustic design advice where possible, to help our clients achieve the required acoustic results to pass the sound testing and attain building completion.

We can also undertake ‘in-house’ UKAS accredited air tightness testing in one seamless package, lowering costs and negating coordination issues.

Who We Work With
APT Sound Testing have years of experience working with a wide range of clients that span both the public and private sectors. We have clients ranging from self-builders through to the largest housing developers. We also work with the health authority and the banking sector on their cleanroom testing. Our clients have benefited from our wealth of knowledge and friendly, proactive service that we provide.

We have one of the highest return-client rates of any precompletion testing and consultancy services within the United Kingdom. This is due to the proactive unique service that we can provide. We do not subcontract our work – everything is undertaken in-house.

We are one of the few companies that have an office in central London, which means we can respond quickly and efficiently to our client’s survey and testing requirements. We also have the resources to undertake last minute testing have the resource capabilities to carry our last minute testing and weekend working – which we often do in the banking sector) should it be required.

Thanks to highly trained engineers, we are able to provide a quick and efficient service with the emphasis on customer satisfaction, which is why we have one of highest return-client rates of any acoustic consultancy. Using our many years’ acoustic design experience has allowed us to build a knowledge base that helps us achieve an understanding of our client and project requirements. We are also a multi UKAS accredited laboratory, working to strict ISO standards so you can sure of a quality service from start to project completion.

In is our ongoing policy to listen to our clients’ needs and present them with practical, cost-effective solutions which also takes into account buildability considerations. This means that we offer acoustic consultancy solutions, which encompasses acoustic design and precompletion testing in one easy package.

We use the latest acoustic testing and survey equipment which is UKAS calibrated to the highest standards. By investing in both our personnel and equipment it allows us to offer a more efficient service.

Get in Touch with APT Sound Testing
APT Sound Testing strive to provide our clients with a guaranteed quality service every time they decide to get in touch.

Our team would love to hear about your latest project, so please get in touch now by calling 01525 303 905 or visit our website for more information.