Month: November 2023

Soundproofing Floors and Ceilings

Soundproofing Floors and Ceilings

Soundproofing Floors and Ceilings

APT provides acoustic testing and consultancy to help architects and developers achieve the minimum requirements of Part E of the Building Regulations for new build and/or conversion projects. We also carry out our specialist Lease Condition sound testing where specific sound reduction requirements are required unique to each residential building.

The most common question clients ask is “How do I soundproof my party floors and ceilings to pass my Part E sound insulation test?” this article tries to answer this.


Soundproofing Floors and Ceilings
We have helped thousands of clients achieve compliance with Building Regulations Part E, so you can rest assured you have come to the right place. We can propose various designs accounting for:

  • Above and below joist solutions
  • Above joist solution only
  • Below joist solution only

Where possible we try to propose an off the shelf acoustic solution, which is often the cheapest option. Many other companies will try to push a bespoke ‘specialist’ solution that is often much more expensive and more difficult to install.

Using our vast knowledge of soundproofing design for party walls and ceilings, we can provide a more simple soundproofing solution for our clients requirements, from the smallest to the largest developments which can often save tens of thousands of pounds.

Firstly, we will sit down with you to try and ascertain your sound insulation requirements you need from the party floor. We then design the party floor and ceiling to either pass Part E for sound test; or, we can design the soundproofing for your floors and ceilings to achieve an excellent level of sound insulation compared to Part E’s minimum requirements by designing party floors to achieve plus 5 to 10dB – this upgrade is often a required by clients where their flats sit directly above ground floor commercial units and excess noise must be taken into account.


Let us help you pass your sound testing via good acoustic design

Soundproofing to achieve compliance with Part E, should not be just about ‘just passing’ as this means that the chance of noise complaints will be much greater due to the poorer soundproofing. This may also have a detrimental effect for the new resident renting the property and/or the new owner feeling angry that they have rented/purchased their dream home, only find that the property is too noisy.

If you need help with the acoustics on your project, make sure you get your soundproofed floors and ceilings designed by APT Sound Testing – the experts! For more information please contact us on 01525 303905 or, or for more information please visit our website at or download our sound test checklist.

F.A.Q for Raised Floor Plenum Testing

F.A.Q for Raised Floor Plenum Testing

F.A.Q for Raised Floor Plenum Testing
Raised floor plenum testing demonstrates the air tightness of the space below the raised access floors. Achieving air tightness in plenums is critical in achieving efficient air handling within buildings. Once the plenum has been constructed, an air tightness test to BG65/2016 must be undertaken to ensure the plenum meets design specifications.

Measuring the air leakage from a floor plenum, which is a void between a building’s floor structure and a raised access floor, used for distributing conditioned air to the spaces above. It is important to ensure that the floor plenum is airtight, as air leakage can cause energy inefficiency and discomfort to the occupants.

Floor Plenum Testing

What’s the cost of a Raised Floor Plenum Test?
The cost of a floor plenum test may vary depending on the size, complexity, multiples, and location of the plenum, as well as the quality of the testing company and the standards followed.
However, the cost of floor plenum test in UK ranges from £500 to £750 in the UK and £850 to £1000 in London. This does not include the cost of any air leakage surveys using smoke and thermal imaging, as well as any remedial work that may be required to seal the plenum and reduce air leakage. For a more accurate estimate, please contact us at and request a quote.

What’s the duration of a Raised Floor Plenum Test?
The duration of a floor plenum test may depend on several factors, such as the size and shape of the plenum, the number and location of the test points i.e., are they in different buildings, the equipment and method used. However, in our experience the average duration of a floor plenum test is about 2 to 4 hours per floor plenum – this doesn’t include the time required for any preparatory or remedial work sealing works that may be needed before or after the test.

What happens if I fail the floor plenum test?
If you fail the raised floor plenum test, it means that your floor plenum is not airtight enough and may cause problems with the air distribution and energy efficiency of your building.
To try and attain a pass for our client on the day, we can carry out a smoke and thermal imaging survey to highlight air leakage paths through fabric (walls, floor, and floor tiles) and issue a report for reference during the remedial sealing works. In many cases if the air leakage can be found and is quite easy to seal, the remedial works can be carried out during the test visit.

Floor Plenum Testing

What result do I need to pass a raised floor plenum test
According to the **BG65/2016** guide on floor plenum airtightness, the worst acceptable criteria for air leakage from floor plenums are:

• Plenum leakage: no more than 0.7 litres/s/m2 at a pressure of 50Pa – this is the air leakage through the plenum envelope into adjacent spaces via the walls, floors, cavities, internal columns, risers, service penetrations, heating trenches or other zones.

• Raised access floor leakage: no more than 1 litre/s/m2 at a pressure of 50Pa. This is the uncontrolled air leakage into conditioned zones, such as through joints in the raised access floor or between the raised access floor and walls junction.

These criteria are recommended to ensure energy efficiency and comfort for the users of the building. More stringent air leakage specifications may be required for critical environments, such as data.

Common sources of air leakage in floor plenums are:

In our experience, some of the common sources of air leakage in floor plenums are:

1. Service penetrations – that run through the access floor, walls and subfloor, such as cable bundles, cable trays, pipes, fire barriers, etc.
2. Cable trunking – that is not internally sealed within the trunking void.
3. Grilles and diffusers – gaps around grills and diffusers that are not sealed or gasketed.
4. Poorly installed masonry – walls etc. that has not been jointed and/or has missing masonry resulting in gaps and cracks.
5. Service Risers – that are not properly sealed for plenums or ducting.
6. Plasterboard – installed on studs that has not been properly sealed at board edges and the ends below the raised floor level.
7. Junction Joints – between tiles or between tiles and walls/columns that are not sealed or gasketed.

Excess air leakage in floor plenums can cause energy inefficiency and discomfort to the occupants, as well as affect the performance of the floor-mounted diffusers or grilles. Therefore, it is important to design, install and test the floor plenums for airtightness, following the standards and guidelines provided by BG65/2016.

How to prepare for a raised floor plenum test
There are many things to consider when preparing your raised floor plenum for the air tightness test. for instance, before installing the floor tiles, we recommend that careful checks are undertaken to all areas of the floor plenum, the main areas to check and seal are the wall/floor junctions, wall/raised floor junction, columns/floor and raised floor junctions, ductwork, and cable trays.

During the installation of ductwork/cable trays, it is common to miss out the sealing beneath the duct/tray where it penetrates the wall, and this is then very difficult to seal at a later stage. When planning the work with the contractors, we’d recommend highlighting this area and installing an airtight seal beneath the duct.

Also, all masonry, fireboard and plasterboard should be carefully checked to ensure that all joints are fully sealed, and no damage has been caused by the later inclusion of services.
Also, prior to the taping of the floor, ensure that all ductwork openings and/or the air handling units are fully sealed. To avoid any areas have not been missed, check the drawings to identify where these are in the plenum.

Also, prior to the installation of the tape, ensure that the raised floor tiles and surrounding walls etc. have been carefully cleaned, otherwise the tape will come off during the plenum test whilst under pressurisation. It would also be worth using a high-tack tape to ensure it stays in place throughout the plenum test.

If you would like to know how to prepare for your floor plenum test, please click on the following link how to pass a floor plenum test.

Floor Plenum Testing

Why Choose us APT for your Raised Floor Plenum Test!
Our team of floor plenum test engineers provide a high-quality testing service for commercial properties throughout London and the Southeast.

We use the latest Retrotec testing equipment that allows us to test all sizes of access floors, to ensure your floor plenum meets the requirements of BG65/2016.

We provide the following as part our professional testing service:

• 20 years of air testing design and testing experience
• UKAS accredited testing laboratory
• ATTMA Level 2 certified
• The latest UKAS calibrated equipment
• Smoke and thermal imaging air leakage detection service

Contact us today to learn more about our floor plenum testing services and how we can help you achieve a test pass for you project! For more information call APT today on: 0777 5623464 or email us at:

Sound Insulation Testing Needed on Flats

Sound Insulation Testing Needed on Flats

What Types of Sound Insulation Testing is Needed on Flats?
There are two types of sound tests that are required for flats to comply with Approved Document E; they are:

Airborne Walls and Floor Tests
These types of sound tests are carried out on separating walls and floors/ceilings between flats. An airborne sound test measures levels of sound transmitted through the air, such as speech and TV and Music noise. We use the latest Dodecahedron loudspeakers that produces white noise on one side of the partition, and measure noise with a Level 1 decibel meter on the other side of the partitions to check how much sound is lost through the partition.

Impact Floor Tests
This type of sound tests is only carried out on separating floor/ceiling divides between dwellings. An impact test measures the levels of noise transmitted directly through a separating construction as a result of impact noise such as footfall. We use a Norsonic tapping machine, which drops metal hammers onto the floor to create impact noise. We then measure the amount of sound that passes through the partition with a decibel meter on the other side of the dividing partition.

Noise Flanking

Sound Insulation Testing Services
All types of sound insulation testing should only be completed on ‘habitable’ rooms. Habitable rooms can be Lounges, Living Rooms, Studies, bedrooms and open plan kitchens. Test findings are fed into a report, that will compare the results against the Part E Building Classification, which will clearly show a pass or fail. Thereafter the sound test report, will be sent to the client. As a UKAS accredited testing laboratory, our sound test report should always be acceptable to your tasked Building Control, and will help you to achieve building signoff for Approved Document E.

We know how important a sound insulation certificate is to you in achieving building control signoff, that’s why we pull out all the stops to make certain that you get the certificate quickly. We pride ourselves on the fact that our sound insulation certificates are issued with speed and efficiency.

Even before you get the sound test certificate, you will receive the results of the test. First, our skilled and competent acoustic engineers give you a verbal result at the site. Then, a written report is sent to you within 24 hours of a working day.

Why Do We Need Sound Testing on Flats?
When sound resistance (or sound insulation) is high in party walls and floors, the environment is more comfortable for residents as sound affects every aspect of our lives including home/work environment and while relaxing.

Insufficient sound insulation usually causes distress and discomfort while an effective sound insulation system brings about speech privacy and helps to improve relaxation and often helps to improve sleep patterns. This is one of the several reasons why sound insulation is a key element in building.

If, for example, resident working night shifts may not be able to sleep if their neighbours like to play loud music. Robust levels of sound insulation will help to reduce the noise and help to improve the quality of a person’s life in diverse ways. There are also developments where the neighbouring units are used for different purposes, such as home/work/studio units, in such cases a sound test ensures that the noise coming from each unit is minimal.

For further information sound insulation on party floors in Flats, please see our sound test checklist or visit us at or call us on 01525 303905.

The APT Sound, Air & Vent Testing Package

The APT Sound, Air & Vent Testing Package

A Sound, Air & Vent Testing Service in One Seamless Cost Effective Package
For most new projects you are required to undertake air tightness, sound insulation and domestic extract testing. We are one of the few companies that are UKAS accredited to undertake both Air & Sound testing in compliance to Building Regulations and Standards.

This means we can undertake Air, Sound and Vent Testing Packages during the same visit which provides our clients with substantial cost savings and reducing potential coordination issues. Also, unlike many companies we do not subcontract our works so our testing engineers offer the highest standard possible.

If you want to achieve compliance with Building Regulations Part E, F & G please contact us now.

Here what’s included in our Big 3 Package:

Sound Insulation Testing

Pre completion sound testing under Part E of Building Regulations has been a mandatory requirement since July 2003. All new build properties and conversions which were built after this date require 10% of each party wall/floor construction type to be tested. Sound Testing is to be carried out between pairs of rooms separated by party walls or floors.

Sound insulation testing is required to make sure that a residential development can demonstrate acceptable levels of noise attenuation performance. Building Regulations Part E requires you undertake two different types of sound testing including airborne noise (i.e.sound/noise transmitted through the air, such as televisions and conversations between people) and impact noise (i.e. noise resulting from an impact on the floor surface, such as footsteps on the floor). By undertaking the two types of sound testing ensures the dwelling provides a reasonable resistance to the passage of sound.

Air Tightness Testing

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 the reduction of carbon emissions as 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. Newprojects/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.

Extractor Fan Testing

Extractor Fan Testing under Part F of Building Regulations has been a mandatory requirement since 2014. All new extract ventilation that uses intermittent extractor fans such as bathrooms, WC and kitchens in new buildings need to have their air flow rates measured on site and the results submitted to the building control body prior to completion and handover.

As buildings become more insulated and air tightness is improved, it is essential that any installed ventilation systems are fit for purpose, balanced and commissioned correctly to ensure optimum levels of operation for the well being of the occupants and prevent on going damage to the properties via mould etc.

We can undertake the extractor fan testing at the same time as the air and sound testing which helps to reduce coordination issues as well as offering a substantial cost saving. You can also be safe the knowledge that the works are being carried out by a UKAS accredited company.

Contact APT Sound Testing

If you would like more information on our ‘Big 3 Package’ please get in touch via our contact form or call us on 01525 303905 to discuss your specific requirements with our friendly and knowledgeable acoustic and air tightness consultants.

Acoustic Consultancy Testing

Acoustic Consultancy Testing

Acoustic Consultancy Testing Services
As leading Acoustic Consultants, we offer a full turnkey solution for all your acoustic requirements to ensure compliance with planning requirements and Building Regulations Part E to achieve building control sign off for the acoustic elements of the project. This ensures your company receives professional advice every step of the way, with an on-going continual consideration of cost.

We visit site to undertake sample sound insulation testing to the existing buildings walls and floors to check the sound insulation performance of the existing dividing partitions. Thereafter, once the sound levels have been established and targeted acoustic design can be undertaken to ensure compliance with Building Regulations Part E.

We can help develop the acoustic design of the project from the initial design scheme stage through to the precompletion sound testing. In particular we review the acoustic details to take into account the mass, isolation and absorption elements of the construction.

Acoustic Consultancy Testing Services

Acoustic Consultancy Design Advice
To try and help our clients achieve compliance with Approved Document E, we offer the following 4 step acoustic design advice package:

1. Site Survey Visits – to let us view the existing site construction. This allows us to check for potential problematic construction such as inclusion of lightweight blocks in the existing construction. It also lets us check that the installation teams are installing the acoustic materials as per manufacturer’s guidelines.

2. Sample Sound Testing – of the existing construction. This offers an accurate overview of the acoustic performance of the existing partitions which enables us to offer a targeted acoustic design using the sound insulation performance of the existing construction.

3. Acoustic Design Review – a full design review of the proposed developments party walls and floors. Site Survey Visits – to let us view the existing site construction. This allows us to check for potential problematic construction such as inclusion of lightweight blocks in the existing construction. It also lets us check that the installation teams are installing the acoustic materials as per manufacturer’s guidelines.

4. Pre-completion Sound Testing to satisfy Approved Document E – If the local authority has requested you undertake Sound Insulation Testing please call us now on: 01525 303905 or email us at:

Acoustic Design Services

We have many years’ experience of acoustic partition design on all types of developments from pairs of semi-detached houses, up apartment blocks containing hundreds of residential units. Utilising our vast experience in construction design, and the data from thousands of sound insulation tests, we have a clear understanding of the positives and negatives of all types of construction.

We are also a UKAS accredited sound testing laboratory which means we can offer a comprehensive design and testing solution for all your acoustic requirements. We can test and issue certification on completion of any works carried out and you can be safe in the knowledge that the results will be accepted by the tasked building control officer.

We have undertaken hundreds of acoustic design and sound test packages on many different types of projects, from the initial scheme stage to completion. We offer a no nonsense professional proactive that ensures you company receives professional advice every step of the way, with a continual consideration of cost.

In order to achieve the current sound insulation performance requirements of Approved Document E of the current Building Regulations, it is highly recommended you employ the services of an Acoustic Consultancy such as APT Sound Testing to survey your acoustic design/construction proposals.

We can also undertake site survey visits which allow you to feel confident about the outcome of testing at the end of the build. The site survey visits help to reduce the risk of sound test failure due to poor workmanship.

We provide full ISO compliant UKAS accredited surveys and testing, using the latest calibrated Norsonic sound testing equipment.

If you are unsure of the acoustic requirements on your project, please call us now on: 01525 303905 or email us at

Thermal Imaging Inspections for Electrical Equipment

Thermal Imaging Inspections for Electrical Equipment

Thermal Imaging Inspections for Electrical Equipment

Over the last few years facility management companies are seeing the importance of thermal imaging inspections for their predictive maintenance programmes.

Thermal imaging is essential in electrical predictive maintenance programs because it identifies potential faults and allows for swift inspections and one image can show you various detail unlike using a spot pyrometer where you would have to test individual fuses, this allows maintenance teams to undertake remedial works before critical asset failure.

high resolution thermal imaging camera used on building inspections

At APT Thermal Imaging we can analyse your assets and provide you with unique easily understandable thermal imaging reports. That can be rolled out within your predictive maintenance programs. Also, also if you need help analysing the data provided within the thermal inspection report you will have your own dedicated thermographer at hand to explain everything in layman’s terms.

What electrical equipment will you survey?

Electrical Maintenance thermography can be used on a wide range of electrical equipment including:

>>> Distribution boards and fuse boards
>>> Switchgears and switchboards
>>> Control panels
>>> Busbar systems
>>> Transformers
>>> High voltage systems
>>> Batteries
>>> UPS systems

It’s worth noting that our electrical thermal imaging surveys are carried out while plant and equipment is running. There will be no interruption to electrical supplies and your operations (critical assets) will not be affected while the thermal survey is being undertaken. Our thermal inspections engineers are all certified electrical professionals with extensive experience in thermal scanning of electrical systems.

APT thermography has been carrying out professional thermal imaging surveys since 2010. We only use the highest resolution thermal imaging camera equipment, and our surveyors are all certified Thermographers with strong electrical, building and engineering backgrounds.

thermal imaging inspection to electrical equipment

Our team of Level 2 & 3 certified professional Thermographers are highly experienced in carrying out thermal imaging surveys and have many years’ experience in all aspects of engineering, construction, maintenance, management, and professional survey work.

Our thermal imaging equipment is the best and most accurate on the market, ensuring we pick up faults that other equipment may miss. Our reports are professionally presented and are clear, concise, and easy to follow. We endeavour to give our clients a first class service every time.

Please contact us for more information

If you would like to contact us for more information on our thermal imaging services, please contact us on 01525 303905 or email us at Alternatively if you would like more information on how to prepare for your thermal imaging survey, please visit our website here or download our thermal imaging checklist