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Sound Testing & Acoustic Design Services

Sound Testing & Acoustic Design Services

APT Sound Testing & Acoustic Design

Sound testing & acoustic design, testing and pre-completion testing ensure compliance with building regulations and certification requirements. Our team is dedicated to offering friendly, proactive, and efficient service across the UK, from London to other regions, for both residential and commercial buildings, as well as schools and facilities containing residential rooms.

Our Services:

Sound Testing

We specialise in sound testing for a wide variety of buildings:

  1. Residential Buildings: Whether it’s a new build or a conversion, we ensure that all residential buildings meet the required acoustic standards.
  2. Commercial Buildings: Our sound testing services cover offices, retail spaces, and other commercial properties to ensure compliance with acoustic regulations.
  3. Educational Institutions: Schools and universities can rely on our expertise to create optimal learning environments with the right acoustic conditions.
  4. Rooms for Residential Purposes: We provide specialized testing for buildings with rooms for residential purposes, ensuring comfort and privacy.

Our services are accredited by UKAS, adhering to the stringent standards set by Approved Document E of the Building Regulations. This ensures that our sound testing is both reliable and recognized for its quality.

Acoustic Design Consultation

Our experienced engineers offer detailed acoustic design consultations. By integrating our knowledge early in the design process, we help clients achieve the necessary acoustic outcomes, ensuring that buildings pass sound tests and obtain building completion certification. Our consultation services include:

  1. Early Design Stage Involvement: We collaborate with architects and builders from the onset to incorporate effective acoustic solutions.
  2. Customized Solutions: Each project receives tailored advice to meet specific acoustic requirements and challenges.
  3. Cost-Effective Recommendations: We provide practical solutions that balance performance with budget considerations.

Air Tightness Testing

In addition to sound testing, we offer UKAS accredited air tightness testing, providing a seamless package that reduces costs and simplifies coordination. This dual capability allows us to offer a comprehensive assessment of a building’s performance, ensuring both sound and air tightness compliance.

Our Clients:

APT Sound Testing has a diverse client base, spanning both public and private sectors, including:

  1. Self-Builders: Individual projects receive the same high level of service as large developments.
  2. Large Housing Developers: We work with some of the biggest names in housing development, ensuring large-scale projects meet regulatory standards.
  3. Healthcare Sector: Our expertise extends to cleanroom testing for hospitals and other health facilities.
  4. Banking Sector: We frequently conduct testing for banks, including last-minute and weekend work, to meet their stringent requirements.

Our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction has resulted in one of the highest return-client rates in the industry. This is largely due to our in-house approach, avoiding subcontracting and ensuring consistent service quality.

Why Choose Us:

  1. Proximity and Responsiveness: With an office in central London, we can quickly respond to client needs, conducting surveys and tests efficiently.
  2. Experienced Team: Our engineers bring years of acoustic design and testing experience, contributing to our comprehensive knowledge base.
  3. High-Quality Service: We operate as a multi UKAS accredited laboratory, adhering to strict ISO standards, ensuring top-tier service from start to finish.
  4. Client-Centric Approach: We prioritize listening to our clients and providing practical, cost-effective solutions that consider buildability.
  5. Advanced Equipment: We use the latest UKAS calibrated acoustic testing and survey equipment, enhancing our service efficiency.

Our goal is to ensure that every project we undertake meets the highest standards of acoustic performance. We invest in both our personnel and equipment to maintain this commitment to quality.

Contact APT Sound Testing

APT Sound Testing is dedicated to providing guaranteed quality service. To discuss your specific requirements, you can reach out to us through our website contact form or by calling us at 01525 303905. Our friendly and knowledgeable acoustic and air tightness consultants are ready to assist you with any questions or needs you may have.

APT Sound Testing stands out for its dedication to quality, client satisfaction, and comprehensive service offerings. Our proactive approach, combined with extensive industry experience and high standards, ensures that we deliver reliable and efficient acoustic and air tightness solutions across the UK.

Acoustic Consultancy Testing

Acoustic Consultancy Testing

Leading Acoustic Consultants in the UK

As leading Acoustic Consultants, we provide comprehensive turnkey solutions for all your acoustic needs, ensuring compliance with planning requirements and Building Regulations Part E. This compliance is crucial for obtaining building control sign-off for the acoustic elements of your project. Our approach guarantees that your company receives professional guidance throughout the entire process, consistently considering cost-effectiveness.

Our services begin with on-site sample sound insulation testing of existing buildings’ walls and floors. This initial step allows us to evaluate the sound insulation performance of the current dividing partitions. Once we establish the sound levels, we can proceed with targeted acoustic design to ensure compliance with Building Regulations Part E.

We support the acoustic design of your project from the initial design stage through to the pre-completion sound testing. We meticulously review the acoustic details, focusing on the mass, isolation, and absorption components of the construction.

To help our clients achieve compliance with Approved Document E, we offer a four-step acoustic design advice package:

1. Site Survey Visits

During these visits, we assess the existing site construction to identify potential issues, such as the inclusion of lightweight blocks. We also ensure that the installation teams are following the manufacturer’s guidelines for installing acoustic materials. This early intervention helps prevent problems that could arise from incorrect installation practices.

2. Sample Sound Testing

We conduct sample sound testing on the existing construction to provide an accurate assessment of the current acoustic performance of the partitions. This testing enables us to offer a targeted acoustic design that leverages the sound insulation performance of the existing structure.

3. Acoustic Design Review

We perform a thorough review of the proposed development’s party walls and floors. Our site survey visits, included in this step, allow us to evaluate the construction for potential acoustic issues and verify that the installation teams adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for acoustic materials.

4. Pre-completion Sound Testing

To satisfy Approved Document E, we conduct pre-completion sound testing. If your local authority has requested sound insulation testing, please contact us at 01525 303905 or email info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk.

Part E Sound Insulation Testing

Since July 2003, pre-completion sound testing under Part E of Building Regulations has been mandatory. All new builds and conversions constructed after this date must have 10% of each party wall/floor type tested. Sound testing is conducted between pairs of rooms separated by party walls or floors to ensure residential developments meet acceptable noise attenuation standards.

Building Regulations Part E mandates two types of sound testing: airborne noise (e.g., sounds transmitted through the air like televisions and conversations) and impact noise (e.g., noise from impacts on the floor surface like footsteps). Conducting both types of sound testing ensures the dwelling provides reasonable resistance to sound passage.

We are a UKAS-accredited sound insulation testing laboratory, offering a proactive sound testing service and reliable reporting to achieve building control sign-off. With our extensive acoustic design experience, your project will be expertly managed from the initial design stage to the final pre-completion testing.

Site Survey Visits

Our site survey visits are designed to instill confidence in you and your contractor regarding the testing outcomes at the end of the build. These visits enable us to verify that acoustic materials are installed correctly according to manufacturers’ guidelines, preventing on-site errors that could lead to sound test failures. A compliant design can still fail due to poor workmanship; our site survey visits mitigate this risk.

We provide detailed survey reports and outline potential mitigation measures, supported by noise mapping to illustrate the effectiveness of these measures in real-life scenarios. These assessments can address noise from extraction systems, air conditioners, industrial plants, refrigeration units, and general industrial building usage.

If your local authority has requested a BS4142 Noise Assessment, please call us at 01525 303905 or email info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk.

Acoustic Consultancy Services

For more information about our Acoustic Consultancy Services, Acoustic Design, and other services, please visit our Planning Noise Survey page.

Our comprehensive approach and dedication to detail ensure that your project meets all acoustic requirements, providing you with peace of mind and professional support from start to finish.

Electrical Thermal Imaging Inspections

Electrical Thermal Imaging Inspections

Electrical Thermal Imaging Inspections

In recent years, facility management companies have increasingly recognised the importance of electrical infrared inspections for their predictive maintenance programs.

Thermal imaging is vital in electrical predictive maintenance because it identifies potential faults quickly and comprehensively. Unlike spot pyrometers, which require testing individual fuses, thermal imaging captures multiple details in a single image, allowing maintenance teams to perform remedial work before critical asset failures occur.

Electrical Thermal Imaging Inspections are a very cost-effective way of ensuring that your electrical system doesn’t burn out or break down. This is especially important in industries with high voltage systems and/or where continuity of power is critical to the business, e.g. data centres, banks, utility suppliers, manufacturing, hospitals.

The most common benefits are:

  • Extension of equipment/building life
  • Less plant (critical asset) down time
  • Less energy wasted through inefficient operation.
  • The ability to prioritise and better target preventive maintenance
  • The avoidance of consequential damage to plant or facilities from fires/short circuits


How Will Your Building Benefit from the Survey?

Electrical infrared thermal surveys are incredibly useful for various purposes within new and existing buildings, such as:

  1. Saving time & money: by reducing downtime, maintenance costs, and energy consumption.
  2. Improving quality and productivity: by optimizing the electrical systems operation and performance.
  3. Reducing risk: By identifying potential problems before they cause damage or failure, electrical thermal surveys can prevent costly downtime, repairs, or accidents.
  4. Lowering energy costs: By finding poor connections or inefficiencies that waste energy, electrical thermal surveys can help lower annual bills and improve environmental performance.
  5. Extending the lifespan of equipment: by improving the serviceability of electrical equipment by preventing premature wear and tear
  6. Fulfilling insurance requirements: Some insurance companies may require or recommend electrical thermal surveys as part of their risk assessment or policy compliance.


Electrical Infrared Thermal Imaging Survey’s
At APT Thermal Imaging, we analyse your assets and provide unique, easily understandable thermal imaging reports that integrate seamlessly into your predictive maintenance programs. If you need assistance interpreting the data from the thermal inspection report, you’ll have a dedicated thermographer available to explain everything in layman’s terms.

Here at APT Sound Testing, we offer a high-quality electrical infrared thermal imaging survey. Our professional and certified Level 2 Thermographers will conduct your inspections for BREEAM compliance in accordance with all relevant standards and current regulations.

To provide a quotation, we need a few details, such as floor plans, elevation drawings, and the building location. We will also send an informative checklist to help you prepare for the thermal survey.

We dedicate substantial time to our reporting, ensuring it is among the best in the industry. While we may draw initial conclusions on-site that require further investigation, our final conclusions and report are only finalized after thorough data analysis. Our goal is to provide clear, easy-to-reference reports.

If you require an electrical thermal imaging inspection, our professional and certified Level 3 Thermographers will perform your inspections to meet all necessary standards and current regulations.

To get started, we need the building address and the number of electrical installations within the building. Floor plans are also helpful for orientation during the inspection. Additionally, we will send a checklist to assist you in preparing for the thermal survey.

Please contact APT 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 info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Smoke Shaft Testing Services

Smoke Shaft Testing Services

Introducing Smoke Shaft Testing

Smoke shafts systems are commonly installed as part of a fire-engineered approach to safety in high rise buildings. Smoke shafts are an important element of a smoke control system; therefore, the air tightness performance of the shaft is paramount, so the smoke shaft/s need to pass an air test.

If the smoke shaft doesn’t meet the air tightness target (usually 3.8m3/hr/m2) it can have a negative impact to the overall system and cannot be signed off by the fire system contractor and/or Building Control.

Smoke shafts come in all heights; however, the floor print of the shaft is usually stays the same, approx. 1m x 1.5m. heights however can range from 2 stories to over 20 stories.

Diagnostic Smoke Shaft Test Service
We have a massive amount of experience testing all sizes of smoke shafts, we also offer a diagnostic service where the shaft has failed the smoke shaft air test using both smoke testing and thermal imaging to identify air leakage paths within the smoke shaft envelope. On previous projects where the smoke shaft has failed with massive amounts of air leakage, we have used smoke testing and thermal imagining to identify air leakage paths within the envelope of the smoke shaft.

The findings our smoke shaft surveys are collated into a detailed air leakage report, which then allows the client to undertake targeted remedial sealing works resulting in a test pass during the following visit.

Also, Air Pressure Testing is one of the few companies that is both UKAS and ATTMA Level 2 accredited for undertaking air tightness testing to buildings, as well as specialising in smoke shaft air testing. If you would like more information on our smoke shaft (AOV) testing and/or you would like to download our smoke shaft checklist, please contact us at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Here at APT we have been undertaking AOV smoke shaft testing throughout London and the South-East, on many prestigious projects such as Battersea Power Station, The Imperial War Museum and Claridges and Berkeley Hotel.

What can we do to help you pass your test ?

>>> Smoke shaft survey visits
>>> A UKAS and ATTMA Level 2 testing company
>>> Smoke shaft air test certification
>>> The latest high-powered fan equipment
>>> UKAS calibrated equipment
>>> Smoke testing in the event of an air test failure
>>> Thermal Imaging in the event of an air test failure
>>> Same day quotation
>>> Experienced test engineers
>>> Thousands of air pressure tests undertaken
>>> Fantastic customer satisfaction score

Smoke Shaft Testing Services

Our experienced engineers at Air Pressure Testing have over 10 years in the field of smoke shaft testing, so we know how to help clients to pass their testing and achieve smoke shaft signoff.

For more information on our smoke shaft test services, please contact APT on 07775 623464, or email us at info@airpressuretesting.net.

Comprehensive Noise Assessment Services

Comprehensive Noise Assessment Services

Comprehensive Noise Assessment Services

If you’ve received a planning condition mandating a plant noise survey in accordance with BS4142, APT Sound Testing is here to assist. Our expertise ensures that industrial noise considerations are thoroughly addressed, helping you navigate the complexities of planning permissions and environmental regulations.

The Growing Importance of Noise Control

Industrial noise is increasingly scrutinized by planning authorities, particularly as the Central Government’s initiatives to redevelop brownfield sites lead to closer proximity between industrial and residential areas. This proximity often raises concerns about noise levels and operating hours affecting the amenity and quality of life for residents.

Local authorities typically regulate noise emissions through planning conditions, requiring effective noise insulation for plant and machinery. Achieving and maintaining sound pressure level limits at site boundaries or nearby sensitive receptors is crucial. Our role involves setting noise level guidelines, ensuring compliance, and recommending mitigation measures when necessary.

Our Methodology

Baseline Noise Assessment

When a new noise source is being introduced to your project, we begin by measuring the existing ambient noise levels in the area over a 24-hour period. This baseline data helps us predict the potential impact of the new noise source. For existing noise sources, we conduct a 24-hour noise measurement with and without the noise source operational to determine its specific impact.

BS4142 Compliance

BS4142 is the standard method for assessing industrial noise in residential areas. It involves measuring the background noise level (LA90) – the level exceeded for 90% of the time – at different times of the day if necessary. Our consultants are well-versed in the procedures and requirements of BS4142, ensuring accurate and reliable assessments.

Detailed Survey and Reporting

We provide comprehensive survey reports that include:

  1. Noise Measurement Data: Detailed recordings of noise levels using state-of-the-art Norsonic acoustic equipment.
  2. Impact Predictions: Analysis and predictions of the new noise source’s impact based on the baseline data.
  3. Mitigation Strategies: Recommendations for noise reduction and insulation measures. These may include noise mapping to visualize the effectiveness of proposed measures in real-life scenarios.

Our assessments cover a wide range of industrial noise sources, including:

  • Extraction systems
  • Air conditioning units
  • Industrial machinery
  • Refrigeration units
  • General industrial activities

Why Choose APT Sound Testing?

  • Expertise: Our team comprises seasoned professionals with extensive experience in BS4142 assessments and industrial noise surveys.
  • Advanced Equipment: We utilize the latest acoustic measurement technology to ensure precise and reliable data.
  • Comprehensive Services: From initial measurements to detailed reporting and mitigation planning, we offer end-to-end noise assessment solutions.
  • Regulatory Compliance: We ensure that your project meets all necessary noise regulations and planning conditions.

Understanding BS4142 Noise Assessments

Introduction to BS4142

BS4142 is a standard methodology used to assess noise from industrial and commercial premises. The assessment focuses on the impact of noise on people living in nearby residential areas, helping to ensure that industrial activities do not significantly harm residents’ quality of life.

Assessment Procedure

The BS4142 assessment involves several key steps:

  1. Background Noise Measurement: This is measured using the LA90 parameter, representing the noise level exceeded 90% of the time over a specified period.
  2. Operational Noise Measurement: Noise from the industrial source is measured while it is operational. This may involve on-site measurements or modeling based on operational data.
  3. Comparison and Analysis: The operational noise level is compared to the background noise level to determine the impact. Adjustments are made for tonal, impulsive, or intermittent noise characteristics.
  4. Rating Level Determination: The operational noise level is adjusted to reflect its characteristics and compared to the background noise level to determine a rating level.
  5. Impact Assessment: The difference between the rating level and the background noise level indicates the potential impact. A higher difference typically signifies a greater impact on residential amenity.

Mitigation Measures

When the assessment indicates a significant impact, mitigation measures may be necessary. These measures can include:

  • Acoustic Barriers: Installing barriers to block noise paths.
  • Enhanced Insulation: Improving the sound insulation of buildings or machinery.
  • Operational Adjustments: Changing operational hours or procedures to reduce noise during sensitive times.
  • Noise Control Devices: Implementing silencers, mufflers, or other noise-reducing devices on machinery.

Reporting and Compliance

The final report details the findings of the noise assessment and any recommended mitigation measures. This report is crucial for demonstrating compliance with planning conditions and ensuring that industrial activities do not adversely affect local residents.

Benefits of Professional Noise Assessment

  • Accurate Data: Professional assessments provide accurate and reliable noise data, essential for making informed decisions.
  • Regulatory Approval: Demonstrating compliance with noise regulations can facilitate smoother planning approvals.
  • Community Relations: Effective noise management helps maintain good relations with the local community by minimizing disruptions.
  • Operational Efficiency: Identifying and addressing noise issues can improve overall operational efficiency and reduce the risk of future complaints or legal issues.

Challenges of Industrial Noise Management

At APT Sound Testing, we are dedicated to helping you navigate the challenges of industrial noise management. Whether you are introducing a new noise source or managing existing ones, our comprehensive BS4142 noise assessments provide the data and insights needed to ensure compliance and protect residential amenity.

Reach out to us today to discuss your noise assessment needs and how we can support your project. Our expert team is ready to assist you in achieving your noise management goals.

Contact APT Sound Testing:

Let us help you ensure that your industrial activities coexist harmoniously with the surrounding community, fostering a sustainable and noise-conscious environment.

Air Tightness Testing: An In-Depth Examination

Air Tightness Testing: An In-Depth Examination

Air Tightness Testing: An In-Depth Examination

Understanding Air Tightness Testing

Air tightness testing is a critical process used to measure the extent of air leakage through a building’s envelope. This test quantifies the amount of conditioned air that escapes or infiltrates through gaps and various leakage pathways in the building fabric. The significance of air tightness testing lies in its impact on energy efficiency: the tighter a building is, the less energy is wasted, resulting in lower carbon emissions.

Additionally, effective air tightness reduces the burden on mechanical and ventilation systems, ensuring optimal performance and energy conservation. Conversely, poor air tightness can lead to up to 50% of heat loss from within a building to the outside atmosphere.

The Utility of Air Tightness Testing

The primary tool used in air tightness testing is the blower door test, which measures the airflow into or out of a building and the corresponding pressure difference across the building envelope. The insights gained from this test are multifaceted:

  1. Energy Consumption and Savings: Air leakage necessitates the conditioning of replacement air, either through heating or cooling. By understanding the rate of air leakage, one can estimate energy losses during different weather conditions. This data is crucial for equipment sizing and forecasting operating energy consumption.
  2. Identification of Leakage Paths: Often, air leakage occurs through unexpected pathways. Through blower door and smoke testing, it is possible to pinpoint these leakage areas accurately. While some leaks may be large and obvious, many are small but collectively significant. Experienced air tightness engineers can efficiently identify and document these paths during the test.
  3. Occupant Comfort: Draughts can significantly affect the comfort of building occupants, whether in residential dwellings or commercial offices. Cold, damp air entering a building can be particularly uncomfortable in extreme weather conditions. There have been instances where workers refused to occupy buildings due to excessive air leakage. For example, a building tested with an air leakage rate of 25m³/hr/m² saw a drastic improvement after sealing identified leakage areas, achieving a rate below 5m³/hr/m², thus resolving occupant complaints.
  4. Condensation and Health Issues: Excess air leakage can lead to condensation, as air passing through walls, floors, and ceilings often contains water vapor. These uncontrolled leaks can result in condensation, mold, and rot, posing health risks to occupants. Therefore, it is vital to quantify air passage through the building envelope to control air quality and minimize condensation.
  5. Pollutant Ingress: Significant air leakage can introduce polluted outdoor air into a building, especially in areas near main roads, fuel garages, or waste disposal sites. Knowing the extent of air infiltration helps in assessing the risk of outdoor pollutants entering the building. A robust air barrier is essential to control and minimize these pollutants within the building enclosure.

Preparing for Air Tightness Testing

To ensure a successful air tightness test, thorough preparation is crucial. The following criteria should be met:

  1. Completion of the Building Envelope: All walls, floors, and ceilings should be fully constructed.
  2. Doors and Windows: These must be properly installed and capable of sealing tightly.
  3. Electrical Installations: All electrical fittings should be installed and functional.
  4. Mechanical Installations: Mechanical systems should also be installed and operational.
  5. Sealing Gaps: Any gaps within walls and floors must be sealed.
  6. Service Penetrations: All penetrations through the building envelope should be sealed.
  7. Kitchen and Bathroom Fittings: These areas should be fully fitted with sealed service penetrations.
  8. Ventilation Systems: All mechanical ventilation should be turned off, and grilles should be sealed.
  9. Trickle Vents: Vents in windows and doors should be sealed.
  10. Fireplaces: These should be sealed.
  11. Soil Pipes: Ensure that water is present in soil pipes.
  12. Power Supply: A 240V power supply must be available on-site.


Partnering with Experts for Successful Air Tightness Testing

APT Sound Testing possesses extensive experience in understanding the requirements of Approved Document L and conducting successful air tightness tests across various developments in London and the UK. Achieving the desired air tightness target, which is becoming increasingly stringent, requires careful planning and execution.

Design and Construction Guidance

To avoid the risk of a failed air tightness test, early consideration of the air leakage line design within a project is essential. APT Sound Testing offers expert advice and guidance throughout the design and construction stages. By collaborating with clients from the project’s inception, we provide practical solutions to prevent air leakage and ensure compliance with air tightness standards.

Air tightness testing is an indispensable tool for enhancing a building’s energy efficiency, occupant comfort, and indoor air quality. By identifying and addressing air leakage pathways, buildings can achieve significant energy savings and reduce their carbon footprint. Proper preparation and expert guidance are key to a successful air tightness test, ensuring that buildings meet stringent standards and deliver optimal performance.

Working with APT Sound Testing
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.

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 telephoning: 01525 303905 or visit our website.

Benefits of Thermal Imaging Surveys

Benefits of Thermal Imaging Surveys

Thermal Imaging Surveys – Key Benefits

Thermal imaging is an invaluable tool for identifying potential issues in electrical systems, such as cables, distribution boards, transformers, switchgear, plant rooms, and other related equipment. By detecting temperature differences indicative of deviations from normal operating conditions, thermal imaging can pinpoint hotspots signaling developing problems. For instance, the technology is sensitive enough to detect heat bleeding along a cable within a bundle, allowing for swift diagnosis and subsequent remedial action.

Thermal imaging surveys can identify a wide array of defects. Loose or corroded contacts, load imbalances, poor cable joints, and overloaded transformers all generate excess heat that a thermal camera can detect. Often, thermal imaging reveals issues before they are apparent through electrical tests or visual inspections. The severity of a problem can be assessed by comparing the temperature rise at the fault location with that of properly operating components under the same load conditions.

Historical data from thermal imaging of electrical installations highlights the effectiveness of this method in detecting potential faults during initial surveys, typically identifying one to two faults for every ten panels inspected.

Key Benefits of Thermal Imaging Surveys on Electrical Installations

  1. Flexible Survey Options: Thermal imaging surveys are highly adaptable. They can be conducted across an entire site, focused on smaller plant areas, or integrated into an annual planned maintenance program.
  2. No Downtime Required: These surveys are performed during normal operating conditions, meaning there is no need to shut down equipment or processes, ensuring continuous operation.
  3. Extended Equipment Lifespan: By identifying and addressing issues early, thermal imaging helps extend the life of electrical equipment.
  4. Non-contact Measurement: As a non-contact diagnostic tool, thermal imaging can evaluate components while they are live, posing minimal risk to the user and without affecting the components or interrupting processes.
  5. Prioritizing Preventative Maintenance: The data gathered can help prioritize maintenance activities, ensuring that the most critical issues are addressed first.
  6. Avoiding Facility Outages: Early detection and remedial work can prevent the need for extensive facility outages.
  7. Increased Plant Availability: Continuous monitoring and early fault detection contribute to higher overall plant availability.
  8. Avoidance of Consequential Damage: By preventing electrical faults, thermal imaging helps avoid damage to installations, connected equipment, and potential fire hazards and subsequent fire-fighting efforts.
  9. Energy Consumption Reduction: Identifying and correcting faults can prevent increases in energy consumption due to overheating and inefficient operation of equipment.

Low Impact and High Efficiency

Thermal imaging is an exceptionally low-impact diagnostic tool for electrical fault finding. Since it requires no direct contact with the components, it allows for safe inspection while the system is live. This means there is no interruption to server rooms, manufacturing plants, or any other processes controlled by the electrical system, ensuring no downtime.

Electrical faults can lead to significant breakdowns and pose fire hazards, resulting in substantial losses due to downtime and repair costs. Early detection through thermal imaging can mitigate these risks, providing a cost-effective solution for maintaining the safety and efficiency of electrical systems.

In-Depth Analysis and Preventative Measures

Thermal imaging provides a detailed analysis of electrical systems, enabling the identification of even minor issues that could escalate into major problems if left unaddressed. By conducting regular thermal imaging surveys, facilities can implement preventative measures that significantly reduce the risk of unexpected failures and costly repairs.

Enhancing Operational Efficiency

Incorporating thermal imaging into regular maintenance routines enhances overall operational efficiency. Facilities can operate with the confidence that potential faults are being monitored and addressed promptly, minimizing the risk of unplanned downtime. This proactive approach ensures that electrical systems remain reliable and efficient, contributing to the smooth operation of the entire facility.

Cost Savings and Return on Investment

Investing in thermal imaging technology and regular surveys can lead to substantial cost savings in the long run. By identifying issues early, facilities can avoid the high costs associated with emergency repairs and extensive downtime. The return on investment for thermal imaging is quickly realized through the prevention of major faults and the extension of equipment lifespan.

Environmental and Safety Benefits

Thermal imaging also offers environmental and safety benefits. By ensuring electrical systems operate efficiently, facilities can reduce their energy consumption, contributing to a smaller carbon footprint. Additionally, by identifying and rectifying faults that could lead to fires or other hazardous situations, thermal imaging enhances the overall safety of the facility, protecting both personnel and assets.

Thermal Imaging Surveys

Thermal imaging is a crucial tool for maintaining the health and efficiency of electrical systems. Its ability to detect temperature anomalies and potential faults early makes it an essential component of any comprehensive maintenance strategy. By leveraging the benefits of thermal imaging, facilities can ensure the longevity of their equipment, enhance operational efficiency, and achieve significant cost savings while maintaining a safe and reliable electrical infrastructure.

Regular thermal imaging surveys should be a standard practice for any facility aiming to optimize its electrical systems and prevent unforeseen disruptions.

If you would like more information in regards to Thermal Surveys on your Electrical Installations please contact us APT Sound Testing direct on: 01525 303 905.

Alternatively if you would like more information on how to prepare you building for a BREEAM Thermal Survey please click on our Thermal Survey checklist.

BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing

BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing

BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing

APT Sound Testing has long been a trusted provider of indoor air quality services, specialising in post-construction BREEAM air quality testing and ongoing indoor air monitoring. Through these services, we have helped numerous clients achieve BREEAM and other compliance credits, essential for sustainable building certifications. Our expertise in creating comprehensive air quality plans and conducting BREEAM-specific air quality testing is unparalleled.

Comprehensive Indoor Air Quality Solutions

Our indoor air quality solutions go beyond merely assisting in gaining initial BREEAM credits. Our engineering team excels in developing tailored indoor air quality plans that offer several significant benefits:

  1. Contaminant Source Removal: We provide expert advice on identifying and removing sources of indoor air contaminants.
  2. Dilution and Control: Strategies are devised for diluting and controlling contaminant sources to maintain air quality.
  3. Pre-Occupancy Flush-Out Procedures: We outline procedures for thoroughly flushing out the building before occupancy to ensure a clean environment.
  4. Preparation Checklists: An informative checklist is provided to help you prepare for third-party testing.
  5. Third-Party Testing and Analysis: We facilitate third-party testing and analysis to ensure unbiased results.
  6. Ongoing Maintenance Advice: Guidance on maintaining optimal indoor air quality throughout the building’s use.

BREEAM Hea02 Compliance for Extra Points

To achieve extra points under BREEAM Hea02, there are two crucial stages: creating a BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Plan and performing BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing. Here’s an overview of each stage:

Stage 1: BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Plan

The primary objective of the BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Plan is to mitigate the risk of health issues and ensure superior building performance by enhancing indoor air quality for occupants. This plan focuses on the design phase of a project, ensuring the integration of ventilation systems, appropriate equipment, and construction materials that collectively contribute to improved indoor air quality.

Key Elements of the BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Plan:

  • Ventilation Design: Ensures the building’s ventilation system is designed to optimize air exchange and reduce contaminant buildup.
  • Material Selection: Specifies low-emission construction materials to minimize indoor pollutants.
  • Equipment Selection: Recommends the use of air purifying and monitoring equipment to maintain air quality.
  • Occupant Well-being: Focuses on design choices that promote the health and comfort of the building’s future occupants.

Stage 2: BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing

Before BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing can be conducted, the project must be near completion, with a fully operational HVAC system in place. This testing phase involves sampling the air to detect the presence of volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), including formaldehyde. These compounds must be within specified limits to meet BREEAM criteria.

Key Steps in BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing:

  1. HVAC System Operation: Ensure the HVAC system is fully functional and running as intended.
  2. Air Sampling: Conduct air sampling to measure levels of TVOCs and formaldehyde.
  3. Analysis: Analyze the samples to determine if contaminant levels exceed prescribed limits.
  4. Mitigation Measures: If high levels are detected, identify and implement appropriate measures as outlined in the IAQ plan and consultant’s recommendations to bring levels within acceptable limits.

Benefits of Achieving BREEAM Hea02 Credits

Gaining extra BREEAM Hea02 credits through a well-implemented air quality plan and rigorous indoor air quality testing offers numerous advantages:

  • Enhanced Health and Comfort: Improved indoor air quality leads to healthier and more comfortable environments for occupants.
  • Compliance and Certification: Achieving BREEAM credits demonstrates compliance with stringent environmental standards, enhancing the building’s marketability.
  • Sustainability: Contributes to the overall sustainability of the building, reducing environmental impact.
  • Long-term Savings: Proper air quality management can lead to long-term cost savings by reducing the need for extensive remediation and ensuring efficient building operation.

APT Sound Testing’s commitment to improving indoor air quality through meticulous planning and testing helps clients achieve essential BREEAM credits and ensures healthier, more sustainable buildings. Our comprehensive services not only assist in meeting initial compliance requirements but also provide ongoing support to maintain optimal indoor air quality. By partnering with us, clients can be confident in creating environments that prioritize occupant well-being and environmental responsibility.

BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Testing requirements
Here at APT Sound Testing, we have significant experience in carrying out post-construction Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) testing. We are familiar with the stringent methods that are specified under BREEAM Hea02, Home Quality Mark (HQM) and other compliance standards. Our team will always provide a firm quotation and helpful checklist to help you prepare for the testing, prior to us visiting site to carry out this work.

We will ensure that all post-construction testing is carried out to the relevant standard that you are looking to achieve as specifications do vary.

When undertaking Indoor Air Quality Testing for BREEAM, we will typically test for Formaldehyde and TVOC in the air but can easily include other pollutants if required. We will normally sample rooms which will be occupied for long periods of time, for instance offices, hospitals and offices. It is important to make sure that a sufficient number of these rooms are tested in order to gain the relevant credit.

Our tasked team will make sure that all post-construction air quality tests are carried out in accordance with the very exacting BREEAM Hea02 methods. Our expert team will also provide free advice and guidance to your project manager to help to create the correct environment for the air quality tests as we have found over this years this to be very important.

Clean Room Testing and Maintenance Services

Clean Room Testing and Maintenance Services

Clean Room Testing and Maintenance Services

APT Sound Testing is dedicated to addressing all your clean room testing requirements, including the organisation of maintenance programs to ensure compliance with the relevant ISO standards. If you need more information about our clean room testing services, please use our contact form immediately. We offer a prompt and proactive service to minimize downtime for your critical assets.

Primary Clean Room Testing Services
We provide a range of essential clean room tests, including:

  1. Airborne Particulate Testing
  2. Filter (HEPA) Installation Leak Testing
  3. Air Supply and Extract Quantities
  4. Differential Pressure
  5. Containment Leak Testing
  6. Air Movement Control
  7. Room Recovery
  8. Temperature and Relative Humidity Measurements
  9. Noise Level Measurements

Our approach is customer-focused, striving to exceed expectations in both pricing and service. Our meticulous attention to detail ensures that our reports and certificates are of the highest quality, providing our customers with confidence that their external calibration and validation requirements have been met. Our commitment to quality is validated by our UKAS accreditation.

Skilled and Motivated Test Engineers

Our team of test engineers is well-trained, highly motivated, and adaptable, ensuring consistent delivery of our high standards.

Comprehensive Clean Room Testing Services

To ensure your clean room environment is functioning effectively, several factors related to the air supply from your ventilation system need to be tested. These tests are applicable to all types of clean rooms, whether used for pharmaceutical manufacturing, sterile and aseptic production, or microelectronic production.

Key Testing Parameters

  1. Air Quantity and Quality:
    • Air Quantity: We test to ensure there is enough air to dilute or remove any contamination generated within your clean room.
    • Air Quality: We ensure the air is not contributing to contamination but is instead effectively removing it.
  2. Airflow Dynamics:
    • We test the direction of airflow to ensure it moves from clean to less clean areas, minimizing the transfer of contaminated air into cleaner zones and preventing high concentrations of pollutants.

Detailed Clean Room Testing Procedures

  1. Airborne Particulate Testing:
    • Measurements are conducted to ensure the concentration of particles and microorganisms meets the clean room’s specifications.
  2. Filter Installation Leak Testing:
    • HEPA filters and their housings are tested using Dispersed Oil Particulate (DOP) to verify their integrity.
  3. Air Supply and Extract Quantities:
    • For unidirectional systems, we measure and record air velocity. For non-unidirectional systems, we measure the air supply.
  4. Differential Pressure:
    • We ensure that air in the clean room always moves from clean to less clean areas by maintaining a higher pressure in the clean room compared to adjacent areas.
  5. Containment Leak Testing:
    • The construction of the clean room is checked to ensure no airborne contamination occurs through leaks from higher-pressure areas.
  6. Air Movement Control:
    • We study air movement within the clean room to ensure sufficient airflow to dilute or remove pollutants, preventing contamination build-up.
  7. Room Recovery:
    • We measure the clean room’s recovery time to its normal operating cleanliness following a release of particulate contaminants.
  8. Temperature and Relative Humidity:
    • Tests on temperature, relative humidity, heating, and cooling capabilities are conducted, along with measurements of noise, lighting, and vibration levels.

Customer Communication and Reporting

APT Sound Testing is committed to ensuring you fully understand the clean room testing process and results. After any clean room testing or validation service, we provide clear, easy-to-follow test reports. These reports can be issued on-site, minimizing operational downtime.

Clean Room Testing Services
If your clean room requires particulate monitoring or any of the tests mentioned above, please contact us promptly. We offer efficient solutions for all your clean room testing and certification needs. Additionally, we can provide maintenance programs to ensure your clean room complies with the corresponding ISO standards. This emphasis on ‘expert intervention’ ensures your clean room maintains its integrity and functionality.

Detailed Service Breakdown

  1. Airborne Particulate Testing:
    • Airborne particulate testing is essential to maintain the cleanliness levels required for various clean room classifications. We utilize state-of-the-art particle counters to measure the concentration of airborne particles, ensuring compliance with ISO standards. This testing is crucial for environments where even the smallest particles can compromise product quality or research integrity.
  2. Filter Installation Leak Testing:
    • HEPA filters are critical in maintaining clean room air quality. Our leak testing involves introducing a challenge aerosol upstream of the filter and scanning the downstream side to detect any leaks. This ensures that the filters are properly installed and functioning effectively, preventing contaminants from bypassing the filtration system.
  3. Air Supply and Extract Quantities:
    • Proper air supply and extraction are vital for maintaining the clean room’s pressure differentials and air change rates. We measure air velocities and volumes to ensure that the clean room’s air handling systems are performing as designed, supporting the clean room’s operational requirements.
  4. Differential Pressure Testing:
    • Maintaining appropriate differential pressures between clean and less clean areas is essential to prevent cross-contamination. Our testing verifies that pressure gradients are maintained, ensuring that air flows from cleaner to less clean areas, as per design specifications.
  5. Containment Leak Testing:
    • The integrity of clean room barriers is tested to ensure that no leaks allow contaminants to enter the clean room. This involves checking seals, door interlocks, and construction joints to confirm they are airtight and maintain the clean room’s integrity.
  6. Air Movement Control:
    • Effective air movement is critical for removing contaminants and maintaining clean room standards. We assess the airflow patterns using visual smoke tests and airflow visualization techniques to ensure that air moves as designed, preventing stagnant zones where contaminants could accumulate.
  7. Room Recovery Testing:
    • Room recovery testing measures how quickly a clean room can return to its specified cleanliness level after a contamination event. This involves introducing a controlled amount of particles and measuring the time it takes for the particle count to return to acceptable levels, ensuring the room’s ventilation system is effective.
  8. Environmental Condition Testing:
    • In addition to particulate and airflow testing, we also measure temperature, relative humidity, noise levels, lighting, and vibration. These parameters can affect both the clean room environment and the comfort of personnel, so they are included in our comprehensive testing services.

Why Choose APT Sound Testing?

Commitment to Quality and Compliance:

  • Our UKAS accreditation underscores our commitment to delivering high-quality testing services that meet rigorous standards. This accreditation assures our clients that our methods and processes are reliable and accurate.

Customer-Focused Approach:

  • We prioritize our clients’ needs, aiming to exceed expectations through meticulous service and competitive pricing. Our focus on clear communication ensures that our clients are always informed and confident in the results of our testing.

Expert Team:

  • Our test engineers are highly trained and experienced, bringing expertise and flexibility to every project. Their dedication to maintaining high standards ensures consistent and reliable results.

Efficient Service Delivery:

  • We understand the importance of minimizing downtime for our clients. Our efficient testing processes and on-site report generation help reduce operational interruptions, allowing clients to maintain their productivity.

Clean Room Testing & Certification
APT Sound Testing is your go-to partner for all clean room testing and certification needs. Our comprehensive range of services, backed by our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, ensures that your clean room operates effectively and in compliance with ISO standards.

Contact us today by calling 01525 303905 to learn more about how we can support your clean room testing and maintenance requirements.

Smoke Shaft Testing – Glossary of terms A to Z

Smoke Shaft Testing – Glossary of terms A to Z

Smoke shafts systems are incredibly important to fire safety in high rise buildings and are one of the most important elements of a smoke control system; therefore, the air tightness performance of the shaft is paramount. However, the the different terminology can be quite confusing for the average person.

To help provide clarity on some common air testing and smoke shaft terms, we’ve assembled this glossary of words that can be difficult to understand in the field of air testing smoke shafts. This includes terms related to air testing, smoke shafts, and test parameter information. Though it’s far from an exhaustive list, we hope it can provide some guidance.

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Smoke Shaft Testing – A glossary of terms A to Z

Here’s an A-to-Z glossary of terms related to air testing for smoke shafts:

A – Airflow Rate: The volume of air moving through the smoke shaft per unit of time, typically measured in cubic meters per hour (m³/h). Most smoke shafts need to achieve an air tightness target of 3.8m3/hr/m2.

B – Building Regulations: Legal standards that govern the design, construction, and performance of buildings and smoke shafts, including fire safety measures.

C – Calibration: The process of verifying the accuracy of testing equipment against known standards. Smoke shaft air testing equipment should be UKAS calibrated.

D – Damper: A device installed within ductwork or smoke shafts to control airflow.

E – Extraction Rate: The rate at which smoke is removed from a space by ventilation systems.

F – Fan Pressurisation: Test: A diagnostic method used to determine the airtightness of a building by using a blower door fan to pressurise or depressurise the smoke shaft building.

G – Gauge Pressure: The pressure within a smoke shaft relative to the external atmospheric pressure, usually shown in Pascals (Pa).

H – Human toxicity: The impact on human health of toxic substances emitted to the environment, such as very leaky smoke shafts emitting smoke into the protected atmosphere.

I – Infiltration: The unintentional or accidental introduction of outside air into a smoke shaft, typically through air leakage paths such as cracks and openings within the envelope of the shaft.

J – Joint Sealing: The application of sealant at junctions, seams, or gaps to prevent air leakage in smoke shafts.

K – Kilopascal (kPa): A unit of pressure. 1 kPa equals 1,000 pascals (Pa).

L – Leakage Path: Routes through which air can enter or escape from a building or smoke shaft.

M – Mechanical Ventilation: The use of mechanical systems to control the indoor air quality by diluting and displacing indoor pollutants such as smoke or dust.

N – Negative Pressure: A condition where the air pressure inside the smoke shaft or building is lower than the air pressure outside. Some smoke shaft air tests are undertaken using negative pressure to find air leakage.

O – Opening (AOV) Doors: Doors that open up on each protected areas such as stairwell landing in the event of a fire.

P – Pressurisation Method: A technique used in air tightness testing where the building or smoke shaft is pressurised to a known level and the airflow required to maintain that pressure is measured. The readings are usually taken between 25 to 70 in 5Pa increments.

Q – Qualitative Analysis: The assessment of a building’s air tightness based on observations rather than numerical measurements, often using smoke or thermal imaging.

R – Retardant: A substance or device used to slow down or stop the spread of fire or smoke, such as fireboard and intumescent paint.

S – Smoke Shaft: A vertical duct designed to extract smoke from a building in the event of a fire.

T – Thermal Imaging: The use of infrared cameras to detect temperature differences caused by air leakage. when used with a blower door its an extremely powerful tool to identify air leakage in smoke shafts.

U – Useful Space Heating: When the smoke shaft is heated to 6-8C higher than the surrounding building temperature, combined blower door and thermal imaging can be used to identify air leakage through the smoke shaft envelope.

W – Weather Sealing Strips: Materials used to seal gaps around doors to prevent air leakage.

X – Xenon Test: A method of detecting air leaks where xenon gas is used as a tracer in a pressurized space.

Y – Yield Point: The point at which a material or system begins to deform under stress, which could affect the air tightness of the smoke shaft.

Z – Zero Tolerance to Air Leakage: as the smoke shaft needs to attain a low air leakage figure to pass the air test, extra importance must be shown during the design and construction of the smoke shaft.

This glossary covers fundamental terms associated with air testing for smoke shafts. For more detailed information on the regulations surrounding smoke shafts,  please don’t hesitate to contact APT Sound Testing to chat with our smoke shaft testing experts.