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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.

Thermal Imaging Survey & Electrical Systems

Thermal Imaging Survey & Electrical Systems

10 reasons for undertaking a thermal imaging survey on electrical systems.

The are hundreds of reasons why you should undertake thermal imaging to electrical systems within your building; however, here is the top 10 reasons:

  1. Safety of electrical systems: Thermal imaging can identify overheating components, loose connections, and other issues that may lead to equipment failure or fire hazards resulting in injury or even loss of life!
  2. Preventive Maintenance: It helps avoid reactive repair and replacement costs. By being proactive, you can help reduce operating costs.
  3. Energy Efficiency: A single critical fault can mean additional energy costs.  Thermal imaging can help identify such electrical faults, so repairs can be made to reduce running costs. 
  4. Cost Savings: On average, each infrared electrical inspection reveals five to eight faults, highlighting the relative affordability of this predictive service. Its also one of the quickest inspections so defects can be quickly identified.
  5. Fire Safety Compliance: NFPA 70B prescribes annual infrared inspections for electrical systems. A comprehensive infrared inspection can discover hidden defects, prevent unplanned failures, business interruption, equipment damage, and insurance losses. 
thermal imaging survey
  • Insurance Premium Reductions: In some cases, your business might qualify for a reduction in insurance premiums by conducting annual predictive/preventive maintenance thermographic surveys. 
  • Non-Intrusive: Electrical thermal imaging surveys are non-intrusive, enabling inspections to be completed safely and efficiently, without interruption to your business operations and/or critical assets.
  • Planning Maintenance: Electrical thermography inspections enable the identification of only those items of equipment that require remedial works together with the severity of the defect. This enables maintenance to be suitably planned around operational commitments. 
  • Extend Equipment Lifecycle: An electrical thermographic survey can give an excellent insight into the operational effectiveness of equipment, enabling the identification of opportunities to make energy savings together with increasing the operational lifecycle of equipment.
  • Reduction in Breakdown Costs: Depending on the type of equipment and its location, the cost of electrical failure can run into many thousands of pounds in repairs, lost production, injury claims, etc. As defects are found before they cause equipment to fail, the associated cost of repairs is minimal compared to the cost of equipment failure and/or accidents in the workplace.

How often should an Infrared Electrical Inspection be undertaken?

Ideally an electrical thermal imaging inspection should ideally be conducted every 6 to 12 months as part of the electrical preventive maintenance program. However, the frequency can vary depending on the equipment history, problems associated with its location, or adverse environmental concerns. For businesses with heavy usage equipment, such as busy manufacturing plants, it’s recommended to carry out a thermal imaging survey every 12 months. Regular inspections can help ensure safety, energy efficiency, and cost savings on critical assets.

thermal imaging survey

Our thermal imaging inspection service for electrical systems

Our team of Level 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 some of the most accurate on the market, ensuring we pick up faults that other equipment may miss.

Our thermal imaging service includes:

  • Supply of an ITC trained thermographer and level 3 reporting assessment using a large format FLIR P6n-Series (640×480 resolution) thermal imaging camera.
  • To supply an external thermographic inspection of the electrical systems, taking into account, distribution boards, fuse boards, Switchgears, switchboards, Control panels, Busbar systems and Transformers.
  • Looking for loose connections, overloaded and/or fatigued components, uneven voltage distribution and blockages in cooling tubes of transformers
  • A detailed report clearly showing any areas of concern

For more information on our thermal imaging service for electrical systems in London, please contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or call APT Sound Testing on 07775 623464.

Electrical Thermal Imaging Surveys & Building Insurance Compliance

Electrical Thermal Imaging Surveys & Building Insurance Compliance

Electrical Thermal Imaging Surveys

Many building managers may not be fully aware of the critical importance of an annual electrical thermal imaging survey for their building’s electrical systems. This survey is not just a precautionary measure but is usually required to comply with insurance obligations. Failure to conduct this infrared inspection can potentially invalidate the building insurance, particularly in the event of a fire or other electrical mishaps. Therefore, understanding and adhering to the necessity of an electrical thermal imaging inspection is paramount for building managers.

The significance of an electrical thermal imaging inspection extends beyond insurance compliance; it is crucial for ensuring the safety and operational efficiency of the building’s electrical systems. Fortunately, modern thermal imaging technology makes these surveys operationally convenient for building operators. Unlike traditional inspection methods, thermal imaging eliminates the need to power down or isolate any part of the electrical systems.

By detecting temperature differences behind walls and other obstacles, thermal imaging provides a quick, easy, and less intrusive service that can be conducted in all weather conditions.

Moreover, conducting electrical thermal imaging inspections is not just about meeting insurance requirements; it is also a legal obligation under The Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) Act and various other regulatory frameworks. Compliance with these statutory obligations ensures the safety of occupants and minimizes the risk of electrical hazards within the building.

Thermal imaging inspections are not uniform; they vary in complexity and comprehensiveness. Typically, insurance companies, facility managers, and safety auditors expect a thorough examination conducted by a Level 3 thermographer. The reports generated from these inspections serve as crucial documentation for insurance claims and regulatory compliance.

A standard electrical thermographic inspection report usually consists of four main sections:

  1. Introduction/Report Summary: This section provides an overview of the survey conducted and summarizes the key findings.
  2. Main Body Report Pages: Here, identified faults or anomalies detected during the thermal imaging inspection are detailed. Each fault is described, its severity assessed, and recommended remedial actions provided.
  3. Condition Monitoring Assessment: This section offers insights into the operational condition of equipment reported during previous surveys, providing an ongoing assessment of equipment health.
  4. Appendices: This section includes a checklist and thermal images of every asset inspected during the survey, creating an auditable record of the inspection process and equipment health at the time of the survey.

While clients may not directly witness the meticulousness of the thermographic reportage, it is a vital aspect of the service provided. The aim is to deliver clear, easily referenceable reports to the end-user, ensuring transparency and facilitating informed decision-making regarding maintenance and repairs.

Thermography & Electrical Thermal Imaging Inspections

When selecting a thermographer for electrical thermal imaging inspections, it is essential to consider several factors to ensure the quality and reliability of the service:

  • Certification: Ensure that the thermographer holds Level 3 certification, indicating a high level of expertise and competence in thermal imaging inspections.
  • Equipment: Verify that the thermographer uses high-quality equipment, such as large format FLIR thermal imaging cameras with 45-degree lenses, ensuring accurate and detailed imaging.
  • Comprehensive Reporting: Seek thermographers who provide comprehensive and detailed reports, clearly documenting all defects and anomalies identified during the inspection process.

At APT Sound Testing, we prioritize the quality and reliability of our thermal imaging services. Our inspections are conducted by Level 3 certified thermographers using state-of-the-art FLIR thermal imaging cameras. We provide comprehensive reports that meet the requirements of insurance companies, facility managers, and safety auditors, ensuring compliance with regulatory obligations.

If you require more information about our thermal imaging services or wish to schedule an inspection, please contact us at 01525 303905 or email us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk. We are committed to ensuring the safety and efficiency of your building’s electrical systems through our professional thermal imaging inspections.

Smoke Shaft Air Testing

Smoke Shaft Air Testing

Elevate Your Fire Safety Standards with Comprehensive Air Tightness Testing and Remediation Services. Ensure Regulatory Compliance and Protect Occupants with APT’s Accredited Solutions.

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 ? that?s why they need to pass an air tightness 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.

We have a massive amount of experience helping clients pass testing all sizes of smoke shafts, we also offer a diagnostic service for failed smoke shafts, using both smoke shaft testing and thermal imaging to identify air leakage paths within the smoke shaft envelope. On previous projects where the smoke shaft has failed the air test, we have managed to quickly identify the air leakage paths so cliento allow for targeted used smoke testing and thermal imagining to identify air leakage paths within the envelope of the smoke shaft.

The findings our smoke 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.

Our premium smoke shaft testing service includes:

  • Smoke shaft survey visits by experienced consultants
  • We are a UKAS and ATTMA Level 2 accredited air testing company
  • Smoke shaft air test certification to UKAS/ATTMA
  • The latest high-powered fan equipment
  • UKAS calibrated equipment.
  • The best diagnostic leakage service using smoke machines & thermal imaging.
  • Rapid testing service

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 smoke shafts and floor plenums.

Importance of Air Testing for Smoke Shafts

Air testing for smoke shafts is a crucial step in ensuring safety and compliance with regulations. In the event of a fire, smoke can pose significant risks to occupants, often causing more than 60% of fatalities due to inhalation. By conducting air tests, we ensure that smoke control systems are effective in evacuating smoke, protecting escape routes, and assisting firefighters.

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 Clarridges and Berkeley Hotel. 

Don’t compromise on safety — trust APT Smoke Shaft Air Testing Services for thorough and reliable 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

Part E Sound Testing for Building Compliance

Part E Sound Testing for Building Compliance

Part E Sound Testing for Building Compliance

Since July 2003, Part E Pre-completion sound testing has been a mandatory requirement for all new build properties and conversions constructed after this date. This regulatory measure aims to ensure that buildings meet specified standards for sound insulation, particularly between adjoining rooms separated by party walls or floors. In essence, Part E Sound Testing evaluates the effectiveness of the building’s construction in minimising the transmission of airborne and impact noises between different spaces within the structure.

Sound Testing

The process of Part E Sound Testing involves several key steps to assess the sound insulation performance of the building elements. Firstly, a representative sample, typically 10% of each party wall/floor construction type, is selected for testing. This sample includes pairs of rooms separated by the relevant partitions. In most cases, the rooms subjected to testing are the primary habitable spaces such as living rooms and bedrooms, where effective sound insulation is crucial for occupants’ comfort and privacy.

Airborne sound testing is conducted between horizontally and vertically separated pairs of rooms. This test involves the use of specialized equipment, including a sound source, amplifier, and loudspeaker, to generate controlled noise levels in one room (the source room). Measurements are then taken in both the source and receiver rooms to assess the sound transmission across the partition. These measurements include background noise levels and reverberation time in the receiver room. The results are used to calculate the airborne sound insulation rating (DnT,w + Ctr), which is then compared against the requirements outlined in Approved Document E of the building regulations.

For vertically separated rooms, impact sound testing is additionally required. This test simulates the transmission of impact noises, such as footsteps or dropped objects, through the floor structure. A tapping machine, which drops weights onto the upper room’s floor, is used to generate standardized impact noise. Measurements are taken in the lower (receiver) room to evaluate the impact sound insulation performance. Similar to airborne sound testing, background noise levels and reverberation time are measured to ensure accurate assessment. The results yield the impact sound insulation rating (L’nT,w), which is compared to regulatory standards.

To conduct Part E Sound Testing effectively, specialized equipment and trained sound test engineers are essential. At APT Sound Testing, we utilize state-of-the-art Norsonic equipment with class one ratings to ensure accurate and reliable results. Our sound testing procedures adhere to strict quality control standards, and we provide full ISO compliant testing services. Additionally, we offer comprehensive support to clients, including acoustic design reviews of architectural drawings to optimize sound insulation performance and minimize the risk of test failures.

Our services extend beyond sound testing, encompassing planning noise surveys to address compliance with other regulatory requirements such as Part L. We offer cost-effective packages that include both sound and air testing, providing clients with comprehensive solutions to their building compliance needs.

At APT Sound Testing, we understand the importance of achieving sound insulation compliance without costly delays or remedial works. Our expert acoustic consultants are available to provide telephone advice and guidance on sound testing requirements. Whether you require sound insulation assessments for party walls and floors or need assistance with acoustic design reviews for your development, our team is here to help.

Contact APT Sound Testing

For further information or to discuss your specific requirements, please contact APT Sound Testing today. You can reach our expert consultants by calling 01525 303905 or emailing us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk. Let us assist you in ensuring that your construction project meets the necessary standards for sound insulation and building compliance.