Last edited 18 Nov 2020

Pre-completion sound testing

The building regulations establish standards that have to be achieved in the construction of buildings. Part E of the building regulations (resistance to the passage of sound) deals with requirements for sound insulation in buildings, including both new dwellings and the conversion of buildings to form dwellings.

Regulations 41 and 20 require that contractors undertake sound insulation testing for:

The 'approved documents' provide guidance for how the building regulations can be satisfied in common building situations. Section 1 of Approved document E (pre-completion testing) provides guidance on an appropriate programme of sound insulation testing for a sample of properties to verify that they comply with the building regulations.

Tests are undertaken when building work is complete (other than decoration), but without soft coverings such as carpets on the floors. Tests results are indicative of the performance of other similar properties of the same type and construction. They should be carried out on the first of each type completed, and then at least one set of tests for every further ten properties of each type, as prescribed by the building control body. A set of tests could be a total of two, four or six individual sound tests depending on the scenario.

Depending on the construction type, tests may include a number of airborne tests and impact tests. The approved procedures for testing are set out in Annex B of the approved document.

If tests are failed, remedial work should be carried out, other similar properties tested or remediated, and the rate of testing increased.

The robust details certification scheme provides an alternative to pre-completion sound testing. Users choose details from a handbook, register their plots on the scheme website prior to commencement on site, and notify building control. They must then construct the details in accordance with the handbook specification. For more infomration see: Robust details certification scheme.

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