- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 08 Mar 2017
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.
- Purpose-built dwelling houses and flats.
- Dwelling houses and flats formed by a change of use.
- Purpose-built rooms for residential purposes.
- Rooms for residential purposes formed by a change of use.
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.
Depending on the construction type, tests may include a number of airbourne 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.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Airborne sound.
- Approved documents.
- Approved Document E.
- Building acoustics.
- Building Regulations.
- Noise nuisance.
- Robust details certification scheme.
- Sound absorption.
- Sound absorption coefficient.
- Sound frequency.
- Sound insulation in buildings.
- Sound v noise.
- Structure-borne sound.
Featured articles and news
Whole-life costs consider all costs associated with the life of a building, from inception to disposal. Find out more here.
Reports emerge of injuries caused by Apple employees colliding with the campus' glazed walls.
The winners of NIC's ideas competition on transforming the Cambridge to Oxford arc discuss their concept.
Create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.