A Guide to Building Acoustic Testing

The property development market in the UK continues to expand rapidly, with increased housing for an ever-growing population needed more than ever.

Hand in hand with the need to sustain our growing population is for people to be able to live in safety and comfort and that is why under UK Building Regulations, acoustic testing is required for almost all new builds in one way or another (Source: RJ Acoustics).

Numerous global investors are ploughing their money into London. With many industries attracting some of the best global talent (Redstone Commodity Search), it remains important that there is sufficient housing built to keep up with demand. Property development though is not as easy as it may seem, with several criteria needing to be met before the development can start making money.

What is Acoustic Testing?

All new builds in the UK are subject to a degree of acoustic testing prior to the project being signed off and available for use. These tests are crucial as they ensure that buildings are properly insulated, energy and heat efficient and compatible with the latest building standards.

This ensures that tenants, renters and any other occupants receive a minimum standard of living conditions in the property they occupy.

Air Tightness Testing

Required on all new build properties under Building Regulations Approved Document L, this testing measures the amount of air infiltration and air leakage to and from properties.

This is important as the more air leakage and infiltration via the building’s ‘envelope,’ the more susceptible the property will be to energy wastage, rising damp, mould, heat loss and drafts. These tests are carried out by depressurising the property and measuring air leakage and infiltration with specialist equipment.

Sound Insulation Testing

These tests are required for all new build and converted properties. This means that any property that is converted from a house to a multiple occupancy residence or into various living units or studios needs testing. Sound testing measures two types of sound: airborne and impact.

Airborne sound refers to sound transmitted through the air such as via a television or radio. Impact sound testing measures sound created by impact, for example dropping something on the floor.

These tests are crucial as they make sure all residents in a property can live comfortably and will not be overly disturbed by the day to day noise produced by other inhabitants.

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