Acoustic Engineer Carrying out Sound Testing

How A Sound Testing Failure Can Cost You Thousands

Many developers and builders have been left facing excessive costs in remedial treatment by underestimating the requirements of Building Regulations Document E, leading to a Sound Testing failure. Our monthly blog provides information about how you can take the professional approach to sound insulating your developments to avoid the worry of facing unexpected costs and delays.

This month’s instalment introduces the Basic Theory of Sound Insulation, which you can implement in the design stage of your projects to achieve Building Regulation Performance Standards and avoid a Sound Testing failure.

If you have any questions or comments or if you require technical design advice, email our experts at

What You Need To Look Out For

Sound transmission in new residential developments is a vital consideration, with successful test results required for completion certificates from Building Control. There are two key considerations when designing separating walls to achieve the requirements of Approved Document E of the Building Regulations and avoid a Sound Testing failure.

  • Direct Sound – This is sound that travels directly through the separating wall from one room to another.
  • Flanking Sound – This is sound that bypasses the separating wall, via a weakness in an associated junctioning element such as external wall, floor or ceiling detail. This can occur even with a good separating wall specification. Flanking sound limits the test performance of a separating wall.

Three Ways to Increase Sound Insulation Performance

  1. Mass – High mass products are used within separating floor and walls to reduce sound transmission and increase sound insulation. The greater the mass per unit area of the wall or floor, the less it will vibrate in response to sound waves thus less sound energy is radiated.
  2. Absorbing Porous Materials – These are used within cavities in separating wall and floor structures to reduce mid to high frequency sound energy. Examples of absorbing materials include porous mineral fibre insulation such as Rockwool or Hush-Slab.
  3. Vibration Isolation – This is the reduction of structure-borne sound and vibration by the use of resilient materials and independent structures. In a separating floor detail, the introduction of a floating floor would isolate the floor surface from the structure and reduce the vibration transfer of footfall noise. In a separating masonry cavity wall, ensure each leaf of masonry block is independent with the exception of wall ties. It is critical Type A wall ties are used, to minimise the rigidity of the wall tie, and hence limit the reduction in isolation that installing a wall tie brings.

The Step You Can Take Today to Avoid a Sound Testing Failure

Sound insulation design can be a minefield, with varying pitfalls appearing within the many different construction types available. At Soundtesting we are here to help. Our acoustic consultancy service is a straightforward way to avoid a Sound Testing failure and to ensure acoustic performance requirements are achieved to comply with the Building Regulations Approved Document E.

To find out more call our team to discuss your project on 0151 933 6186

Speak to our experts

0800 123 4567

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