Friday, 17 July 2020

Sound testing - fail to prepare and prepare to fail. The importance of top marks!

Here it is again...sound testing! One of the many compliances that you're going to have to adhere to if you're on any building project. Don't fear, this isn't scary and you can achieve excellent results which will not only be good for your build and whoever lives in it, but also for your best.

Now as I've said before with many of the compliances, you really do need to start planning from the design stage to ensure that you get the best from your build. There are many details in the actual design of the building that can seriously impact the testing results. It is by far the better option to overcome any issues before you start construction.

Sound testing is a requirement of the Building Regulations Part E and relies heavily on the acoustic design of your build. There are two main areas to consider when discussing sound insulation; airborne sound and impact sound. Airborne sound refers to noise that will come from things such as televisions and radios and impact noise refers to sound from things like footsteps.

Essentially to ensure that you're going to pass the sound test you will need to plan, plan and plan! Make sure that everyone knows exactly what it is that they're supposed to be doing. Ensure that there is always an accessible copy of the design plans (this should be standard practice on any site anyway) and make sure that you regularly check your construction against your plans. If there are any mistakes along the way then they should be picked up early on. Any alterations that are made throughout the course of construction should be considered with regards to sound testing and, in fact, all other compliances. You will be surprised that even the small deviations in design can have a serious impact on your build and its effectiveness for these testings.

You may want to get a sample test before test day so that if you need to you can make any changes before the test. Hopefully this won't be the case and I'm sure with the amount of planning and care you've taken with your design then there will be no need to be worried about test day. It might be beneficial to get help from a consultant, feed off their knowledge and advice, utilise them and what they know. They will have tips and tricks that you might not have even thought of. Involve them in the planning and design if you can. You will be surprised at what they will be able to pick up from your design alone. If you want to get the best out of your sound testing (and you should) then you need to put everything you can into ensuring that your build reaches its highest potential. 

You'd be surprised at what small changes can make to your results. 

Obviously only organise your test once you know that your build/site is totally ready!

Fail to plan and plan to fail; the age-old saying that quite honestly just fits the bill.

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