Acoustic Testing of Buildings

Building Acoustic Testing Services

bet-sound-testing2BET Acoustic Division carry out Acoustic Testing compliance with TGD Part E 2014. From the 1st of June 2015 all residential developments must apply acoustic testing sampling in compliance with Technical Guidance Document Part E. BET offer third party Independent Acoustic Testing and Reporting in compliance with TGD Part E.

BET’s Acoustic Engineers are experienced in Building Acoustics Measurements and are members of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA).



BET’s range of testing includes:

  • Airborne Sound Tests to Walls (as per IS EN ISO 16283-1-2014 or 140 Part 4:1998 )
  • Impact Sound Tests to Floors (as per IS EN ISO 140 Part 7:1998 and  IS EN ISO 16283-2-2015)
  • Reverberation Time Measurements (as per IS EN 3382-2-2008)
  • TGD 021-5  Acoustic Performance in Schools
  • All results are expressed as per IS EN ISO 717 Parts 1 & 2 2013

What is Sound Testing/Acoustic Testing?

‘Sound insulation’ describes the reduction of sound that passes between two spaces separated by a dividing element, i.e. a partition, ceiling or floor. Partitions are normally required to provide insulation against airborne sound, which includes sound from speech, general office noises, musical instruments and other sounds originating in the air. In addition to airborne sound, floors are often required to resist the transmission of impact sounds, such as heavy footsteps and movement of furniture.

Sound testing or acoustic testing as it is also known with regard to buildings is the measurement of the sound level difference between two rooms separated by party walls and/or floors between dwellings and rooms such as classrooms, hotel rooms, offices etc. For airborne sound insulation testing it is undertaken  by making a controlled noise on one side of the separating wall or floor and measuring the sound pressure level (Source Room), the sound pressure level on the other side (Receiving) is then recorded, reverberation time and background noise are also measured in the receiving rooms. This then allows us to calculate the sound level difference between the two rooms under test (DnT,w) and compare it to the performance requirements for that separating element.

Impact sound insulation testing is carried out on floors only therefore is applicable to duplex’s and apartments. It is carried out in a similar method to the airborne sound however a tapping machine is used as the sound source and is placed on the floor. L’nT,w or ‘Weighted Standardised Impact Sound Pressure Level’

Technical Guidance Document E, (TGD E Ireland) of the Building Regulations requires new buildings and conversions to demonstrate reasonable levels of airborne and impact sound insulation performance between separating walls and floors. The below table demonstrates the minimum and maximum performance requirements as defined in TGD E 2014:


Separating construction Airborne sound insulation   Impact sound insulation  
Walls 53 DnT,w dB(min)
Floors (including stairs with a separating function) 53 L’nT,w dB(min) 58 L’nT,w dB (max)

At what stage of a Project is Sound Testing carried out?

Pre-completion sound testing is where sound testing is performed on site prior to the building being completed and signed off by Building Control. The testing does not need to encompass all of the buildings but must be representative of the units contained within the building project in compliance with the frequency’s required by TGD E 2014.

Sound testing can be done in compartments as soon as a number of plots are completed past second fix stage. All internal doors need to be hung and all windows fitted and closable. It is important that carpets are not laid for tests that need to take place through the floor.

Contact BET now for a quotation for your project.