Paragon Acoustic Consultants (PAC) is a member of the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC) Registration Scheme (Organisation No. 150) and is able to carry out pre-completion sound tests to the satisfaction of Approved Inspectors, Local Authority Building Control bodies and Warranty providers in England and Wales. The only other approved accreditation scheme for testing is UKAS, however this does not have some of the benefits of the ANC scheme as it is open to companies that are either not fully independent from hardware/product suppliers or are unable to meet the academic and professional standards required for ANC membership.
Building control bodies should consult with developers on likely completion times on site and should request one set of tests to be carried out between the first pair of dwellings or rooms for residential purposes scheduled for completion. Assuming no tests are failed, a sample of at least 10% of remaining dwellings should normally be tested. Further testing may be required if the building contains sub groups, i.e., where significant differences in construction types are present.
Tests are undertaken in accordance with the following documents.
• Approved Document E:2003, Annex B • BS EN ISO 140-4:1998 (measurement of airborne sound insulation) • BS EN ISO 140-7:1998 (measurement of impact sound insulation) • Rating of airborne and impact sound insulation to BS EN ISO 717:1997, Parts 1 and 2
Test results are available to Building Control Bodies via the ANC ADvANCEweb site.
Only walls and floors that separate individual properties need to be tested. Internal walls and floors within each individual property do not need on-site testing, but these elements do need to meet defined laboratory tested performance values. Walls are tested for airborne sound insulation; floors are tested for both airborne sound insulation and impact noise transmission.
To date, the practice has carried out approximately three thousand tests on projects of all sizes, ranging from small conversions to multi storey residential blocks. Testing is normally undertaken out of hours, to avoid conflicts with other trades and thus eliminate any subsequent delays.
In situations where the practice has not been involved with scheme design and a construction has failed at the pre-completion test stage, solutions may be offered to remedy the defect to the satisfaction of the BCB, using 3-d modelling implementing Parts 1 and 2 of BS EN 12354-2000 (SONarchitect and BASTIAN software).