Simply Efficient Sound Insulation Testing

Developers Guide to Meeting Building Regulation Acoustic Requirements

Approved Document E (ADE) is the government-issued document providing guidance detailing the sound insulation requirements for conversions (dwellings formed by material change of use) and new builds (purpose built dwellings). It explains the testing requirement and provides advice and details about building procedures and materials that affect test results.

Sound travels via the flanking structures as well as walls and floors. So attention to detail is critical: the sound insulation is only as good as its weakest link, this can be the result of poor workmanship.

Good sound insulation depends on combining multiple layers of building elements that are isolated from the structure by proprietary resilient products. Between the elements there should be clear cavities or voids with the combined mass of the separating wall or floor being equal to, or exceeding the recommendation by Approved Document E (ADE)

The detail of the elements' combined mass is critical to the overall performance. Plasterboard is a key element. Choice of plasterboard can make the difference between a pass and a fail. The 3 main manufacturers of plasterboard are British Gypsum, Lafarge, and Knauf

All 3 manufacturers supply 9, 12.5 and 15 mm standard plasterboard. Each also produces a sound rated board designed to absorb the passage of sound. The chart below shows the mass differing board selection achieves:-

Manufacture Plasterboard Type Width (mm) Weight (kg/m2)
British Gypsum Standard Wallboard 9.0 6.3
British Gypsum Wallboard 12.5 8.0
British Gypsum Fireline 12.5 9.8
British Gypsum SoundBloc 12.5 10.6
British Gypsum Wallboard 15 9.8
British Gypsum Fireline 15 11.7
British Gypsum SoundBloc 15 12.6
British Gypsum Plank 19 15.0
Lafarge Wallboard 9.5 6.3
Lafarge Wallboard 12.5 8.4
Lafarge Gtec Fireboard 12.5 10.2
Lafarge dB check 12.5 10.2
Lafarge Wallboard 15 10.2
Lafarge Gtec Fireboard 15 12.3
Lafarge dB check 15 12.5
Lafarge Plank 19 13.8
Knauf Wallboard 9.0 6.2
Knauf Wallboard 12.5 8.3
Knauf Fireshield 12.5 9.8
Knauf Soundshield 12.5 12.0
Knauf Wallboard 15 10.2
Knauf Fireshield 15 11.7
Knauf Soundshield 15 13.8
Knauf Plank 19 15.0

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Site Sound Ltd is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) as a testing laboratory No. 4380. The scope of the accreditation is limited to provide Sound insulation testing, i.e. pre-completion testing for Building Regulations Approved Document E: 2003 and L1 Air tightness testing . All other services will be carried out to the same high standard but will not be UKAS accredited.