Archive for November 2018

How Many Sound Tests do I require on my Development ?

It can be hard to know how many sound tests you need to undertake on your development to comply with Approved Document E, especially if you have a large development consisting of a large amount of houses and flats. Firstly you need to establish if your project even needs sound testing and if so, how many sound tests you’ll need to do to achieve compliance.

And then there’s the added problem of what you need to do to actually pass the sound insulation testing, this can be especially problematic if you are converting an existing building into residential dwellings. If you click on this link it takes you to our helpful sound testing checklist. This provides some helpful information on how to prepare you building to pass the sound insulation test.

Sound Insulation Testing

What Information is in Approved Document E

To help you prepare for the sound testing on your development, there is a section in Building Regulations called “Approved Document E” Unfortunately; Part E is fairly complicated which makes it quite difficult for the people without a constriction background to accurately interpret. Approved Document E provides details for the resistance to the passage of sound and sound insulation for all types of dwellings such as houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes.

To try and help simplify and translate the text within Approved Document E, and help you establish what you need to test; firstly, the duty of ensuring that appropriate sound insulation testing is carried out falls on the person carrying out the building work; however don’t panic as we can list the exact tests that will be required — as long as we have accurate floor plans. All you need to do is then table our test schedule with your Building Control so you can seek their approval.

There are usually two main categories of buildings that need to be tested. There first category is new purpose built houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes and the second are existing building has a change of use for flats, houses or rooms for residential us — such as hotel rooms. So, for example, a block of new build flats will need to be tested, as will a house converted into flats and an office block converted into a hotel. Currently we are currently seeing a large rise in the amount of office blocks being converted into flats, these also require sound insulation testing.

How Many Dwellings Do I need to Sound Test?

This can be a little more complicated and can be open to interpretation. Approved Document E states that “Building control bodies should stipulate at least one set of sound tests for every ten dwelling houses, flats or rooms for residential purposes in a group or sub-group”; however this is more complex than it seems at first glance, and is often misinterpreted as 10% or 1 in 10 of the dwellings contained within the project.

Approved Document E also has a set of rules around groups and sub-groups for buildings, and if your building (an house to flat conversion, for example) has several different construction types, you may need to carry out more than the one set of sound tests per ten dwellings as stated above.

Groups are determined by the type of property, i.e. houses (including bungalows), flats and rooms for residential purposes are all classed as separate groups. So, for example if your project includes a set of flats and some houses, the houses and flats need to be treated as separate groups and must be tested accordingly. For instance if your development contains a block of four terrace houses and a separate block of four flats, you will need to carry out two airborne sound tests to the terrace houses and four airborne and two impact sound tests to the flats. So instead of the carrying out six tests (as per the 10% rule of thumb) you will need to carry out eight sound tests.

The Sub grouping of buildings are more complex and we advise looking at the floor plans to your project to establish whether your project’s construction type and layout means you’ll need additional sound insulation testing. We are always happy to take a look at your project on an individual basis to help ensure you are booking the correct number of tests and we always send out a full testing schedule detailing which airborne wall/floor and impact tests are required on each project.

Within Approved Document E it specifies which rooms can be tested. Testing is required between living spaces, which includes:

  • Living room
  • Bedrooms
  • Study
  • Dining room
  • Kitchen

Although there isn’t a requirement to undertake sound testing between common within dwellings, if no suitable rooms are available then building control may require still require testing, an example of this could be a stairwell on one side of a party wall and living room and/or bedroom on the other.

What makes up a full Set of Sound Tests?

Generally, a full set of tests is made up of six individual sound tests, consisting of:

  • 2 airborne wall sound tests
  • 2 airborne floor sound tests
  • 2 impact floor sound tests.

This is required where flats have both separating walls and floors. Obviously on house sound testing will only be required to the wall partitions so two airborne wall tests may be enough.

If you require more information please contact us on or click on this link and it will take you to through to our helpful sound testing checklist. This provides some helpful information on how to prepare you building to pass the sound insulation test.


When I was at university, all I used to spend my money on trainers/sneakers. It became a bit of an obsession and I soon realised that I wasn’t alone on this athletic footwear journey. I discovered there were many others like myself and not long after that noticed there was a whole community, an international community to be more specific, that collected, customised, sold and created their own trainers.Over the years, I’ve taken a step back on my collecting game, but I still love window shopping and just admiring the design work that goes into the creation of a new trainer.  Since my uni days the world has evolved dramatically; business has changed, and it has certainly affected the footwear industry. With the rise of web 2.0 and the increased technology for better communication, there are more opportunities now for independents to stand up and be counted.

Many of the brands you’re about to see were created by guys just like myself- people with an obsession for sneakers which lead them on the path to create their own styles. In this three-part series, we’ll be introducing you to brands you probably not familiar with. For new brands, the greater competition means a greater struggle for attention but for you and me, it just means a greater choice of styles. There’s even more opportunity for you to stand out and show off your individualism. So, let’s get to it.

  1. VAEL
    Vael is a brand whose heritage lies in apparel design for the traveller. Well if that means travelling down the road to Chicken Cottage just to show these babies off, that’s me all over! They have a great eye for design, the silhouettes and shapes almost take on an architectural design perspective. A very simple yet elegant sneaker is their ‘Borg Mid’ as is the ‘Klipspringer’. Team either of these with some skinny turn ups and Oliver Peoples glasses, and you’ll look cool as a cuc!
  2. GRAM
    Gram is a brand based in Sweden and its Nordic credentials certainly transcends over to their footwear. The shoes are designed to ‘blend and enhance what you are wearing at any given time.’ We love their use of colour and their quirky silhouettes.
    Cipher is a brand that we really admire, so much so that we even featured a pair in our ‘Product of The Week’ post a few weeks back. Based out in Hong Kong, Cipher was initially created by a guy who sold his own sneakers out of a backpack in New York. A few years later, he is up and running with a very successful company. It just goes to show that if you have a passion, you should follow it; especially if you have talent to boot too. We salute you Collin Tompson.
  4. CLAE
    Clae is one of the better know brands in this week’s list. Even though they stock in Size? I still don’t see people rocking them as much as I’d thought. Another brand that has a very ‘tailored’ style, they are regarded as the pioneers of the athleisure. The ‘Rollins’ show how a high top can look stylish yet simple.

Anyone can explain and create something in a complicated way, but to do so in an effective and simple way…well, that’s difficult! Common Projects personify this.

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