Anyone who works in the construction industry or almost anyone who has completed their own construction project will have come across sound testing, or acoustic testing (AC testing). These tests ensure that all construction projects follow the building codes in the UK, and if a building project passes the test, it can continue without worrying about compliance. Acoustic noise testing is a complex technical process and contains a number of technical terms that are perhaps not entirely familiar to the average layman. If you need to know more about acoustic sound testing and what it entails and would like to familiarise yourself with a few of the terms associated with it, here is a brief and precise introduction to some of the essential terms associated with sound tests.
- Sound transmission
Sound transmission is sound that passes from one area to another within a building. The transmitted sound passes through the structure of the building, such as the walls, ceilings, floors, windows, or other structures. All vibrations can generate or produce sound waves of reduced intensity in an adjacent area.
Sound transmission is measured in decibels (dBs), and the transmission loss varies according to the frequency. The higher the frequency of a transfer, the greater the losses. It does vary from room to room and from building to building, but it varies according to frequency. During the sound testing process, the speakers are designed to transmit sound uniformly in all directions, so that the inspector can accurately measure the sound level in the room and the loss of sound transmission.
- Airborne sound test
There is also an airborne sound test that is performed to measure the sound transmitted, for example, during a conversation between people. This test is generally performed in a room such as a conference room. It tests the transmission of speech, as would occur when conversations happen between people.
- Impact sound test
But there are also a few other types of sound transmission losses, for example, when impact sound tests are conducted to test the effect of an impact within a building. They are tested in the same way as the airborne sound test, but in a different place and with different types of sound transmission devices. In these tests, the experts use a calibrated machine that is installed on the floor or upstairs. The sound pressure level is recorded in a reception room located directly one floor above the room of origin.
British Standards should be used by compliance inspectors who carry out tests on construction projects so that their tests are correctly identified by standards that not only identify test methods but also ensure compliance. These standards ensure the safety of the building and its residents and the public.