As the construction environment increasingly works towards densely populated offices and mixed use complexes, the associated regulations have a creative impact on the way architects approach acoustics. As needs become increasingly diverse, the ability to tailor acoustic testing services to customers’ precise requirements becomes an essential ingredient in project success.

Element operates a UKAS accredited acoustic testing service laboratory No. 1762 in the UK and a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 4559 in the Middle East, where we meet a range of accreditations including ASTM and BS EN ISO standards. We have the flexibility to work to your individual needs, conducting trials on your own materials or on samples that we can provide.

Acoustic testing sound transmission and absorption services

Knowing the acoustic absorption levels of architectural materials and the behavior of sound reverberation prior to build can be vital. Our sound absorption tests can be conducted in our reverberation chambers, assessing the performance of absorption materials such as acoustic panels and baffles in noise control.

We also conduct acoustic testing on insulation material such as glasswool and rockwool and on the following products:

  • Doorsets
  • Door seals
  • Glazing systems
  • Penetration and linear joint seals
  • Single leaf partition systems
  • Windows

Site-based acoustic testing

In addition to laboratory acoustic testing services, we also offer on-site analyes for the measurement of sound insulation of separating walls and floors between rooms and of façade elements. Our services apply to a broad range of customers, including window and door manufacturers, plasterboard and partition wall suppliers, and concrete block providers. 

Acoustic camera

This specialized service enables the visual representation of the level of sound approaching the camera from different directions. The operation is based on signals coming from 256 individual microphones mounted on a 1.05m dish. The sound from different directions will reach each microphone on the dish at different times. By analysing the delays and comparing them with the sound from different directions, it is possible to indicate the level of sound from any given direction in question. The microphone dish also has a wide angle optical camera for recording live video images. The visual representation of sound levels can be superimposed on the optical picture. Measurements can be taken from 0.5m to infinity, although resolution reduces as distance increases. The high number of microphones also allows for low level noise sources to be measured.

Building acoustic testing

Element offers accredited sound insulation testing, including airborne insulation tests and impact sound insulation testing of floors. This includes pre-completion testing in accordance with BS EN ISO 140-4:1998 and BS EN ISO 717-1:1997, and post completion sound insulation testing for Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004, using the guidance given in Technical Handbooks Section 5, Noise for Domestic Buildings.

Element experts evaluate building and acoustical products using the following methods:

Sound Transmission Class , STC or Rw

Element measures transmission of outdoor sound through windows, doors and wall constructions. This acoustic measure is used to rate the effectiveness of a material to attenuate sound. STC or Sound Transmission Class is generally defined as the decibel reduction in noise a partition can provide, abbreviated 'dB'. The dB scale is a logarithmic one and the human ear perceives a 10dB reduction in sound as roughly halving the volume - a 40 dB noise subjectively seems half as loud as a 50 dB one.

Outdoor Indoor Transmission Class or OITC

Element acoustic testing experts calculate OITC ratings with ASTM E1332. This relates to ground and air transportation noise like planes, trains, and cars, and provides a single number rating for building facades and facade elements like windows and doors.

Noise Reduction Coefficient or NRC

This test determines sound absorption properties of materials such as acoustical wall panels, ceiling products, draperies, carpets, etc. NRC or Noise Reduction Coefficient is an arithmetic value average of sound absorption coefficients at frequencies of 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz indicating a material's ability to absorb sound.

Noise Emission: Sound Power/Sound Pressure Evaluations

Noise emissions of devices such as computer equipment, fans, pumps, or air conditioners are measured according to ANSI or ISO methods for reverberant rooms.

Noise Emission of Plumbing Appliances and Equipment

This test is designed to ISO 3822 specifications for the purpose of determining the noise emitted by faucets, shower heads, valves, and other plumbing-related equipment. Element scientists measure "Lap," or the dBA sound level produced by an appliance—a necessary rating for products marketed in Europe.

Acoustic Testing Methods and Standards

  • Floor test
  • Wall test
  • Hurricane Test
  • Impact test
  • Outdoor Indoor Transmission Class -OITC
  • Sound Transmission Class - STC
  • Sound Reduction Index - ISO 140, ISO 10140
  • AAMA 1801-07
  • ASTM C 423
  • ASTM E 90
  • ASTM E 336
  • ASTM E 966
  • ASTM E1007
  • ASTM E1408
  • ASTM E1425
  • CSA A440.2
  • GMNA GM6083M
  • ISO 140
  • ISO 140-3
  • ISO 354
  • ISO 3822-99

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