Sound Insulation Testing

What is the benifits of sound insulation testing?

The aim of Irish Building Regulations Part E is to raise sound insulation standards in attached dwellings for both airborne and impact noise as  to provide reasonable living conditions for occupiers. 

To what standard are the tests carried out?

Airborne and impact sound insulation as described in EN ISO 16283-1 and EN ISO 16283-2.

Sound Insulation Testing

How many tests are required?

The number of required sound insulation tests on new build residential developments are stated in the table below. Assuming no initial tests have failed, the minimum number of ‘sets of tests’ for each group or sub-group is outlined in Table 3A

When should a sound insulation test be carried out?

The sound insulation tests should be carried out once the dwellings either side of a separating element are essentially complete, except for decoration. 

Testing should be conducted more frequently at the beginning of a series of completions than towards the end, to allow any potential problems to be addressed at an early stage.

On large developments testing should be carried out over a substantial part of the construction period.

Whats Results Are Required To Meet requirements of Part E?

All separating walls or separating floors, subject to the requirement of the Part E document, should be designed and constructed to achieve a weighted standardised sound level difference of no less then DnT,w 53dB for airbourn noise and a weighted standardised impact sound pressure level no greater then L’nT,w 58db for impact noise.

Table 3A Minimum frequency of testing per group or sub-group type (Par. 2.2.3)
 Number of attached dwellings  ‘Sets of tests’ required
 4 or less  At least 11
 Greater than 4 but less than or equal to 20  At least 2
Greater than 20 but less than or equal to 40 At least 2 + 10% x No. of attached dwellings greater than 20
Greater than 40 but less than or equal to 100 At least 4 + 5% x No. of attached dwellings greater than 40
More than 100 At least 7 + 5% x No. of attached dwellings greater than 100


  1. This also satisfies the initial testing requirements (see paragraph 2.2.2).
  2. Refer to Table 2 for number of individual tests required in a ‘set of tests’.
  3. Round up to the nearest whole number.
  4. Refer to paragraph 2.3 where constructions other than those detailed in Section 3 and 4 are used.

Where can I get the Irish Building Regulations on Sound?

You can Download the Technical Guidance Document E.

building regs part e