ENS offers an extensive range of services in relation to the measurement and prediction of noise within three primary sectors: Environmental Acoustics, Building and Architectural Acoustics and Industrial Acoustics.

Building and Architectural Acoustics
ENShas been involved in building and architectural projects at all stages of development, from the specification of the external building envelope and internal separating elements, through to pre-completion testing. Our advice has been sought for different types of new build, refurbished and converted developments including residential, commercial, entertainment, leisure and hotels, in addition to a wide variety of mixed-use developments.
In July 2003, the new Approved Document E ‘Resistance to the Passage of Sound’ (ADE 2003) of the Building Regulations came into force.
This requires that new residential properties and rooms for residential purposes be tested (known as pre-completion testing) to demonstrate compliance with the explicit sound insulation performance requirements of ADE 2003.
Guidance in ADE 2003 on pre-completion testing indicates that tests should be carried out at a rate of one set of tests of each construction sub-group completed, whatever the size of the development and thereafter at least one set of tests every ten completions (assuming no failures).
The onus is on the developer to perform pre-completion testing before the property can be “released to market” and it is now an offence not to perform pre-completion testing.
In 2004 the Government allowed Robust Standard Details (RSDs) to be used as an alternative to pre-completion testing for demonstrating compliance with the sound insulation performance requirements of ADE 2003 for new dwelling houses and flats.
The RSD scheme provides builders of new properties with material and construction specifications that, provided construction guidelines are followed and quality of workmanship is adhered to, should provide a level of sound insulation compliant with ADE 2003 (RSD structures typically achieve a higher performance specification than that required by ADE 2003).
It should be noted that the use of RSDs as an alternative to pre-completion testing is not applicable to dwelling houses or flats formed by a material change of use (i.e. conversions) or rooms for residential purposes (hotels, cluster flats, etc).
We often advise property developers, contractors, housing associations and local authorities on the implications of ADE 2003.
Advice is given on the materials and construction details for separating floors and walls and the key interfaces with other building elements.
We also offer advice on the additional requirements of ADE 2003 including the control of reverberation in common areas and the performance of internal walls and floors.
We are also advising a number of clients on the practical application of RSDs as in some instances the option for construction are potentially reduced and construction costs may be significantly higher than those of a non-RSD structure.
In summary our scope of services with respect to building and architectural acoustics includes:
Material and construction specification of walls and floors and interfaces (junction details).
Control of reverberation in common areas of buildings.
Inspection of site works to ensure compliance with specification.
Sound insulation testing of separating walls and floors.
Design of remedial works to improve existing sound insulation.
Assessment and control of flanking sound transmission.

Examples of recent commissions in the building and architectural acoustics sector have included:
Design of separating floors and walls in the conversion of a listed building in Leeds to apartments with a ground floor bar and restaurant.
Complex building envelope and separating wall and floor design for the conversion of a former office block to apartments in South Yorkshire.
On going programme of pre-completion testing for a major property developer to assess the compliance of their preferred standard floor construction with the sound insulation performance requirements of ADE 2003.

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