Sound Testing in London & the UK

Sound Testing in London & the UK
Unless plans were fully approved prior to 1 July 2003, sound testing will be required on your London development between rooms or spaces that share a common area of separating wall and/or floor as stipulated in Building Regulations Part E for the passage of sound. Sound Testing is not generally required for internal walls and floors within a dwelling-house, flat or room for residential purposes; however all internal partitions should be designed to achieve 40dB.

APT Sound testing

The buildings that require sound testing are:

  1. Dwelling-houses, flats or rooms for residential purposes created by conversion of existing buildings or new build rooms for residential purposes will need to be tested if work starts after 1 July 2004.
  2. New build dwelling-houses and flats will need to be tested if work starts after 1 July 2004.

The main aim of sound insulation testing in London is to ensure that minimum standards of sound resistance have not been compromised by poor workmanship and/or poor design. You are normally required to undertake sound testing to each type of construction, i.e. if you have a mixture of brick, blockwork, timber and metal studwork walls all four types would need to be tested, followed by a 10% sample of that type using the equipment shown in Plate A below.

Plate A – Our Sound Test Equipment.

For instance, if you have a project with 25 flats you would be required to do 3 x 6 pack of tests; each 6 pack contains 2 airborne wall, 2 airborne floor and 2 impact sound tests; however if any test failures occur, then the number of sound tests may need to increase on the development. When sound test failures occur, then the design and construction of the failed partitions will need to be revisited to try and evaluate the reasons for the failure; thereafter, agreement can be reached on how to rectify problem.

We have carried our hundreds of acoustic design reviews, so we are well placed to help you overcome any potential problems to achieve compliance with Building Regulations Part E.

When designing acoustic partitions you will need to consider the following

  1. The careful design of floor plans to avoid habitual rooms being placed side by side.
  2. The mass and density of products that you are using.
  3. Using good design detailing to ensure the careful isolation of materials.
  4. The whole construction detail and how it is made up.
  5. Undertaking careful acoustic detailing of junctions between walls, ceilings and floors.
  6. Using acoustic wall ties in cavity walls.
  7. Types of doors in sound resisting walls.
  8. Containment of noise within noisy parts of a building such as lift shafts.
  9. Positions of sockets and flues on opposite sides of walls to ensure they don’t sit back to back.
  10. Sealing and filling of joints.
  11. The use of cavity closers on window/door reveals.
  12. Careful sealing of service penetrations.
  13. Designing to reduce potential reverberation in common parts of buildings such as corridors and entrance areas and the subsequent use of absorbent materials.

Unfortunately unless the acoustic design has been taken into account, the floor and ceiling partitions can be the main pathways for sound transmission. The first type of sound transmission is airborne sound such as TV and speech; and the second is the passage of impact sounds such as footfall or children’s toys being dropped on the floor above.  Achieving good airborne and impact sound isolation requires careful acoustic design considerations.

Plate A below shows one cost effective ceiling upgrade that can be undertaken on conversion projects. Firstly retain the existing floor joists, then above the joists install 22mm chipboard. Above the floor board install an acoustic resilient membrane and above this install the 22mm engineered floor. Within the joist cavity install 100mm AW IsoWool. To the underside of the joists fix a resilient hanger system and below this install two layers of 12.5mm sound boards ensuring that boards have adequate laps.

To try and help our clients achieve compliance with Approved Document E, we offer the following 4 step acoustic design package:

  1. Site Survey Visits – to let us view the existing site construction. This allows us to check for potential problematic construction such as inclusion of lightweight blocks in the existing construction. It also lets us check that the installation teams are installing the acoustic materials as per manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. Sample Sound Testing – of the existing construction. This offers an accurate overview of the acoustic performance of the existing partitions which enables us to offer a targeted acoustic design using the sound insulation performance of the existing construction.
  3. Acoustic Design Review – a full design review of the proposed developments party walls and floors.
  4. Pre-completion Sound Testing to satisfy Approved Document E.

APT Sound Testing can advise on all types of acoustic design, whether it’s accomplished during initial construction or during a refurbishment/renovation project. We also undertake UKAS accredited sound testing providing a ‘one stop’ solution for all your acoustic requirements. If you would like more information in regards to sound testing please follow our blog at: http://soundtestinguk.blogspot.co.uk or visit the APT Sound Testing website.

Welcome to the Sekura Window Centre

Welcome to the Sekura Window Centre

If you are in the process of making improvements to your home and are considering adding a new conservatory or new UPVC windows and doors you should definitely take a look at some of the excellent products available at Sekura Window Centre.  With an excellent range of products on offer no matter what style of property you may have you will be sure to find something that complements the rest of your home perfectly.

Sekura Window Centre

With competitive prices for high quality products and a focus on offering top quality customer service every time at Sekura Window Centre they do everything they can to ensure every customer is totally satisfied with any purchase they make. They will be happy to listen to your requirements and design ideas and then help you find the most suitable options for your home, they will also be able to fully explain all product specifications and discuss the various advantages of certain designs so you can make a fully informed decision about any conservatories or UPVC doors you decide to choose for your property.

At Sekura Window Centre they will visit your home to measure up and provide you with a free, no obligation quote so you have the opportunity consider the options before you commit to any purchase. You can also pay the showroom a visit to take a look at some examples of the various conservatories and UPVC windows and doors they are able to provide and have a chat with one of their friendly members of staff and ask any questions you may have, and with a flexible service available no matter whether you are a trade or residential customer they will do everything they can to accommodate your needs.

No matter what design ideas you may have with a variety of styles on offer to choose from you should be able to find something that is ideal for your property. No matter if you are planning to just give your property a quick face lift or are looking for a bespoke conservatory to create a real feature for your home with such a wide choice of products to choose from at Sekura Windows they should be able to help you find something completely suited to your needs, you also have the option to choose other features such as the colour, type of glass and fixtures such as handles and letterboxes so whatever you may opt for you can be certain that it will be completely unique.

With an onsite manufacturing plant at Sekura Window Centre they are able to ensure the quality and workmanship of every product they supply so you can be certain that conservatory or UPVC windows or doors you purchase will be created to the best possible standard and meet all safety standards. All staff are fully trained in their role and always use the highest standards of materials and tools for any products they create so you can be certain that anything you purchase will be produced to the highest possible standards of workmanship.

So if you are looking for top quality conservatories, UPVC windows and doors throughout Newcastle and the North East at competitive prices why not find out more about what is on offer at the Sekura Window Centre where they will be certain to be able to help you find the perfect design for you home, not only will it look great it will also be warmer and more secure as well. Call them today on 0191 214 66 44 or visit the Sekura Windows website.

Benefits of an Interim Executive

Benefits of an Interim Executive
HW Global Talent Partner has built a reputation for excellence in executive search over the past decade among the many global and local brands we serve.

But did you know we also have an interim management business? Many of our executive search clients also turn to us when they require a swift interim appointment at a crucial time for their business, often to bridge the gap during a search process we are conducting.

Interim management

HW Interim provides experienced and talented interim and change management executives to PLCs, private companies, SMEs and private equity backed organisations both in the UK and overseas.The key sectors we work in include Retail, Consumer and Financial Services, and the wide range of recent assignments we have completed have included interim CFO, FD, CTO, CMO, Supply Chain/Ops Director and Head of Risk.

We have access to an elite network of senior executives who specialise in change, turnaround or transformation whom HW have met, vetted, referenced and in many cases known as clients.

Working alongside the executive search business we can source the ideal interim to match our clients’ needs. With a team of dedicated and experienced researchers we can turn round a shortlist of professional interim managers for a client within three working days who can typically be placed within two weeks. Completion rates are well over 90 per cent.

The many benefits of interim management

The professional interim management market is enjoying rapid growth, driven largely by a corresponding increase in business transformation programmes across all industry sectors.

Companies both large and small are increasingly turning to interim executives to help steer them through organisational change – with a particular drive for digital transformation and customer experience programmes.

These experienced business leaders can provide stability following the sudden departure of a senior director, or offer a highly specialised skill set which a business may not have in-house.

Their appointment is an effective way for companies to achieve business objectives and obtain highly specialised leadership skills at crucial times.

The extensive benefits of interim management include flexibility and speed of placement, compared to an executive search for a permanent position which can take many months from commission to arrival in post due to the complexity of global searches and the need to fulfil notice periods.

There are cost benefits too; many SMEs may not be in a position to fund a permanent executive position for a particular specialism such as a digital transformation director.

And without the on-costs of a permanent executive such as bonuses, holiday pay, NI contributions, pension, private health insurance and company car benefits, the day rate suddenly does not seem so prohibitive.

Free from the shackles of office politics, a professional interim can offer a fresh perspective, objectivity and challenge. As a freelance operator whose work is heavily reliant on referrals and reputation, the interim is highly motivated and results driven, and will be fully committed to their client.

Professional interim managers are often over-qualified for the interim position they are commissioned for, meaning they can work independently and hit the ground running, with instant results. Their wealth of experience, skills, contacts and knowledge will also be transferred to the in-house team, giving benefits which outlive their interim contract.

The return on investment of a professional interim manager for a business can therefore be substantial, particularly at a critical time.

To find out how we can help your business contact John Wakeford, MD of HW Interim, via his LinkedIn page, by emailing johnw@hwglobalpartner.com or calling him on +44 (0) 113 243 2004 for an informal discussion.

Young Workers ‘Aware of Pension Reality’

Young Workers ‘Aware of Pension Reality’
Young workers are pessimistic about their retirement prospects but are keen to make preparations to make the most of the situation, a report indicates. UK employees are among the most pessimistic in the world about their retirement finances, according to asset managers State Street.

Its survey suggested that fewer than one in 10 young workers felt financially prepared for retirement. A similar proportion thought they would be able to retire when they wanted to.

“People are interested in securing their financial future and are willing to make changes to their spending habits to make this happen,” said Nigel Aston of State Street Global Advisors in the report. “They are also realistic about their income expectations in retirement. We must use this positivity to make it as easy as possible for individuals to understand their options.”

The survey, of nearly 10,000 people globally, suggested that employees in the UK expected their retirement income to be half of their earnings in work. However, only 6% of young workers asked thought they would be able to afford the lifestyle they wanted in retirement.

This was a far more pessimistic result than their counterparts in the US, where 23% thought they would be in a financial position to live the life they wanted in retirement, as well as Germany (18%), Australia (15%), and Italy (10%).

State Street suggested that the pensions industry needed to do more to help people understand whether they were on track to meet their income expectations in retirement. This was particularly the case as pensions shift from guaranteed pay outs based on someone’s salary to invested pension pots.

The report comes shortly after a separate review suggested women faced a “glaring” gender pension gap owing to career breaks to raise children and lower pay.

Young women aged in their late 20s or early 30s faced an 11% smaller pension pot than men by the time they retired, Fidelity International said. It, too, said that the industry had failed to engage these workers, with the use of jargon a particular issue.