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Our Divisional Fire and Certification Director, Peter Long, sets out the questions you should ask of your acoustic test certificate before you accept it

You’re writing an NBS Specification for glazed partitioning and your acoustician has advised you to select a product that achieves a particular acoustic sound insulation. A product manufacturer has offered you an acoustic test certificate, but how do you know it is credible?

Q1. Does the test apply to a properly dimensioned partition?

Firstly, it is important to make sure that the acoustic test certificate states the test sample size. Glass partitions are full height structures and would normally comprise several panes of glass, so it is not acceptable to test partitions as ‘windows’ or ‘glazing’ in smaller sized openings.

Testing samples using these methods will generally give an artificially higher acoustic rating result than testing a representative partition sample with multiple modules of glass, glazing joints, and perimeter track-work. Such a result cannot, therefore, be directly compared to a full partition sample test result.

 Q2. Was the test carried out in an accredited laboratory?

Secondly, for the acoustic rating value to be credible, it must have been obtained in an accredited laboratory. For direct comparisons to be made between one system and another, they must both have been laboratory tested in accordance with the correct sample definition in EN ISO 10140-1, by a UKAS accredited laboratory.

UKAS is the United Kingdom Accreditation Service and all of our acoustic testing is carried out in UKAS accredited laboratories.

 Q3. Was the acoustic rating data produced using modeling software?

Lastly, it is not acceptable to use software modeled performance values in comparison to laboratory tested outcomes. These methods have a high margin of error and are designed to give a guide to potential performance and not proof of actual performance. Assessments of Rw values should therefore be treated with great caution.

Summary – Acoustic Test Certificate Checklist

Make sure your acoustic rating test certificate has the current information

More Information

If you’d like to know more about the acoustic effectiveness of glass partitions, we invite you to read the following blogs:

Get in touch if you’d like us to advise you on Acoustic Partitioning.

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