Pre-Completion Testing Explained

What is pre-completion testing?

Pre-completion testing is a Part E requirement of the Building Regulations that apply for new flats, houses, flat conversions and change of use into flats. Part E puts the onus on the owner / builder to demonstrate the stated acoustic rating has been achieved and complies with the current Building Regulations for noise control through separating floors and walls.

The requirement is that at least 10% of all new dwellings should be Pre-completion tested on-site. Sound testing applies to separating elements between dwellings only and not required between living spaces within dwellings, nor for corridors, stairwells or hallways. Pre-completion sound testing has to be carried out by a test body with an appropriate third party accreditation.

Your local Building Control will specify the dwelling units and different forms of construction to be tested and it is important that you are involved with them at an early stage to ensure the test process is properly carried out.

Copy of the test results in an approved format has to be passed by the local building control office before a completion certificate can be issued and the job signed off.

Any failure in achieving these standards will require remedial works to be carried out to achieve compliance with the Building Regulations. It will be necessary to re-test the works to check that the remedial works have been successful. Without a Pre-completion test result that complies with Part E Building Control will not sign off the property as completed and this could prove a problem if the property is to be sold.


New dwelling-houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes should be considered as three separate groups for the purpose of testing. Different construction types within any of these groups should be recorded as a subgroup.

Dwelling-houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes formed by material change of use should be grouped using the same principles. More sub-groups may be required due to the greater diversity of construction.


• Dwelling-houses

Normally, one set of tests should comprise two individual airborne sound insulation tests. Where possible a separating wall between bedrooms of adjoined houses and a separating wall between adjoined living rooms should be tested.

• Flats

Normally, one set of tests should comprise six individual insulation tests for airborne and impact sound. Where possible a separating wall between bedrooms, a separating wall between living rooms, a separating floor between bedrooms and a separating floor between living rooms.

Rooms for residential purposes should have their separating walls and floors tested.

All dissimilar properties should be tested, and on large sites at least one in ten for properties that are similar or the same.

Remedial treatment will be required to separating walls and floors that fail a test, and they will need to be re-tested. A failure will mean that all similar constructions will need to be evaluated.

Written by Stephen Young

© Sound Service (Oxford) Ltd. 2004


Remember the works will be tested!

If you have a failed test you will be required to carry out remedial works and re-test to achieve compliance.

If you are looking for a company to complete this work please contact us or view our links page.