2011-01-24

Scrutinise a Product’s Acoustic Rating & Certificate

acoustics

A ‘keen eye’ is as important as a ‘good ear’ when checking the acoustic performance of a movable / partitioning wall.

Because until it is in situ, the only way you can determine the validity of a product’s stated acoustic performance is to know how to check the documentation.

According to Style, there is a great deal of misunderstanding in the operable walls sector regarding acoustic ratings and certificates, resulting in many clients not appreciating what checks they should make, or questions they should ask, before they buy.

“It is standard practice at Style to show architects, specifiers, main contractors and clients the necessary certification and evidence to support each product’s acoustic rating,” said Julian Sargent, Group Managing Director at Style. “Yet sadly this is not the case across the entire operable walls industry.
“Our advice, therefore, is to always talk to reputable suppliers but take time to satisfy yourself that the appropriate documentation is in place, current and valid.”

Style has published a series of checks which it advises all organisations to conduct prior to placing an order.

  • Ask for a copy of the product’s acoustic certificate
  • Check carefully that the certificate relates to the specific product you are ordering
  • Ensure the certificate contains the name of the supplier
  • If the supplier’s name is not on the certificate, request a letter of authority direct from the manufacturer
  • Make sure the wall was tested to the latest standards (BS EN ISO 140-3:1995, BS 2750-3:1995)
  • Look for the signature of the testing laboratory and ask yourself, ‘Does this look valid?’
“It is very disappointing to hear of instances in our industry where less reputable companies are supplying lower grade products, with invalid or out of date certificates – or no legitimate evidence of acoustic performance at all,” continued Julian.
“However, it is not only happening all too often, it seems to be on the increase as acoustic standards grow leaving certain suppliers unable to cope. “At Style, we will always supply the acoustic test certificate rated to the specified dB for the project being processed, plus full test data when required.
“We will also provide a letter of confirmation from the company who actually undertook the acoustic testing confirming that we are authorised to use the certificate. “By adopting this approach ensures we not only supply and install products that will meet client requirements, it also means we develop long lasting relationships based upon integrity, openness and trust.”

For more information about acoustics, or if you’d like to speak to one of our experts about conducting valid checks, please call your Regional Style Office.