EN 16205:2020 ‘Laboratory measurement of walking noise on floors’ 

Among the many changes that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought, especially one has upset our routines: homeworking.

Eurofound, the EU Agency for the improvement of living and working conditions, has estimated that almost 40% of work by dependent employees in the EU has been carried out at home during the pandemic. As a result, many workers have faced challenges in adapting to the sudden shift to telework. We can all relate to poor internet connections, kids interrupting meetings, finding a good chair to sit on, as well as… noises.

Suddenly, we started noticing our neighbours, sometimes deliberately noisy, sometimes just walking in their apartments. Have you ever wondered if the upstairs floor was tested for its acoustic insulation?
The recently published standard EN 16205:2020 ‘Laboratory measurement of walking noise on floors’ provides a harmonised method to determine noise radiated from a floor covering on a standard concrete floor when excited by a standard tapping machine that mimics walking sounds. This standard is a useful tool for those manufacturers who wish to assess and improve the acoustic insulation of their floors, as well as to inform their consumers about it.

The system is quite simple and uses a tapping machine to imitate human steps on the floor of the upper room. Several sound pressure levels are measured both in the upper and lower rooms with the bare concrete floor either uncovered or covered with pads of the tested flooring/large specimens of it. In the upper room, the reverberation time (i.e. the time required for the sound to "fade away" in an enclosed area after the source of the sound has stopped) is determined in both cases. The walking sound pressure level is then calculated and normalised according to specific formulas.

EN 16205:2020 was developed by CEN/TC 126 ‘Acoustic properties of building elements and of buildings’, whose Secretariat is held by AFNOR, and supersedes its previous version to introduce a technical change.

For more information, please contact Alessia GAETANI.