Table 2: Laboratory values for new internal walls and floors within: dwelling-houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes, whether purpose built or formed by material change of use.

Airborne sound insulation Rw dB (Minimum values)

0.6 Buildings constructed from sub-assemblies that are delivered newly made or selected from stock are no different from any other new building and must comply with all requirements in Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 2000(as amended). In some applications, such as buildings that are constructed to be temporary dwelling-houses, flats, rooms for residential purposes, or school buildings, the provision of reasonable resistance to the passage of sound may vary depending upon the circumstances in the particular case. For example, (a) a building created by dismantling, transporting and re-erecting the sub-assemblies on the same premises would normally be considered to meet the requirements, (b) a building constructed from sub-assemblies obtained from other premises or from stock manufactured before 1st July 2003, would normally be considered to meet the requirements if it satisfies the relevant requirements of Part E that were applicable in 1992, or for school buildings, the relevant provisions relating to acoustics set out in the 1997 edition of Building Bulletin 87 (ISBN 011 271013 1).

0.7 In the case of some historic buildings undergoing a material change of use, it may not be practical to improve the sound insulation to the standards set out in Tables 1 a and 1 b. The need to conserve the special characteristics of such historic buildings needs to be recognised1, and in such work, the aim should be to improve sound insulation to the extent that it is practically possible, always provided that the work does not prejudice the character of the historic building, or increase the risk of longterm deterioration to the building fabric or fittings. In arriving at an appropriate balance between historic building conservation and improving sound insulation it would be appropriate to take into account the advice of the local planning authority’s conservation officer. In such cases it will be reasonable to improve the sound insulation as much as is practical, and to affix a notice showing the sound insulation value(s) obtained by testing in accordance with Regulation 20A or 12A, in a conspicuous place inside the building.

0.8 The performance standards set out in Tables 1 a and 1 b are appropriate for walls, floors and stairs that separate spaces used for normal domestic purposes. A higher standard of sound insulation may be required between spaces used for normal domestic purposes and communal or non-domestic purposes. In these situations the appropriate level of sound insulation will depend on the noise generated in the communal or non-domestic space. Specialist advice may be needed to establish if a higher standard of sound insulation is required, and if so, to determine the appropriate level.

0.9 In the Secretary of State’s view the normal way of satisfying Requirement E2 will be to use constructions for new walls and floors within a dwelling-house, flat or room for residential purposes, that provide the laboratory sound insulation values set out in Table 2. Test bodies conducting testing should preferably have UKAS accreditation (or a European equivalent) for laboratory measurements. It is not intended that performance should be verified by testing on site.

0.10 Section 5 gives examples of constructions that should achieve the laboratory values set out in Table 2. The guidance in these sections is not exhaustive and other designs, materials or products may be used to achieve the required performance.

0.11 In the Secretary of State’s view the normal way of satisfying Requirement E3 will be to apply the sound absorption measures described in Section 7 of this Approved Document, or other measures of similar effectiveness.

0.12 In the Secretary of State’s view the normal way of satisfying Requirement E4 will be to meet the values for sound insulation, reverberation time and indoor ambient noise which are given in Section 1 of Building Bulletin 93 ‘The Acoustic Design of Schools’, produced by DfES and published by the Stationery Office (ISBN 0 11 271105 7) (to be published during 2003).

0.13 Diagrams 0.1 to 0.3 illustrate the relevant parts of the building that should be protected from airborne and impact sound in order to satisfy Requirements E1 and E2.

1 BS 7913 The principles of the conservation of historic buildings, 1998 provides guidance on the principles that should be applied when proposing work on historic buildings

Resistance to the passage of sound 9

prev - Soundproofing For Document E compliance index - next