0.1 In the Secretary of State’s view the normal way of satisfying Requirement E1 will be to build separating walls, separating floors, and stairs that have a separating function, together with the associated flanking construction, in such a way that they achieve the sound insulation values for dwelling-houses and flats set out in Table 1a, and the values for rooms for residential purposes (see definition in Regulation 2) set out in Table 1b. For walls that separate rooms for residential purposes from adjoining dwelling-houses and flats, the performance standards given in Table 1a should be achieved.
0.2 Regulation 41 of the Building Regulations 2010 and Regulation 20(1) and (5) of the Building (Approved Inspectors, etc.) Regulations 2010 apply to building work to which Requirement E1 applies, and require appropriate sound insulation testing to be carried out. The exception is that, in the case of new-build houses and buildings containing flats, Regulations 41 and 20(1) and (5) do not apply to any relevant part of the building where the design embodies a design detail or details from the set approved and published by Robust Details Ltd; a valid notification is given to the building control body; and the actual work complies with the detail or details specified in the notification. Subject to this exception, which is further explained in Annex E: Design details approved by Robust Details Ltd, Regulation 44 applies where building control is being carried out by a local authority, and Regulation 20(1) and (5) applies where it is being carried out by an Approved Inspector. The normal way of satisfying Regulation 41 or 20(1) and (5) will be to implement a programme of sound insulation testing according to the guidance set out in Section 1: Pre-completion testing, of this Approved Document. It is possible for a builder to opt to use design details approved by Robust Details Ltd in some only of the relevant separating structures in a new house or building containing flats, with the other relevant separating structures remaining subject to testing under Regulation 41 or 20(1) and (5). However, it is recommended that expert advice is taken to ensure compatibility of the constructions.
Table 0.1a Dwelling-houses and flats – performance standards for separating walls, separating floors, and stairs that have a separating function
Table 0.1b Rooms for residential purposes – performance standards for separating walls, separating floors, and stairs that have a separating function
Table 0.2 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
0.3 The sound insulation testing should be carried out in accordance with the procedure described in Annex B of this Approved Document, which is the procedure formally approved by the Secretary of State for the purpose of paragraph (2)(a) of Regulation 41 and paragraph (2)(a) of Regulation 20(1) and (5). The results of the testing must be recorded in the manner described in paragraph 1.41 of Section 1 of this Approved Document, which is the manner approved by the Secretary of State for the purposes of paragraph (3)(a) of Regulation 41 and paragraph (3)(a) of Regulation 20(1) and (5). The test results must be given to the building control body in accordance with the time limits set down in Regulation 41 (for cases where building control is being done by the local authority) or Regulation 20(1) and (5) (in cases where it is being done by an Approved Inspector).
0.4 The person carrying out the building work should arrange for sound insulation testing to be carried out by a test body with appropriate third party accreditation. Test bodies conducting testing should preferably have UKAS accreditation (or a European equivalent) for field measurements. The DCLG also regards members of the ANC Registration Scheme as suitably qualified to carry out pre-completion testing.
0.5 Sections 2, 3, 4 and 6 of this Approved Document give examples of constructions which, if built correctly, should achieve the sound insulation values for dwelling-houses and flats set out in Table 1a, and the values for rooms for residential purposes set out in Table 1b. The guidance in these sections is not exhaustive and other designs, materials or products may be used to achieve the required performance.
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 2010. 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 1 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 011271013 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 1a and 1b. The need to conserve the special characteristics of such historic buildings needs to be recognised, 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 long-term 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 41 or 20(1) and (5), in a conspicuous place inside the building.
0.8 The performance standards set out in Tables 1a and 1b 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 (including extensions), 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.
0.1 Requirement E1
0.2 Requirement E2(a)
0.3 Requirement E2(b)