The Requirements

  1. Requirements
    1. Resistance to the passage of sound

      Requirements

      This Approved Document, which took effect on 1 July 2003, deals with the Requirements of Part E of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 2010.

      Requirement

      Protection against sound from other parts of the  building and adjoining buildings

      E1. Dwelling-houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes shall be designed and constructed in such a way that they provide reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjoining buildings.

      Protection against sound within a dwelling-house etc.

      E2. Dwelling-houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes shall be designed and constructed in such a way that:

      • internal walls between a bedroom or a room containing a water closet, and other rooms; and
      • internal floors

      provide reasonable resistance to sound.

      Reverberation in the common internal parts of buildings containing flats or rooms for residential purposes

      E3. The common internal parts of buildings which contain flats or rooms for residential purposes shall be designed and constructed in such a way as to prevent more reverberation around the common parts than is reasonable.

      Acoustic conditions in schools

      E4. (1) Each room or other space in a school building shall be designed and constructed in such a way that it has the acoustic conditions and the insulation against disturbance by noise appropriate to its intended use.

      (2) For the purposes of this Part – ‘school’ has the same meaning as in Section 4 of the Education Act 1996[4]; and ‘school building’ means any building forming a school or part of a school.

      Limits on application

      Requirement E2 does not apply to:

      • an internal wall which contains a door;
      • an internal wall which separates an en suite toilet from the associated bedroom;
      • existing walls and floors in a building which is subject to a material change of use.

      Requirement E3 only applies to corridors, stairwells,  hallways and entrance halls which give access to the flat or room for residential purposes.

      Resistance to the passage of sound

      Attention is drawn to the following extracts from the Building Regulations 2010.

      Interpretation (Regulation 2) ‘room for residential purposes’ means a room, or a suite of rooms, which is not a dwelling-house or a flat and which is used by one or more persons to live and sleep and includes a room in a hostel, an hotel, a boarding house, a hall of residence or a residential home, but does not include a room in a  hospital, or other similar establishment, used for patient accommodation.

      Meaning of material change of use (Regulation 5)

      For the purposes of paragraph 8 (1)(e) of Schedule 1 to the Act and for the purposes of these Regulations, there is a material change of use where there is a change in the purposes for which or the circumstances in which a building is used, so that after the change:

      1. the building is used as a dwelling, where previously it was not;
      2. the building contains a flat, where previously it did not;
      3. the building is used as an hotel or boarding house, where previously it was not;
      4. the building is used as an institution, where previously it was not;
      5. the building is used as a public building, where previously it was not;
      6. the building is not a building described in Classes 1 to 6 in Schedule 2, where previously it was;
      7. the building, which contains at least one dwelling, contains a greater or lesser number of dwellings than it did previously;
      8. the building contains a room for residential purposes, where previously it did not; or
      9. the building, which contains at least one room for residential purposes, contains a greater or lesser number of such rooms than it did previously.
      10. the building is used as a shop, where previously it was not.

      Requirements relating to material change of use (Regulation 6)

      1. Where there is a material change of use of the whole of a building, such work, if any,  shall be carried out as is necessary to ensure that the building complies with the applicable requirements of the following paragraphs of Schedule 1:

      a. in all cases,

      B1 (means of warning and escape)

      B2 (internal fire spread – linings)

      B3 (internal fire spread – structure)

      B4(2) (external fire spread – roofs)

      B5 (access and facilities for the fire service)

      C2(c) (interstitial and surface condensation)

      F1 (ventilation)

      G1 (cold water supply)

      G3(1) to (3) (hot water supply and systems)

      G4 (sanitary conveniences and washing facilities)

      G5 (bathrooms)

      G6 (kitchens and food preparation areas) H1 (foul water drainage)

      H6 (solid waste storage)

      J1 to J4 (combustion appliances)

      L1 (conservation of fuel and power – dwellings)

      P1 (electrical safety);

      b. in the case of a material change of use described in Regulations 5(c),(d), (e) or (f), A1 to A3 (structure);

      c. in the case of a building exceeding fifteen metres in height, B4(1) (external fire spread – walls);

      d. in the case of a material change of use described in Regulation 5(a), (b), (c), (d), (g), (h), (i) or, where the material change of use provides new residential accommodation, (f), C1 (2) (resistance to contaminants);

      e. in the case of material change of use described in Regulation 5(a), C2 (resistance to moisture);

      f. in the case of a material change of use described in Regulation 5(a), (b), (c), (g), (h) or (i) E1 to E3;

      g. in the case of a material change of use described in Regulation 5(e), where the public building consists of or contains a school, E4 (acoustic conditions in schools);

      h. in the case of a material change of use described in regulation 5(a) or (b), G2 (water efficiency) and G3(4) (hot water supply and systems: hot water supply to fixed baths);

      i. in the case of a material change of use described in regulation 5(c), (d), (e) or (j), M1 (access and use).

      2. Where there is a material change of use of part only of a building, such work, if any, shall be carried out as is necessary to ensure that:

      a. that part complies in all cases with any applicable requirement referred to in paragraph (1)(a);

      b. in a case to which sub-paragraphs (b), (e), (f) or (g) of paragraph (1) apply, that part complies with the requirements referred to in the relevant sub-paragraphs;

      c. in the case to which sub-paragraph (c) of paragraph (1) applies, the whole building complies with the requirement referred to in that sub-paragraph; and

      d. in a case to which sub-paragraph (i) of paragraph (1) applies –

      i. that part and any sanitary conveniences provided in or in connection with that part comply with the requirements referred to in that sub-paragraph; and

      ii. the building complies with requirement M1(a) of Schedule 1 to the extent that reasonable provision is made to provide either suitable independent access to that part or suitable access through the building to that part.

      Sound insulation testing (Regulation 41) 41.

      1. Subject to paragraph (4) below, this regulation applies to:

      a. building work in relation to which paragraph E1 of Schedule 1 imposes a requirement; and

      b. work which is required to be carried out to a building to ensure that it complies with paragraph E1 of Schedule 1 by virtue of Regulation 6(1)(f) or 6(2)(b).

      2. Where this Regulation applies, the person carrying out the work shall, for the purpose of ensuring compliance with paragraph E1 of Schedule 1:

      a. ensure that appropriate sound insulation testing is carried out in accordance  with a procedure approved by the Secretary of State; and

      b. give a copy of the results of the testing referred to in sub-paragraph (a) to the local

      3. The results of testing referred to in paragraph (2)(a) shall be:

      a. recorded in a manner approved by the Secretary of State; and

      b. given to the local authority in accordance with paragraph (2)(b) not later than the date on which the notice required by regulation 16(4) is given.

      4. Where building work consists of the erection of a dwelling-house or a building containing flats, this regulation does not apply to any part of the building in relation to which the person carrying out the building work notifies the local authority, not later than the date on which he gives notice of commencement of the work under Regulation 16(1), that for the purpose of achieving compliance of the work with paragraph E1 of Schedule 1  he is using one or more design details approved by Robust Details Limited(a), provided that:

      a. the notification specifies:

      i. the part or parts of the building in respect of which he is using the design detail;

      ii. the design detail concerned; and

      iii. the unique number issued by Robust Details Limited in respect of the specified use of that design detail; and

      b. the building work carried out in respect of the part or parts of the building identified in the notification is in accordance with the design detail specified in the notification.

      Attention is drawn to the following extract from the Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/2215)

      Sound insulation testing (Regulation 20(1) and (5)

      Application of regulations 20, 27, 29, 37, 41, 42, 43 and 44 of the Principal

      20.—(1) Regulations 20 (provisions applicable to self-certification schemes), 27 (CO emission rate calculations), 29 (energy performance certificates), 37 (wholesome water consumption calculation), 41 (sound insulation testing), 42 (mechanical ventilation air flow rate testing), 43 (pressure testing) and 44 (commissioning) of the Principal Regulations apply in relation to building work which is the subject of an initial notice as if references to the local authority were references to the approved inspector.

      (5) Regulation 41 of the Principal Regulations applies in relation to building work which is the subject of an initial notice as if –

      a. for paragraph (3)(b) there were substituted – “(b) given to the approved inspector in accordance with paragraph (2)(b) not later than five days after completion of the work to which the initial notice relates”;

      b. for the words in paragraph (4) “not later than the date on which notice of commencement of the work is given under regulation 16(1)” there were substituted the words “prior to the commencement of the building work on site”.

      For the purposes of Approved Document E the following definitions apply:

      ‘Adjoining’: Adjoining dwelling-houses, adjoining flats, adjoining rooms for residential purposes and adjoining buildings are those in direct physical contact with another dwelling-house, flat, room for residential purposes or building.

      ‘Historic buildings’: Historic buildings include:

      a. listed buildings

      b. buildings situated in conservation areas

      c. buildings which are of architectural and historical interest and which are referred to as a material consideration in a local authority’s development plan

      d. buildings of architectural and historical interest within national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, and world heritage sites

      e. vernacular buildings of traditional form and construction.