Building Regulations

Approved Document E 2003 (England and Wales)

Aims to improve standards of sound insulation in buildings, between homes or rooms for residential purposes.

Approved Document E must be adhered to when building houses, flats, schools, hotels, hostels and student accommodation.

Requirements in dwellings and flats

New Build
Airborne Sound Insulation
(DnT,w+Ctr dB) min.values
Impact Sound Insulation
(L’nT,w dB) max. values
Walls
45
Floors & Stairs
45
62
Conversions and Refurbishments
Walls
43
Floors & Stairs
43
64

Section 5 (Scotland)

Deals with the reduction of sound through separating building elements between domestic buildings.

To download our Scotland Section 5 Guide, click here.
(1.3mb Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Requirements

New build and conversions other
than traditional buildings
Conversion of
traditional buildings*
Minimum airborne sound transmission
(DnT,w) (Floors & walls)
56dB
53dB
Maximum impact sound transmission
(L’nT,w) (Floors only)
56dB
58dB

Education and BB93 Regulations

The level of acoustic performance required is dependent on the room type but the common requirement is effective reverberation control, e.g. school corridors require Class C absorber or above. Class A offers the highest level of absorption and
greatest reduction of reverberation times.

*The definition of a traditional building is a building or part of a building of a type constructed before or around 1919:
a) using construction techniques that were commonly in use before 1919; and
b) with permeable component, in such a way that promotes the dissipation of moisture from the building fabric.