Last edited 05 Jan 2017

Approved Document E

The first set of national building standards was introduced in 1965. Now known as the building regulations, they set out:

  • What qualifies as 'building work' and so fall under the control of the regulations.
  • What types of buildings are exempt.
  • The notification procedures that must be followed when starting, carrying out, and completing building work.
  • Requirements for specific aspects of building design and construction.

The 'approved documents' provide guidance for how the building regulations can be satisfied in common building situations. There is no obligation to adopt the solutions presented in the approved documents, the building regulations can be satisfied in other ways.

Approved Document E: Resistance to the passage of sound, was last published in 2015.

It deals with requirements for sound insulation in buildings, including both new dwellings and the conversion of buildings to form dwellings. It covers sound reduction between rooms for residential purposes and designated rooms in dwellings, and acoustic conditions for common areas in flats and schools.

The content of the Approved Document includes:

  • Section 0: Performance standards.
  • Section 1: Pre-completion testing – Provides guidance on an appropriate programme of sound insulation testing for a sample of properties.
  • Section 2: Separating walls and associated flanking constructions for new buildings – Provides examples of wall types and their junction requirements.
  • Section 3: Separating floors and associated flanking constructions for new buildings – Provides examples of floor types and their junction requirements.
  • Section 4: Dwelling-houses and flats formed by material change of use – Includes guidance on work to existing construction, corridor walls and doors, wall, stair and floor treatments, junction requirements .
  • Section 5: Internal walls and floors for new buildings – Includes guidance on doors, layout, and junction requirements
  • Section 6: Rooms for residential purposes.
  • Section 7: Reverberation in the common internal parts of buildings containing flats or rooms for residential purposes.
  • Section 8: Acoustic conditions in schools.
  • Annex A: Method for calculating mass per unit area.
  • Annex B: Procedures for sound insulation testing.
  • Annex C: Glossary.
  • Annex D: References.
  • Annex E: Design details.

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