Standards Library

Approved Document Part E: Resistance to Sound

All new residential properties and refurbishment work to create new residential spaces are subject to Approved Document Part E in support of the Building Regulations. Requirement E4 applies to schools.

Which development types does this standard apply to?

  •  Residential
  •  Schools and Academies

What does this standard provide?

Approved Document Part E Resistance to the Passage of Sound provides minimum standards that new residential and school buildings must achieve; for residential buildings this means standards for internal sound insulation and reverberation time in common areas, and for schools in achieving standards set out relating to a number of acoustic considerations in Building Bulletin 93.
Types of residential demises that the document refers to are broken down in to:

  • Dwelling-houses
  • Flats
  • Rooms for residential purposes
The document also provides a number of suggested wall and floor constructions to meet the requirements. Note that the wall and floor type combinations that are used are important; an incorrect combination can result in failure.

Note that this document is valid for use in England only, although the guidance provided is widely applicable.

What are the obligations under this standard?

Compliance with this standard is mandatory under law.

There are four acoustic requirements set out in the document:

Requirement E1 relates to the sound insulation performances of party walls and floors.

Requirement E2 relates to “[…] internal walls between a bedroom or room containing a water closet and other rooms and internal floors.”

Requirement E3 specifies the acoustic environment in common multi-residential spaces, such as corridors, stairwells and entrance halls. This is to control the level of noise that could disturb people in their apartments from others moving around the building.

Requirement E4 is not applicable to residential properties, and applies only to school buildings, to ensure that the correct standards are used.

Compliance with the standards is to be demonstrated by undertaking acoustic testing when construction is almost complete. For residential properties a minimum testing sample of 10% of the number of dwellings is required, for schools a minimum sample of 25% of ‘noise sensitive spaces’ (as defined in BB93) is required.

Who wrote and published this standard?

Approved Document Part E forms part of the wider Building Regulations which are published by the Government. It was published in 2003, with amendments made up until 2015.

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© 2022 Bloc Consulting, a division of All Bloc Limited
Company number 11008703

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