Standards Library

BB93 Acoustic Design of Schools (Building Bulletin 93)

BB93 provides a complete set of acoustic requirements for schools and academies. The standards and methods can be applied to other project types, but are only mandatory for the defined types.

Which development types does this standard apply to?

  •  Schools and Academies

What does this standard provide?

The criteria in BB93 have been developed to keep children engaged during lessons. Noise can be a very distracting feature in a classroom, and can mean that some children have difficulty hearing what a teacher is saying. Good acoustics in schools are particularly important in Special Educational Needs (SEN) settings.
Good acoustics in a classroom can also save a teacher’s voice!
The document provides acoustic criteria for the following acoustic aspects in educational spaces:

  • Indoor ambient noise levels, so that the external building facades can be designed to reduce external noise breaking into teaching and study rooms
  • Sound insulation for floors, walls doors and glazing between rooms
  • Reverberation time in teaching and study areas
  • Sound absorption in corridors, entrance halls and stairwells

What are the obligations under this standard?

Compliance with this standard is mandatory, as per Requirement E4 of Approved Document Part E (in support of the Building Regulations). Requirement E4 states that:
(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; and ‘school building’ means any building forming a school or part of a school.

Who wrote and published this standard?

Building Bulletin 93 was published by the Department for Education in 2014, and updated through 2015.

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