Soundproofing floors to meet building regulations
Building regulations require and outline sound proofing standards for new homes and conversions and covers dividing walls and floors. It also includes internal insulation for bedrooms. There are two parts; E1 to protect against noise from adjoining buildings including flats, terraces and semi detached houses; and E2, which covers sound transmission within the home. The Regulations also divide sound into ‘airborne’ and ‘impact’.
Airborne and Impact Noise
Airborne sound resistance between separating walls or floors, must have a minimum 40dB capability, and applies to bedrooms and upper floors. It does not apply between walls with doors or en-suite bathrooms.
Impact sound, arising from stomping feet, doors slamming or objects banging, requires floors and stairs, to keep such noises below 62 dBs in new builds and 64 dBs in conversions.
New detached homes do not have to follow the more stringent Building Regs acoustic standards. However, attached homes, such as semis, terraces and flats do.
Developers have the choice of following Robust Standard Details. This lists compliance standards, or complying with sound tests on site between the walls and floors separating homes.
So, to comply with Part E regulations you must ensure floors are protected against both ‘impact’ and ‘airborne’ noise. The most effective way to do this is to combine insulation quilting between floor joists with acoustic floorboards onto joists. It can also be for acoustic overlay boards, or mats, laid on top of floorboards.
Sound Insulation Performance Standards
Sound insulation can be tested to show compliance with relevant performance standards conducted in accordance with
BS EN ISO 140-4:1998 (Airborne)
BS EN ISO 140-7:1998 (Impact)
The Robust Details Certification Scheme is a simple and reliable route to compliance. The scheme was designed for separating walls and floors in new build dwellings only in England and Wales. The 1994 RDSC helps planners (e.g architects and building contractors) to select products for buildings that have been designed to exceed requirements of Approved Document E in compliance with Building Regulations, and in advance of any testing. Products apply for and are listed in the Robust Detail handbook after passing vigorous tests to demonstrate performance 5dB above current building regulations. Robust Details Ltd is a company that employs specialists across UK to monitor and test separating wall and floor building products and constructions to ensure compliance.
The products we supply are Robust Detail compliant and designed to exceed building regulatory requirements.
Do you require Part E regulatory compliance for residential conversions?
If you are converting a single dwelling into multiple dwellings, you will need to comply with Part E Building Regulations, whether concrete or timber fabricated. Even if dwellings are on different floors, it may be that you will need wall as well as floor/ceiling acoustic insulation due to flanking noise.
Sound proofing considerations are perhaps best calculated at the early stages before or when the building has been taken back to its bare bones. However, soundproofing checks can be taken after floorboards have been laid, with subsequent remedial action taken if required! So if you are wondering about Soundproofing floors to meet building regulations, now you know!