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Acoustics - Meeting the Needs of Part E

Part E of the Building Regulations is concerned with the resistance to the passage of sound and the latest edition was brought out in 2003.

This version saw the introduction of Pre-Completion Testing (PCT) for all dwellings unless the developer opted to follw the alternative route of using Robust Details. Robust Details are construction solutions which provide an alternative to pre-completion sound testing as a method of complying with Part E for England and Wales.

Robust Details Limited  is a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee and their role is to;

  • approve new details
  • manage the use of existing details
  • monitor performance of existing robust details
  • promote the use of Robust Details

There are currently 13 Robust Details for use in separating walls and of these Forticrete aggregate masonry units can be used in 3;

  • Dense aggregate cavity with wet plaster finish (E-WM-1)
  • Dense aggregate cavity parged with dot and dab finish (E-WM-3)
  • Dense aggregate solid wall parged with dot and dab finish (E-WM-9)

Acoustics in Buildings

It is important to note that aggregate blocks will perform in different ways depneding on the format, and finish that is applied to them. If there is a query over how a certaqin product will perform in a particular situation, it is advisable to speak with either the manufacturer or an acoustician.

Forticrete has built up a set of test results for their products in different situations as well as being able to call upon additional research carried out by the Concrete Block Association (CBA).

It is worth pointing out that in sound reduction, there are two quite different factors- sound insulation and sound absorption and these are often confused.

  • Sound insulation is a product's ability to provide resistance to the transmission of airborne sound.
  • Sound absorption is a measure of a material's ability to reduce sound reflected from its surface, and thus reduce reverberation within a space.