Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound

Walls to keep sound out

This article is provided by H+H

Sound insulation is essential in the design of any building, commercial or residential. The government’s ‘Approved Document E – Resistance to Sound’ forms part of the Building Regulations 2010 and sets out the acoustic performance standards walls must meet in order to be legally compliant.

Celcon Blocks for soundproof walls

Celcon Blocks made of aircrete are a strong acoustic solution for houses and flats as their unique internal structure makes them a much better barrier to sound than an equivalent dense concrete or aggregate block.

Celcon Blocks have a cellular structure made up of thousands of non-connected cells. These cells give them their excellent acoustic insulation properties, as well as making them highly resistant to the passage of heat, air and water.

Approved Document E: proving the point

Compliance with the Building Regulations Approved Document E is achieved via one of two routes: Pre-Completion Testing or Robust Details. Using the pre-completion testing approach, tests are undertaken when the building is mostly complete (minus decorations and soft coverings). Tests may be airborne tests, impact tests or both and the procedure is detailed within the Approved Document E. If tests are failed, remedial work must be carried out.

An alternative approach is using the Robust Details certification scheme if the project is a new-build. Choosing from a range of options, specifiers can register their projects on the Robust Details Limited website prior to commencing work and notify their local building control. They must then carry out the build in accordance with the products specified in the Robust Details.

How to build soundproof walls

Standard or High Strength Grade 100 millimetre (mm) Celcon Blocks can be used for the construction of cavity walls , as specified in Robust Details E-WM-6; E-WM-10 & 13; E-WM-15; and E-WM- 23 & 24.

Testing has shown that H+H’s Celcon Blocks, for example, provide sound insulation of 40 decibels (dB), providing effective sound insulation for flats, apartments and houses, whether used in walls or beam and block floors. This comfortably exceeds the performance requirements set out in Robust Details.

H+H’s Celcon Blocks are also fully compliant with the relevant Building Regulations criteria on sound insulation. This recognition under the Robust Details certification scheme means that specifiers can avoid the time-consuming Pre-Completion Testing process.

Read further information on H+H’s Celcon Blocks or contact H+H.