Noise pollution is transmitted in buildings in the form of both airborne and impact sound sources and UK Building Regulations requires these to be measured and restricted. Guidance on how to meet these measured limits are within the Building Regulation requirements specified in the form of Approved Document E.
Airborne is generated from speech, television/radio and in simple terms is more often created from a non-mechanical activity. Airborne noise will travel through a floor, ceiling and wall structure and an airborne acoustic test will measure this aspect of noise pollution. Minimum standards are set by UK Building Regulations for separating floors, ceilings and walls between dwellings otherwise referred to as rooms for residential purposes. It is important that the separating structure is of sufficient (correctly placed) mass and volume, if airborne noise is to be reduced.
Impact is generated from mechanical activity from simply walking or moving a chair. This noise pollution travels through the fabric of the building and is best treated at the source, with a floating acoustic floor system that needs to be carefully selected so as to ensure the correct dynamic stiffness to limit the noise from exciting the fabric of the building. Similarly an acoustic impact test will need to be passed to ensure compliance with the minimum performance of the current UK Building Regulations requirements.
Robust Details (RD) are prescribed separating wall and floor constructions that are considered to be sufficiently reliable to avoid the need for pre-completion testing (PCT). They are only relevant in new build construction because in this instance all elements of the structure can be pre-selected and any deviation from the Robust Detail will necessitate PCT. Builders intending to use any of these design details should register the project with Robust Details Ltd.
For further information on Robust Details visit www.robustdetails.com
As we pursue ever increasing standards in the fabric of our buildings to save energy, so the components used in construction become lighter. Flanking sound transmission occurs when sound is transmitted from one space to another indirectly, through the fabric of the structure. For example the sound can bypass a separating floor by travelling within the surrounding walls or another light weight conduit within the building that passes through the floor. The effect of flanking transmission within any building and all potential flanking paths should be identified and considered prior to the design specification of any sound insulation system.