Dense and lightweight aggregate concrete blocks can be used for constructions meeting the requirements of Part E of the Building Regulations (England & Wales)
Approved Document E to the Building Regulations (England & Wales) 2010 Resistance to the passage of sound – 2003 edition incorporating 2004, 2010, 2013 and 2015 amendments, requires dwellings to be designed and constructed so as to provide reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the building and from adjoining buildings.
The approved document introduces minimum performance levels for separating walls, certain partitions and separating floors.
The minimum requirements for airborne sound insulation of separating walls and relevant partitions are:
Separating walls between new dwellings
45DnT.w + Ctr dB (site tested value)
Walls between rooms in residential buildings
43DnT.w + Ctr dB (site tested value)
Relevant partitions (between bedrooms or a room containing a wc and other rooms)
40 Rw dB (laboratory tested value)
Two methods of demonstrating compliance with the requirements for site tested values are:
- Pre-completion testing in accordance the regime identified in annex B of Approved Document E
- Building the separating wall and flanking wall in accordance with one of the Robust Details approved by Robust Details Limited (RDL). CBA datasheet – Separating Walls
Section 2 of Approved Document E gives examples of constructions of separating walls for dwellings which should achieve the level of sound insulation required if the pre-completion testing route is to be followed.
Testing should be carried out on the first pair of dwellings on a site and thereafter at the rate of one test for every 10 dwellings provided there are no failures.
Section 6 of Approved Document E gives examples of constructions of separating walls for residential buildings which should achieve the level of sound insulation required.
To avoid the concern that a failure might occur if the pre-completion route for the testing of separating walls for dwellings is followed, it is common practice to use one of the many Robust Details for aggregate block constructions published by Robust Details Limited (RDL). Details of aggregate block Robust Details are available via the following links: CBA datasheet – Separating Walls and http://www.robustdetails.com/.
The requirements for partitions required to meet the 40 Rw dB value can be met by either:
- Building a specified approved construction given in section 5 of Approved Document E
- Pre-completion testing in accordance the regime identified in annex B of the Approved Document
Section 5 of Approved Document E gives examples of aggregate block constructions of partitions for dwellings which should achieve the level of sound insulation required.
Approved constructions to meet the acoustic requirements for partitions using aggregate blocks are:
- Plastered or drylined 100mm lightweight aggregate blockwork
- Plastered or drylined 75mm dense aggregate blockwork