Sound insulation

The Building Regulations 2000 Approved Document E (2003) provides guidance on minimum standards of acoustic insulation for internal and separating walls of new dwellings. The regulations require minimum sound insulation of 45 dB for separating walls and 40 dB for internal bedroom or WC walls. The passage of airborne sound depends upon the density and porosity of the material. The following alternative systems should perform to the required airborne insulation standard for separating walls of new build dwellings, subject to appropriate site testing.

12.5 mm plasterboard on dabs

8 mm render

100 mm dense (1600-2200 kg/m3) or lightweight (1350-1600 kg/m3) blockwork 75 mm clear cavity only linked by appropriate wall ties

100 mm dense (1600-2200 kg/m3) or lightweight (1350-1600 kg/m3) blockwork 8 mm render

12.5 mm plasterboard on dabs

These alternatives will only perform to the required standard if there are no air leaks within the construction, all joints are filled, the cavities are kept clear except for the approved wall ties, and any chasing out on opposite sides of the construction is staggered. Vertical chases should, in any case, not be deeper than one third of the block thickness. Horizontal chases should be restricted to not more than one sixth of the block thickness, due to the potential loss of structural strength.

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