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Residential Dwellings | Building Regulations Part E

Acoustic design advice for residential dwellings

Anyone managing a new build or material change of use project to create residential dwellings, is legally required to ensure that the building meets the acoustic performance criteria set out in Building Regulations Approved Document E.

Sound Solution Consultants (SSC) have years of experience in providing reliable design and testing services to assist you in meeting these essential, legal requirements.

New builds

For new build residential projects, there are two means adhering to one of two main building methods: Robust Details certification scheme and Pre-Completion Testing (PCT).

Robust Details

Robust Details provides a certification scheme which assures compliance using a set of construction methods listed in the Robust Details manual. These construction methods are very detailed (specific right down to the type of wall tie or insulation to be used, for example) and all details must be followed in full compliance with the Robust Details Manual. This level of engineering is specifically provided to ensure that Approved Document E performance criteria are met (in 99 % of cases) upon conclusion of the project.

If the process of registering and building Robust Detail constructions is followed, then it will not be necessary to pay for pre-completion sound tests once the project has been completed. In this regard, the process of following Robust Details can be cost-beneficial and simple for new build projects of any scale.

Pre-completion sound testing (PCT)

Pre-completion Sound Testing (PCT) requires that buildings are tested prior to completion to ensure they meet Approved Document E acoustic performance standards. The Regulations require that a pair of tests is provided per ten separating constructions, with the person carrying out the building work responsible for arranging the testing. PCT should only be carried out by a qualifying test body, preferably UKAS accredited or registered under the ANC sound insulation testing scheme.


If you’re managing the process to convert houses into flats or ‘rooms for residential use’, then the last thing you need to be worrying about is passing a sound test following Approved Document E.

Meeting the acoustic performance requirement in a conversion is a legal requirement for the following building types where the process of PCT must be followed:

  • House to flat conversions
  • Hotels and hostels
  • Boarding houses
  • Halls of residence
  • Residential homes

Design process

SSC offer full acoustic design consultation and sound testing services, in which we can provide you with all the assistance and documentation that you need to ensure that your residential development meets the legally required acoustic performance standards.

Our approach to design and testing is listed in five steps, as follows:

Step 1 – We will review your architects’ drawings to ensure that the basic acoustic principles have been followed so far. From there, we will be able to work out if the acoustic performance needs to be altered, especially in cases where the changes are likely to save time or material costs.

In conversion projects we’ll also visit your site prior and analyse the current state of building construction. This enables us to get a complete picture of which acoustic treatments will be necessary. We’ll work out the cheapest and most efficient way of converting the building using the products and systems currently available.

Step 2 – We will provide a full report that details all the aspects of acoustic treatment that will be required for the project to meet Requirement E1 to E3 of Approved Document E acoustic criteria. This report will include both cross section diagrams and sketches.

Step 3 – We will visit your site whilst construction is taking place in order to ensure that the construction methods being used are in-keeping with those originally specified. We’ll remain on hand to assist the builder in ensuring that the required level of detail is met.

Step 4 – Where possible, we will work with you to supply building materials at reduced costs, helping to save the project even more money.

Step 5 – We’ll provide a competitive quote for carrying out the final test and, if you’re happy to proceed, we’ll carry out the test (where the project is relevant).

Why work with us?

  • Established since 2004
  • Friendly, Professional & Knowledgeable Consultants
  • Competitive Pricing & High-Quality Services
  • Maximum 4 Working Day Promise on Sound Testing*
  • Free Advice for Sound Test Failures**
  • Quick Turnaround on Material Deliveries
  • UKAS Accredited
  • We Work Across the Whole of the UK
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* Maximum 4 working days from confirmation of booking to site attendance on all sound insulation testing. Quotation T&C's apply. Working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank/public holidays and office shut down days.** Excludes written advice or revisits.

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Call: 01473 396 332 Email: [email protected]

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What our clients say

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and your team for all the extra help you have given me in dealing with my rather sensitive issue of noise transmission to my downstairs neighbour. It has been invaluable. In recognition, I have made a £50 donation to the charity: Action on Hearing Loss.

Jodi Riches - Client

Have worked with Sound Solution for the last 7 years and have found them to be very professional and excellent at their work. Always happy to provide me with advice pre and post purchasing new buildings and during development projects. We have worked on various scale of projects and so far have found nothing that phases them. The reports are well written, clear and easy to follow. A great asset to our extended team.

Sanjeev Bhamm, Pelham Associates

We are delighted to work with SCC Ltd in resolving the ever more complex requirements for careful acoustic design. Their knowledge coupled with a helpful approach assists us in delivering tailored solutions which fit within our design constraints.

Chris Parsons, Parsons Whittley

We have been working with Sound Solutions for a few years now, as they offer a professional and consistent service. They are always happy to respond to site-based questions and are quick to reply to emails and phone calls. It is reassuring to our clients that they provide both the specification prior to construction and test on completion.

Ben Harvey - Architect, Liam Russell Architects

We have worked with Mark and the team at Sound Solutions for many years and have always been very happy with their professional service and first-rate advice. I have personally recommended them to many other clients.