Part E Building Regulations

One of our more popular services is in the designing and installation of ceilings and partitions where, post-install, an independent sound test will be required to determine suitability for change of use or renting out the property or passing tests for new-builds

Our highly skilled team have the knowledge and experience in designing the right system for the individual’s needs and installing the system which passes the required tests.

Part E requirements are applicable in cases of ‘material change of use’. This is, for example, converting a house into flats, repurposing commercial property into residential etc. It is particular important that the boundaries between dwellings are sufficiently insulated to pass the required sound test.

All new-builds must also meet the criteria.

Part E of building regulations cover many areas of sound. If you are unsure what you need to do to pass inspection and the sound test, please do not hesitate to contact us if the brief guide below does not answer all of your questions. While this guide does not go into every requirement, our team will be able to ensure all guidelines are met.


New Build/Conversions (including material change of use)

The regulations are stricter for new-build projects than for change of use situations. Below is a very brief summary of the guidelines.

Dwelling-houses and flats – performance standards for separating walls, separating floors, and stairs that have a separating function


Acoustics in schools is also governed by these guidelines. The reverb time in classrooms is very important for students and teachers.

Appropriate acoustics in classrooms leads to:

  • Fewer sick days for teachers
  • Improved academic results
  • Improved speech clarity

Reverb time is the measurement of how long sound takes to dissipate over a specified period of time. The maximum allowed reverb time in schools varies greatly; ranging from 0.4 seconds for teaching rooms intended for children with special hearing or communication needs through to 2 seconds for spaces such as the gymnasium and the kitchen.

Upper limit of ambient noise is controlled and is treated/achieved through a combination of acoustic treatment and ensuring that all partitions are performing as well as they should be. The upper ambient noise level is measured in dB and is the  – this is basically the A-weighted time varied average over 30 minutes. The range is as low as 30 for teaching rooms intended for children with special hearing or communication needs,  35dB for SEN calming rooms through to 40dB in general teaching areas and nursery schools.

The required figures and treatments varies depending on the room being a new-build or a refurbishment with new-builds having higher performance standards

Further information on school acoustics can also be found in “Acoustic Design of Schools: Performance Standards”, Building Bulletin 93.

To see the full Part E document please click here

Get in touch with our team if you need any help with soundproofing or acoustics to meet Part E