Section 5

It is now mandatory that every new build or conversion divided into more than one area of different occupation must be designed and constructed to limit the transmission of noise between separating walls and floors of normal domestic activities. This now includes attached dwellings, attached residential buildings, areas below roofs and access decks and also, where relevant, non-domestic buildings. For example, the provisions of revised standard 5.1 now apply to care homes, hotels and student residences.

The design performance levels in the revised standard have been increased significantly.

The definition of a traditional building is a building or part of a building of a type constructed before or around 1919:

a) using construction techniques that were commonly in use before 1919; and

b) with permeable components, in such a way that promotes the dissipation of moisture from the building fabric.

It should also be noted that site testing results will no longer be based on mean figures and so it will be necessary to design in such a way that the poorest performing floor or wall will meet these standards.

Example Constructions contain details of the minimum laboratory performance standards of acoustic products suitable for use in the constructions and show typical junctions between walls, floors, ceilings and roofs.

Consideration must be given to the reduction of noise from services such as lifts, air conditioning and through pipes and ducts. It is highlighted that actual performance will be dependent on both workmanship on site, the quality of supervision throughout the build and the control of flanking noise.

Alternative constructions may also be used but may require additional acoustic testing to demonstrate their performance. Expert guidance is recommended where alternative constructions are considered or where conversions are being carried out.

On completion new buildings and conversions must be tested and the minimum number of tests is set out overleaf.

The number of tests required for Example Constructions may be fewer than for alternative constructions depending on the size of the development. Testing will be phased in gradually based on the building warrant application date.


New build and conversions other than traditional buildings

Conversion of traditional buildings

Minimum airborne sound transmission (DnT,w) (Floors & walls)





Maximum impact sound transmission (L’nT,w) (Floors only)





For further guidance, please contact us.