Approved Document E - Resistance to the passage of sound

This document covers sound insulation requirements in dwelling-houses, flats, rooms for residential use and schools. These requirements not only cover party walls, but also internal walls and floors, and common areas within flats and rooms for residential uses.

Rooms for residential use inculdes, hostels, hotels, boarding houses, halls of residence and residential homes.

Download Approved Document EApproved Document E

PDF file: 3.83MB, 86 pages

2003 edition incorporating 2004, 2010, 2013 and 2015 amendments: Valid from 6 April 2015

Quick links

The requirements in this edition of Approved Document E are as follows:

E1 - Protection against sound from other parts of the building and adjoining buildings
Dwelling-houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes shall be designed and constructed in such a way that they provide reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjoining buildings.

Limits on application
None

E2 - Protection against sound within a dwelling-house etc.
Dwelling-houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes shall be designed and constructed in such a way that - (a) internal walls between a bedroom or a room containing a water closet, and other rooms; and (b) internal floors, provide reasonable resistance to sound.

Limits on application
Requirement E2 does not apply to - (a) an internal wall which contains a door; (b) an internal wall which separates an en suite toilet from the associated bedroom; (c) existing walls and floors in a building which is subject to a material change of use.

E3 - Reverberation in the common internal parts of buildings containing flats or rooms for residential purposes
The common internal parts of buildings which contain flats or rooms for residential purposes shall be designed and constructed in such a way as to prevent more reverberation around the common parts than is reasonable.

Limits on application
Requirement E3 only applies to corridors, stairwells, hallways and entrance halls which give access to the flat or room for residential purposes.

E4 - Acoustic conditions in schools
(1) Each room or other space in a school building shall be designed and constructed in such a way that it has the acoustic conditions and the insulation against disturbance by noise appropriate to its intended use. (2) For the purposes of this Part - school has the same meaning as in section 4 of the Education Act 1996[1]; and school building means any building forming a school or part of a school.

Limits on application
None

Additional guidance to support Approved Document E

Robust detailsRobust details handbook

Robust details provide a quick guide to the type of separating walls and floors available. To design or build robust details, you will need to select the walls and/or floors you wish to use from the robust details handbook (see below).

Each robust detail has its own sitework checklist. These are designed to help builders to ensure that building work is carried out exactly in accordance with the robust detail specifications.

You can purchase this document from: www.robustdetails.com


Download Building Bulletin 93Building Bulletin 93

PDF file: 1.56MB, 97 pages

Building Bulletin 93 aims to provide a regulatory framework for the acoustic design of schools in support of the Building Regulations. Give supporting advice and recommendations for planning and design of schools and provide a comprehensive guide for architects, acousticians, building control officers, building services engineers, clients, and others involved in the design of new school buildings.


Archived copies of Approved Document E

Download 2013 Amendments to Approved Documents2013 Amendments to Approved Documents

PDF file: 478KB, 54 pages

Valid from 6 April 2013 until 6 April 2015

2013 Amendments to Approved Documents


Download Approved Document E 2003 edition incorporating 2004 and 2010 amendmentsApproved Document E - 2003 edition incorporating 2004 and 2010 amendments:

PDF file: 4.58MB, 86 pages

Valid from 1 October 2010 until 6 April 2015

The requirement in this edition was:
E1 - Protection against sound from other parts of the building and adjoining buildings
E2 - Protection against sound within a dwelling-house etc.
E3 - Reverberation in the common internal parts of buildings containing flats or rooms for residential purposes
E4 - Acoustic conditions in schools


Download Approved Document E 2003 edition incorporating 2004 amendmentsApproved Document E - 2003 edition incorporating 2004 amendments

PDF file: 5.62MB, 84 pages

Valid from 1 July 2004 until 1 October 2010

The requirement in this edition was:
E1 - Protection against sound from other parts of the building and adjoining buildings
E2 - Protection against sound within a dwelling-house etc.
E3 - Reverberation in the common internal parts of buildings containing flats or rooms for residential purposes
E4 - Acoustic conditions in schools


Download Approved Document E 2003 editionApproved Document E - 2003 edition

PDF file: 3.72MB, 77 pages

Valid from 1 July 2003 until 1 July 2004

The requirement in this edition was:
E1 - Protection against sound from other parts of the building and adjoining buildings
E2 - Protection against sound within a dwelling-house etc.
E3 - Reverberation in the common internal parts of buildings containing flats or rooms for residential purposes
E4 - Acoustic conditions in schools


Approved Document E 1992 editionApproved Document E - 1992 edition

No download currently available

Valid from 1 June 1992 until 1 July 2003

The requirement in this edition was:
E1 - Airborne sound (walls)
E2 - Airborne sound (floors and stairs)
E3 - Impact sound (floors and stairs)


Approved Document E 1985 editionApproved Document E - 1985 edition

PDF file: 2.57MB, 31 pages

Valid from 11 November 1985 until 1 June 1992

The requirement in this edition was:
E1/2/3 - Airborne and impact sound


Quick links to other Approved Documents

The regulations cover all aspects of construction and are constantly reviewed. The guidance documents referred to as 'Approved Documents' contain practical ways and explanations of how to comply with the functional requirements of the Building Regulations.

These 'Approved Documents' are separated into 14 parts:

  • Part A - Structure
  • Part B (Volume 1) - Fire safety (Dwellinghouses)
  • Part B (Volume 2) - Fire safety (Buildings other than dwellinghouses)
  • Part C - Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture
  • Part D - Toxic substances
  • Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound
  • Part F - Ventilation
  • Part G - Hygiene
  • Part H - Drainage and waste disposal
  • Part J - Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
  • Part K - Protection from falling, collision and impact
  • Part L1A - Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings
  • Part L1B - Conservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings
  • Part L2A - Conservation of fuel and power in new buildings other than dwellings
  • Part L2B - Conservation of fuel and power in existing buildings other than dwellings
  • Part M (Volume 1) - Access to and use of buildings (Dwellings)
  • Part M (Volume 2) - Access to and use of buildings (Buildings other than dwellings)
  • Part P - Electrical safety - Dwellings
  • Part Q - Security - Dwellings
  • Part R - Physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks
  • Regulation 7 - Materials and workmanship