The revision to Part E of the Building Regulations came into effect in July 2003 and mandatory testing was introduced for conversion properties.
The new version of Approved Document E sets out higher standards of sound insulation in England and Wales and defines minimum performance values which must be achieved, including a new weighting or ‘spectrum adaptation term’ which focuses on the low frequency performance of walls and floors, important in lightweight construction methods such as timber-frame.
Walls and floors which ‘fail’ must be corrected and retested. In July 2004, the ‘Approved Document’ was extended to included new-build developments and also introduced the Robust Details Scheme. By using and registering a tried and tested construction method (the ‘Robust Detail’) the development is exempt from mandatory testing but is subject to a random, but rigorous, regime of inspection and testing by a team of Inspectors employed by Robust Details Ltd. Developments which fail to achieve the Robust Details high standard of workmanship and detailing will be reported to the Building Control body and will be subject to pre-completion testing.
Our design advice service is intended principally for clients who are building with the intention of having their plots ‘pre-completion tested’ but we are quite happy to give advice to clients who want to use Robust Details or who have a RD project under way and want the confidence that they are building correctly.