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Sound Block

technical & practice - feedback

The outline of the new Approved Document Part E, 'Time for a Soundcheck' (AJ 6.2.03) was very useful in bringing architects' attention to the magnitude of the changes they face in July this year when the revised document comes into force.

This sort of article is what the AJ does best, but there was a slight omission in pointing out the problems arising from specifying beam and block floors.

On my reading of the document, and from various articles in the press in the runup to the release of Part E, I understood that beam and block flooring was unable to meet the tighter requirements for flanking transmission. This is borne out by the fact that beam and blocks get only a cursory mention in the new regulation. The RIBA website, for example, says 'guidance is absent from the Approved Document due to poor performance of this construction'.

Since beam and block is usually a cheaper option than slabs, can you explain what is happening?

Martin Earnshaw, Battersea

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