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DOMESTIC BLISS

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Complaints of noise from neighbours continue to rise. The detr has funded work by bre and Wimtec to improve the acoustic guidance in Building Regulations Approved Document E for new party wall and floor constructions of masonry and timber. While the resulting manual, 'Quiet Homes'*, focuses on England and Wales, most advice is said to be equally applicable in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Following brief coverage of general principles - mass, isolation, airtightness - the majority of the manual is a set of drawn details. Chapters on masonry and timber begin with basic principles, then each set of drawings is annotated with dos and don'ts. For example, how best to tie crosswalls to party walls, locate service runs or achieve airtightness. These are followed by supervisors' checklists. A designer-friendly document.

* 'Quiet Homes: a Guide to Good Practice and Reducing the Risk of Poor Sound Insulation between Dwellings'. BRE and Wimtec Environmental (editors). bre. From crc, tel 0171 505 6622. 71pp. £16.50 inc p&p. aj reader Offer £12.

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