Acoustic performance in residential timber frame developments

Date Published

21 August 2022

Document Type





The resistance to sound is not just a legal requirement; designers should take account of the expected transmission of sound between dwellings, between rooms and from outside, and design the walls, floors, windows and roofs accordingly.

The Building Regulations require that occupants of a dwelling be ‘reasonably protected’ from noise in neighbouring dwellings. The Approved Document, Technical Handbook or Technical Booklet include ways that this requirement can be achieved, as well as providing sound test performance criteria depending on where in the United Kingdom the project is located.

This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) discusses the sound insulation requirements of the Building Regulations in various parts of the United Kingdom, the basic principles of design, and focuses on how to achieve all of this on site. This WIS considers sound insulation within buildings and does not cover protection from external noise sources.

Building regulations
Design considerations
Testing procedure
Site control

Key Information

A structure can be tested after onstruction to demonstrate compliance with building regulations for acoustics.

Airbourne and impact sound insulation is achieved in timber frame construction by isolating the two dewlling sides of the separating construction and incorporating mass into the linings and finishes.

Achieving the expected level of sound insulation depends on good workmanship and attention to detail.

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Case studies

The Believe in Better Building, a new building for Sky on its Osterley campus, lives up to its name. It is the tallest commercial timber building in the UK and one of very few multi-storey timber offices in the world.

A unique timber bridge, a combination of stress-laminated arches and screw-laminated deck, crosses the River Ribble in remote moorland near Ribblehead in the Yorkshire Dales. Far Moor Bridge is far from any road; it is designed for horses, cyclists and walkers who take the Pennine Bridleway, a new National Trail in the north of England.