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The newest iteration has been updated to include soundproofing targets that all schools should be meeting


not mean newer schools regulations will be relaxed, rather that regulations will increase for all.


As well as a general tightening of regulations across the board, there are a couple of major changes to be aware of:  Noise tolerance categories have been reduced, and new indoor ambient noise levels have been introduced, depending on the type of ventilation the school is equipped with.


 Controls on reverberation time allowed in classrooms are to be more stringently applied, particularly in schools with pupils with hearing and communication needs. These will apply across a frequency range 125 Hz to 4 kHz.


 Measures to control rain noise are also being implemented to reduce distractions, meaning noise from heavy rain should


not exceed 25 dB above indoor ambient noise level limit.


 There is a greater emphasis on noise reduction between classrooms, with more schools being advised to install higher performance corridors, wall, and door insulation, as well as floor insulation to reduce impact noise from footfall and moving furniture above.


 Perhaps the most important introduction is that alternative performance standards are now not allowed to be lower than the performance standards for refurbishment. This should, in theory, bring all schools up to a higher level of sound insulation.


As the threat of cuts to educational budgets looms ever present over the construction industry, perhaps these new regulations focusing on renovation rather than rebuilding will bring in a new era of sound insulation innovation. And with school building currently put on hold due to a certain global pandemic, the new batch of BB93 regulations couldn’t have come at a better time.


Paul Absolon is technical director at CMS Danskin Acoustics


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