Robust Details Explained

What are Robust Details?

Robust details provide an alternative to pre-completion testing for demonstrating compliance with the performance standards of Part E for new build dwellings.

How does it work?

In order to use Robust Details for this purpose, you must first register your use for each plot with them. (please note: you will need a copy of the Robust Details Handbook in order to enter the relevant Robust Detail(s) you require on the form). Once your plots are registered, they will provide you with registration documentation. This will be accepted by all building control bodies as evidence that you are entitled to use Robust Details instead of pre-completion sound testing.


The benefits are clear - using Robust Details avoids the need to carry out pre-completion sound testing. This eliminates the risk and uncertainty of remedial action being required on completed floor or wall constructions, with the potential delays in completing the property. You will be investing in constructions that add real value to the building rather than paying test fees. You will also avoid the delays and uncertainties of pre-completion sound testing.


It is important that Robust Detail constructions are properly constructed because sometimes when they have been spot checked they have not met the current Part E requirements for sound control. When this happens it is usually due to one or both of the following.

1) Incorrect materials used

2) Incorrectly installed

When working to Robust Detail requirements, it is important that the exact materials are used that are detailed in the Robust Detail Manual and that they are properly installed. A common reason for failure with a concrete separating floor for instance is bridging between the screed and base floor. Bridging is caused if the resilient layer has breaks or gaps within it allowing the screed to come into contact either with the base floor or surrounding walls. A spot test failure through a separating wall is often due to the wrong density blocks being used. Low density blocks do not block sound the same as high density blocks so it is important to take notice of what is specified in the Manual.

Performance Monitoring

Due to the above, Robust Details Ltd monitor the performance of current Robust Detail constructions through feedback from third parties such as building control bodies and new home warranty providers, together with independent spot checks. The spot checks include both sound testing and visual inspections.

You can read more and apply here


Looking for a floor RD compliant system?

Check out our Acoustic Cradles and Isorubber Top products.

Written by Stephen Young

© Sound Service (Oxford) Ltd. 2009