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Cirencester shops with residential space above

How to successfully soundproof residential space above commercial units

Creating residential spaces above commercial units is an important development in addressing the UK’s housing shortage. However, there are a number of acoustic issues that need to be addressed before a development can be signed off. At Hush Acoustics, we receive many enquiries from architects, designers, tenants and building owners on how best to transform these areas into acoustically viable residential units.

What to consider when soundproofing residential space above commercial units

There are a number of considerations when embarking on this type of conversion project. Converting these spaces will have implications for certain legislative obligations such as Planning Conditions and the need to meet Material Change of Use Regulations of Approved Document E.

If the conversion of these empty spaces is dependent on Building Regulations approval and the adherence to Approved Document E then it would incumbent on the developer to install both an acoustic flooring system (to the proposed residential space) and an acoustic ceiling system (to the commercial unit). Additionally, if the commercial unit needs to remain in use, then installing an acoustic ceiling system may not be possible.

Questions we help find answers to.

“Hi, can you please advise us on what’s best to sound proof a floor above a shop, the rooms above the shop are going to be turned into bedsits and the total area is 80 sq mtrs thanks, John”

Here at Hush Acoustics we value all customer enquiries and interactions and we want these interactions to lead to excellent outcomes for our customers. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for us to recommend the correct solution.

For anyone looking to convert empty space above shops, we nearly always go through our 10 step guide to advise potential customers how to find the correct solution.

What will your sound insulation supplier need to know.

Here at Hush Acoustics, we have compiled a list of 10 important information points that you need collect so that we can provide the best acoustic solution for your project.

We understand that some property owners will not have the following information, but we can help guide through.

Finding the correct products for your property conversion

  1. Please confirm that you are treating the floors only and not wanting to touch the ceiling within the shop?
  2. Is the shop remaining in use whilst the works are being carried out to the residential units above?
  3. Have you been given Building Regulations and Planning Approval yet and if so, are there any conditions to adhere to?
  4. Are you aware of your obligations to the Material Change of Use in the Building Regulations and the need to meet the minimum standards of Approved Document E? The project will need to be acoustically tested and proven before the bedsits can be let out.
  5. What is the existing structure?
  6. What is the ceiling detail in the shop?
  7. What is the floor construction?
  8. What is the maximum amount you can afford to build the floors up to offer a solution?
  9. What are the floor finishes going to be within the bed sits?
  10. If you can provide any photographs – please send them too!.

So, if you are creating a residential space above a commercial development, speak to your builder and review any documents to help us recommend the correct sound reduction system.

Providing this information will allow us to design a tailored acoustic solution to your project, delivered at the right time at an affordable price. Check out our acoustic estimation tool here

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