Robust Details Limited
Robust Details Limited (RDL) was formed in December 2003 in response to the housebuilding industry’s request for an alternative to pre-completion sound testing (PCT) as a means of satisfying the sound insulation requirements of the building regulations (in England and Wales).
|Assessing standards of sound insulation in new homes|
|Headquarters||Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England|
|Dave Baker, OBE Chairman, |
John Thompson - Chief Executive Directors: Professor Sean Smith, Rex Nevett , John Tebbit
Number of employees
|13 staff excluding subcontracted inspectors|
In January 2001, the Building Regulations Minister, Phil Hope MP, announced that the housebuilding industry would be given 12 months to prove that its proposals for providing adequate sound insulation in new homes, known as ‘Robust Standard Details’ (RSDs) could work. The RSD project was sponsored and supported by the Home Builders Federation (HBF), and was managed by Dr Sean Smith of Edinburgh Napier University.
In May 2004 RDL opened for business, publishing details proven to be capable of consistently exceeding the relevant regulatory performance standards, which commenced in July 2004.
In September 2007 Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced the outcome of the 3-year review of Robust Details concluding that “the scheme has met or exceeded our expectations”.
By March 2012, RDL had received more than 550,000 registrations under the scheme, with some half a million new homes now completed using RDs to meet the required sound insulation standards. RDL has carried out sound tests on more than 10,000 new properties built under the scheme and has conducted site inspections on a further 10,000 dwellings under construction. 98 per cent of all tests met or exceeded the Building Regulations requirements, with an average performance 7 dB above the regulatory minimum.
In October 2012, the Department of Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland (DFPNI) approved the use of the Robust Details Scheme in Northern Ireland.
By September 2016, 50 new Robust Details had been added to the original 14 published in the first edition of the RDL Handbook.
As of June 2018 RDL has carried out 21,000 sound tests and 14,500 dwellings have been inspected. 98 per cent of all tests continue to meet or exceed the Building Regulations requirements, and an average performance of 7 dB above the regulatory minimum has been maintained.
Robust details in ScotlandEdit
A robust detail (RD) is a separating wall or floor construction which has been assessed and approved by Robust Details Limited.
In order to be approved, each robust detail (RD) must:
- be capable of consistently exceeding the relevant regulatory performance standards.
- be practical to build on site.
- be reasonably tolerant to workmanship.
The scheme has four main elements:
- Assessment and approval of new RDs.
- Publication in the RD Handbook.
- Registration/Certification of each dwelling in which RDs are to be built.
- Performance management of each RD type including sample testing and inspection, statistical analysis, action to improve performance as necessary and feedback to industry and government.
The RD scheme relies on the consistent high performance of individual RDs as used in the field. RDL monitors the performance of built Robust Details by inspecting and testing samples of registered plots. RDL employs specialist acoustic consultants nationwide to undertake this monitoring and reporting.
In order to ensure the robustness and credibility of the overall RD scheme, any detail that consistently continues to underperform is removed from the scheme.
- Housebuilder - Doctor in the House
- Ministerial Statement announcing the establishment of Robust Details Limited
- Government Circular announcing changes to Building Regulations "Sound Insulation testing and the 'robust details' alternative" June 2004
- The Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) Annual Report 2003/4
- Architects Journal (regulatory review of 2004 'The Sum of Parts - 20 Dec 2004)
- Robust Details and Robust Details Ltd: 3 Year Report
- Housebuilder (announcing UKAS accreditation for RDL)
- Queen’s Prize Recognises Pioneering Noise Research
- Queen's Prize recognises Pioneering Research in Innovative Housing Construction
- Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 Guidance.
- Acoustics Bulletin Vol 39 No 5
- Office of Deputy Prime Minister letter to Local Authorities