The purpose of this Requirement is to protect residents from noise produced in reverberant common areas. The Requirement only applies to “corridors, stairwells, hallways, and entrance halls which give access to the flat or room for residential purposes”. To comply with this, it is recommended that absorbent treatment should normally be applied only to common areas onto which dwellings open directly.

Where separating walls, without doors or windows, are adjacent to common areas it would not normally be necessary to treat the common areas, assuming normal usage. Other situations are dealt with in paragraph 0.8 of Approved Document E (2003).