dBA Acoustics Survey and Consultancy

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Acoustic Survey, Assessment and Sound Insulation Testing

Competitively priced, acoustic survey, assessment, design and specification work carried out by Institute of Acoustics qualified and experienced personnel.

" Just wanted to add as well David that I have been thoroughly impressed with your service on this one and will be recommending you to my wider team for any other future requirements we might have.......Much appreciated and will hope to work with you again in future. "
- Guy Davies, Senior Associate - Building Consultancy Group, RAPLEYS LLP

Fast third party accredited pre-completion sound insulation testing service. Acoustic Survey London. Noise Impact Assessment London. Sound Testing in London and the Home Counties.

" ...There just aren't enough highly skilled professionals around that also provide value for money, particularly those that work in property/construction related industries. David handled every question, email, call with patience and consideration. Needless to say I'll never purchase or rent a property again without first consulting David and I feel very pleased to have found him... "
- Sisu Berhane, Archway, London

The service provided is personalised and professional, focusing on acoustic survey, noise impact assessment, sound testing, acoustic design and noise control in the built environment.

" I have worked with David over the years on a number of complex, time critical and high value projects. David has proven without a doubt to be an expert in his field and I would not hesitate in working with him again on future projects "
- Iain Jee, Head of Operations, Neptune Investment Management

Feasibility studies and preliminary acoustic design advice to ensure appropriate site acquisition. Noise impact assessment input for successful planning outcomes on numerous projects.

" dB(A) Acoustics produced an acoustic assessment for a dance school planning application (Sept 2019). We worked with David, whose response to our enquiries was timely and he talked us through our requirements to ensure that we were taking the best approach. Their rates were also highly competitive for the services offered. We were dealing with a particularly militant planning authority that demanded a lot of detailed (in hindsight, disproportionate) information to support our application. David met these challenges head-on and supported us to address the council's concerns with the project. I'm pleased to say that we got a positive result and dB(A) Acoustic's work was instrumental to this. I recommend them wholeheartedly! "
- Liam N, Bromley

Agile business model tailored for small and medium sized projects.

" We engaged dBA to perform a Noise Impact Assessment of a Temporary Chiller Installation.
David attended speedily, understood the requirement and carried out the assessment to a high standard. He subsequently produced a report that was very well presented and easy to understand. We would certainly use dBA again for similar projects "

- Tony Jackman, Head of Technical Services, Jaguar Building Services

Consultancy services include:

  • Acoustic survey London
  • Sound insulation testing
  • Noise impact assessment
  • Environmental noise surveys
  • Discharge of planning conditions
  • Sound insulation testing in London
  • Architectural acoustics design advice
  • Reverberation control, room acoustics
  • Noise control specifications for building services
  • Room Acoustics prediction modelling in CATT-Acoustic software
  • Specifications to achieve suitable levels of privacy within office environments
  • BB93 design review and advice pertaining to the acoustic design of schools
  • BS5228 construction site noise assessment and report
  • BS4142 noise impact assessment and report
  • BS8233 noise ingress assessment and report
  • Approved Document E advice
  • Office fit-out
  • Clinic fit-out
  • Plant noise assessment and report
  • Noise impact assessment for planning
  • Acoustic surveys London and the South East
  • Establishment of background or baseline noise levels
  • Plant noise emission assessments for building services
  • Third party technical review on behalf of Local Authorities
  • Liaison with Local Authority concerning planning applications
  • Preparation of acoustic reports for Local Authority submission
  • Obtaining relevant acoustic data as required to support planning applications
  • Building Regulations requirements design advice for residential new build or conversions
  • Specifications to achieve suitable privacy within the health sector/clinic environments
  • Pre completion sound insulation testing for building regulations
  • Third party accredited residential sound insulation testing
  • World Health Organisation guidelines advice
  • Retrospective noise impact assessment
  • BREEAM assessment and advice
  • Sound insulation design advice
  • Acoustic Survey London
  • Sound Testing London

" I was in desperate need of good sound-proofing for my surgery; this had
always been a problem, especially with patient confidentiality; we even had
to limit the number of patients in the building such that nothing could be
overheard. I consulted Mr Fernleigh; he covered all aspects of building
acoustics, outlining the structural "leaks". Everything was clearly
explained, even to a layman such as I. I received a detailed report and
was able to instruct my builder accordingly. The sound-proofing measures
have been excellent. I will most definitely be using Mr Fernleigh again on our next
surgery project; I cannot recommend him highly enough "

- Dr Simon Crawley, Rosewood Clinic, Surrey

Sound testing undertaken in London and the Home Counties

Sound testing in London and the home counties, testing undertaken in Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. Third party accredited for pre completion sound insulation testing for residential building regulations compliance. If you want sound testing carried out in London, the Home Counties or the South East of England then look no further.

Survey and noise impact assessment work is also regularly undertaken on behalf of acoustic consultancies and other colleagues within the sector.

dBA Acoustics has worked on many, many projects in London and the South East of England. The consultancy has experience and, although based in the South East of England, has reach working across the UK where necessary. The consultant services offered include acoustic survey, measurement, testing, calculation, assessment, design and specification work covering most sectors.

“ dBA Acoustics has just completed an acoustic survey for a Central London residential project, testing proposed floor coverings for a penthouse apartment. David liaised with downstairs’ neighbours, the freeholder’s surveyor, our main contractor & client. In all dealings, David was both utterly professional & completely amenable. He produced a comprehensive & unbiased acoustic report which has been invaluable in pushing this job forward. We would have no hesitation in contacting dBA Acoustics again for future contracts ”
- Alison Kan, Architect, London

Acoustic assessment can be required for various reasons, either to inform a design or comply with regulations. Typically, at the planning stage local authorities require evidence that a development will comply with their own, statutory or best practice targets and/or criteria. In this instance a noise impact assessment, usually in accordance with BS4142:2014, may be required. dBA Acoustics can undertake such assessments in a timely and efficient manner.

Many local authorities and particularly the London and other urban Borough's require a noise impact assessment carried out for new items of building services plant. Usually, at the initial planning stage but also retrospectively if installed items of plant and/or noise emissions subsequently become known to the Local Authority. In this instance once again a noise impact assessment, usually in accordance with BS4142:2014 is likely to be required. dBA Acoustics specialise in noise impact assessment in London and the South East of England.

Acoustic survey London, independent acoustic consultancy based in South East England.

Through the design phase Clients including many Developers and Contractors, seek design advice from qualified acousticians in order to confirm the likely performance of some aspects, or indeed a whole development. From ad hoc advice to RIBA Stage design reviews, dBA Acoustics is able to input into just part of the development process, or provide advice for the complete design, as necessary.

Additionally, when a development is commissioned prior to practical completion, acoustic testing may be required in order to demonstrate that the built conditions achieve those targets or criteria set out at the design stage. In this case acoustic testing will be required. This can be to the advantage of Contractors, Developers and Authorities as it not only shows that the development is compliant, but can also assist in identifying where shortfalls may exist and provide guidance for rectifying any shortcomings, should any become apparent. dBA Acoustics offers testing and troubleshooting services.

dBA Acoustics is third party accredited (SITMA sound testing scheme) to undertake pre completion sound insulation testing for the purpose of complying with the building regulations in new and converted residential developments. Sound testing undertaken in London and the Home Counties. Competitive prices quoted for sound testing in Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. Fast turn around with report and results issued following the sound test.

“ Following the refurbishment of our flat, we needed a sound impact assessment carried out in order to obtain the end-of-work certification. We contacted dBA Acoustics for this. From our initial phone conversation and throughout the process we were impressed with David’s professionalism and expertise. He was very pleasant and patiently answered our questions offering helpful and detailed advice. The assessment and subsequent reporting were completed on time and efficiently. In summary, we highly recommend dBA Acoustics for its excellent service and competitive price ”
- Amir, Resident, Richmond upon Thames

Pre completion testing - Sound insulation testing

As of 2003, Building Regulations part E1 requires that all new or converted residential dwellings (including adjoined houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes) achieve certain levels of sound insulation. The required sound insulation performance can be verified in one of two ways. Either through the adoption and validation of specific construction details used in their construction, known as Robust Details. Or alternately, if Robust Details are not adopted, the sound insulation performance of the development must be validated by means of on-site pre-completion testing. If this approach is adopted, it is the responsibility of the builder to arrange for suitable on-site pre-completion testing to be carried out by a suitably qualified and accredited tester or testing body.

There are three types of sound insulation test: an airborne wall test, an airborne floor test and an impact floor test. A full set of tests is comprised of 2 airborne wall tests, 2 airborne floor tests and 2 impact floor tests. For up to 10 dwellings 1 full set of tests is normally required. Tests are not required for adjacencies that do not exist i.e. for flats where there are no separating walls I set of tests is normally comprised of 2 airborne floor tests and 2 impact floor tests. Similarly, for semi-detached houses where there are no separating floors, 1 set of tests would normally be comprised of just 2 airborne wall tests. Tests are undertaken only between adjacent habitable rooms (i.e. living rooms and bedrooms). The extent and location of the separating partitions to be tested is set out in the general guidance contained in Approved Document E but ultimately at the discretion of Building Control.


The testing and rating procedure currently used is set out in the Standards BS EN ISO 140-4:1998; BS EN ISO 140-7:1998; BS EN ISO 717-1:1997 and BS EN ISO 717-2:1997

Pass or Fail?

Once testing has been completed a report and certification will be provided which can be submitted to Building Control. Should any part of the testing program fail to achieve the requirements then remedial measures will need to be implemented and re-testing undertaken to the satisfaction of Building Control.

“ We have been absolutely delighted with the quality and speed of David's acoustic design services. These have been applied to the refurbishment of a first floor1860's apartment in London, where we were trying to achieve acoustic isolation between ourselves and our neighbours above and below. This was not an easy task, particularly as we were trying to approximate Part E of the current Building Regulations - not easy in a 160year old building. The most impressive part of David's service has been the patience he has displayed in answering follow-up queries on site, and in supervising work on site, to achieve this standard. We have no hesitation in recommending David's services "
- Jonathan and Kaye, Residents, Blackheath, London

Experienced and trustworthy third party acoustic consultant offering invaluable survey, assessment, testing and design advice. Based in London and the South East of England and operating across the UK, dBA Acoustics is here to help.

In house testing and survey equipment is calibrated at least every two years to either fully traceable, or elevated UKAS calibration requirements. All sound level meters employed are Class 1. Clients can be assured that the instrumentation dBA Acoustics deploys is more than adequate for the task.

DBA ACOUSTICS LIMITED trading as dBA Acoustics
Company registration number 11713113 registered in England and Wales
Registered office: Suite 1, 1st Floor, 42 Alexandra Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6DA
VAT number: 197 6941 43

... and in case your were wondering about the background picture. It shows the massive 9 storey basement of the Caprice Gold, Istanbul, the first muslim hotel in Turkey, the largest hotel in Europe and purportedly 7 star rated! I took the photograph during a site meeting to discuss acoustic aspects of the internal building fabric and specifically the partitions separating bedrooms. Unfortunately, the project stalled not long before completion due to legal issues with the developer.

Independent acoustic consultancy services in London, the Home Counties and South East England, acoustic survey London, noise impact assessment London, sound testing home counties, acoustic design, plant noise assessment, noise assessment, noise impact assessment, sound insulation testing, pre-completion testing and more!

“ Dear David, we really appreciate your hard work and attention to our flooring acoustics inquiry. We were very happy with your help and will recommend your expert firm to anyone seeking your professional services. "
- Michael Magdo, Resident, Maida Vale, London

Working with Planning Consultants, Developers, Architects, Contractors and Building Services Engineers, for example:

TRC Solutions
GS Contracts
HK Interiors
Finch Consulting
Julian Bluck Designs
Mayer Brown
Adsat International
Jaguar Building Services
Boom Collective
Matthews and Son LLP
Mott Macdonald
Institute of Measurement and Control
DThomas Clinics
GAPS Power
Colliers International
Air and Acoustic Consultants
Ian Barber Architects
RME Services Limited
Wilkinson King
Barar Homes
Pirate Studios
Rowbots Limited
Ipos Ltd
Willow Court Management Company
OT Associates
ABC Homes Ltd
South East Water
London Farmers Market Limited
One Night Records Limited
Vanguard Healthcare Solutions
Rika Tower Ltd
Ivar Capital Limited
Guy Piper Architects
WME Boom
Principal Proj X Ltd
Gin and Juice
The Wolf Pub Ltd
Exhibit Bars
St George
Enisca Browne Limited
WS Planning and Architecture
Squared Architects
RAA4 Developments Ltd
Rapleys LLP
Studio Stassano
Mishcon Jackson
Majestic Wine Warehouse Ltd
The Metropolitan Police Service
Benedict O'Looney Architects
The Thin White Duke Ltd
St George's University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Surrey Heath Borough Council
Into The Garden Room
Lewandowsky Architects
Hampton Court House School
Sand Martins Golf Club
Husband and Partners Architects
Avicam Homes Limited
Exedra Architects
D F Keane Builders and Contractors
Accuro Residential Limited
Hatch Homes
Design I.D. Ltd
Atelier-Set Architecture
Gunter & Co Interiors
Vertice Ltd
Waverley Borough Council
Gillian Radford & Co Solicitors
Weightmans LLP
Vita Architecture
Quantum Acoustics
Hascombe Parish Council
Sorbon Estates
Quantum Land and Planning
Turnip Distribution
Adam Architecture
Classic Contracts Limited

Acoustic Glossary

dB :
A logarithmic scale representing the sound pressure or power level relative to the threshold of hearing (ref : 20μPa).

Sound Pressure Level :
The sound pressure level is the sound pressure fluctuation caused by vibrating objects relative to the threshold of hearing.

Airborne Sound :
Sound that originates from, and travels through, the medium of air e.g. speaking voice, although it may subsequently travel through structure.

Impact Sound :
Sound that originates from, and travels through, structure e.g. footfall, although it may subsequently travel through air.

DnT,w :
The weighted (w) standardised (nT) sound level difference (D), a single number indicator of the on-site airborne sound insulation performance of a construction, usually measured across the frequency range 100-3150 Hz. The higher the value of DnT,w, the greater the sound insulation, and the more onerous the requirement. A spectrum adaptation term C, or Ctr, may be applied to the DnT,w

L’nT,w :
The weighted (w) standardised (nT) sound pressure level (L), a single number indicator of the on- site impact sound insulation performance of a construction, usually measured across the frequency range 100-3150 Hz. L’nT,w is usually specified as a maximum sound pressure level in the receiving room. The lower the value of L’nT,w, the quieter the received impact sound, and the more onerous the requirement.

Reverberation Time :
The time taken, in seconds, for a sound to decay by 60 dB. The longer the time taken for the decay, the longer the reverberation time. Reverberation generally differs with frequency and hence is normally measured in octaves (125 Hz-4kHz) or third octaves (100 Hz-5 kHz).

LAeq,T :
The equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure level defined IN BS4142:2014 as the value of the A-weighted sound pressure level in decibels of continuous steady sound that, within a specified time interval, T = t2 – t1, has the same mean-squared sound pressure as a sound that varies with time.

LA90 :
The background sound level as defined in BS4142:2014 as the A-weighted sound pressure level that is exceeded by the residual sound at the assessment location for 90% of a given time interval, T, measured using time weighting F and quoted to the nearest whole number of decibels.

LAmax :
The maximum A-weighted sound pressure level in a given time interval, T, measured using time weighting S (slow) or F (fast) and quoted to the nearest whole number of decibels.

Ambient Sound :
As defined by BS4142:2014 is the totally encompassing sound in a given situation at a given time, usually composed of sound from many sources near and far.

Specific Sound :
As defined by BS4142:2014 is the sound source being assessed.

Residual Sound :
As defined by BS4142:2014 is the ambient sound remaining at the assessment location when the specific sound is suppressed to such a degree that it does not contribute to the ambient sound.

Rating Level :
As defined by BS4142:2014 is the specific sound level plus any adjustment for the characteristic features of the sound.

An acoustic character correction from BS4142. For a prominent, discrete tone to be identified as present, the time-averaged LZeq,T sound pressure level in the one third-octave band of interest is required to exceed the time-averaged LZeq,T sound pressure levels of both adjacent one-third-octave bands by some constant level difference.
The level differences between adjacent one-third-octave bands that identify a tone are:
•15 dB in the low-frequency one-third-octave bands (25 Hz to 125 Hz); 

•8 dB in the middle-frequency one-third-octave bands (160 Hz to 400 Hz); 

•5 dB in the high-frequency one-third-octave bands (500 Hz to 10 000 Hz). 

An acoustic character correction from BS4142. Noise events with a rapid onset or subjectively sudden initiation. The faster the onset rate and greater the magnitude of sound pressure level, the more prominent the impulsivity.

An acoustic character correction from BS4142. When a specific sound has recognisable on/off conditions over the reference time period (rather than being "always on" for example).

VHF : an acronym for Very High Frequency when used in relation to radio waves designates signals from 3 to 30MHz and considerably higher than the upper threshold of human hearing.

VHFS : similar to the above though when in used relation to sound pressure i.e. Very High Frequency Sound: used to refer to sound that is in the upper range of human hearing e.g. 10-20kHz.

Lday :
The A-weighted long-term average sound level as defined in ISO 1996-1: 2016, determined over all the day periods of a year.
Levening : is the A-weighted long-term average sound level as defined in ISO 1996-1: 2016, determined over all the evening periods of a year.

Lnight :
The A-weighted long-term average sound level as defined in ISO 1996-1: 2016, determined over all the night periods of a year.

Lden :
An average sound pressure level over a whole day, evening and night, a compound indicator of the above mentioned Lday, Levening, and Lnight with penalties of +5dB and +10dB for evening and night time periods respectively.

HTM 08-01 Health Technical Memorandum: Acoustics: Department of Health requirements for the acoustic performance of health care facilities.

The World Health Organisation.

BB93 :
Is Building Bulletin 93 “Acoustic Design of Schools: Performance standards” and sets out the minimum performance standards for the acoustics of school buildings.

As defined in BB93 is the indoor ambient noise level within teaching accommodation and is comprised of a 30minute LAeq.

'A' Frequency Weighting:
e.g. dB(A), LAeq, LAmax. Derived from equal loudness contours, the commonly used weighting filter of the audible frequency range that accounts for the response of the average human ear to noise stimulus. This is the predominantly adopted weighting used in architectural acoustics and building services noise control.

'C' Frequency Weighting:
e.g dB(C), LCPeak. Less commonly used weighting filter of the audible frequency range used when determining peak sound pressure and accounts for tendency for the human ear's response to flatten off at high levels.

'Z' Frequency Weighting;
e.g. dB(Z), LZeq, LZmax. The flat frequency response of a measurement and essentially no weighting at all, formerly referred to as linear. Often used to examine octave or third octave frequency data.


Home. Tonka Toys!

- Preliminary site works at a huge development location in Kent. The earthworks shown are part of preparations for an extensive distribution centre. Always loved Tonka Toys!

Home. Gates

- The substantial double security gates one has to negotiate in order to gain access the car park at a recent project for the Metropolitan Police.

Home. impact hammer

- Using an impact hammer to measure the transfer function between a basement and residential flats above. A Client is interested in the feasibility of developing an indoor roller coaster! This testing was on behalf of Finch Consulting who went on to win an ANC award for the project.

Home. AtlasCrusher

- An Atlas material handler in the process of manoeuvring a car to be crushed or "baled" (as seen in the James Bond movie Goldfinger and also Vincent and Jules's car in Pulp Fiction. After 30 years in business this scrap metal industrial unit is now required to apply for planning permission every 5 years.

Home. NoiseAtWork

- Noise At Work assessment for the conductor of this school orchestra...

Home. tapper ghost

-The ghost of a tapping machine, or rather the effects of its previous presence. The machine incorporates a line of five hammers that drop in a calibrated and continuous sequential cycle onto the floor surface. The vibrations from the repeated impacts of the hammers cause the dust to displace leaving five neatly dust free mini craters.

Home. QMHR

- Night time view of towards London from the roof of a temporary modular operating theatre at Queen Marys Hospital, Roehampton. The facility was originally installed under emergency arrangements (without conventional planning permission) to help cope with increased demand due to the pressure of the Covid pandemic on hospital resources. The services plant serving the development had no acoustic attenuation and had to run off of a temporary generator as there was insufficient power available locally. Following the granting of planning permission to remain for a further 3 years, a dedicated substation is to be installed and the building services plant attenuated to now meet planning requirements.


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