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UK Building Regulations Part L Photographic Compliance

UK Building Regulations Part L Photographic Compliance

> Download Our Part L Compliance Photography Checklist Here <

The UK Building Regulations Part L is all about improving sustainability in the building industry by improving the energy performance of residential and commercial buildings. As standards improve and the quality of material performance increases, at Wade, we’ll help you keep pace.

New minimum standards for heating, lighting, and energy efficiency affect developers, builders, and homeowners extending, or constructing new houses. Part L of the UK Building Regulations requires evidence to be produced at several key stages of construction to ensure sign-off.

part l thermal efficiency

Without satisfactory evidential compliance, completed works may need to be opened up to prove proper workmanship and material standards.

We all have excellent cameras in our pockets today that double up as phones and email devices, so it won’t take too much effort to do what’s required.

Here’s our guide to keeping up with the regulations with ease.


Photographic Records for Part L

For many of us, taking photographs of the job is a natural part of the day. Sometimes it’s for the benefit of a client who can’t make it to the site, or the boss running errands between jobs. Phones most often record the problems we come across, and less often the solutions.

Part L is most interested in the solutions, on the bits that went well, that the people working on the site got right.

photographing evidence of part l compliance

Picture This

Photography has long been a useful tool for recording progress on a construction site, whether it’s a multi-million-pound commercial build or a local kitchen extension on the back of a terraced house. A contractor needs them today for the website, for the blog, and for social media.

A picture paints a thousand words and can provide all the information required for potential clients to assess whether a contractor could be a good fit for their project.

Part L compliance uses photography as a key component in the chain of evidence required to assure end users that their building is designed and built to an acceptable level of quality. The camera is now an essential tool for recording construction activities.

It creates your as-built record proof.

What Do You Need to Photograph?

Because Part L refers directly to energy-saving details in construction it follows that you will need to make photographic records of compliant insulating materials at key locations throughout the project.

photographing foundations

Foundation Level

At the external perimeter of the ground floor, you will need to provide evidence of the quality of the insulation installed and its continuity at door thresholds. Below DPC insulation should also be recorded.

Above DPC Walls

Where walls meet corners, on internal structural elements or penetrations for services, beams, etc, the insulating details must also be recorded to prove thermal continuity.

photographing lintels for part l compliance

Lintels for Windows and Doors

The most compliant lintels for window and door openings are found in our thermally broken Catnic lintels. These lintels maintain thermal integrity without any cold bridging.

That said, the Part L assessment is an aggregate of all the insulating strategies employed in the building, so another, insulated but not thermally broken lintel can still comply, as long as other measures combine satisfactorily.

Windows and doors will also need to have the cavity closers photographed before the windows and doors go in so they can be recorded as having been fitted properly. A photograph of the insulated cavity before it is closed up is also required.

Roof Level

Whatever method is used to insulate the loft, the areas the camera must record will be the least accessible. The area at the eaves at the top of the wall where the insulation in the loft meets the insulation in the cavity wall is a key location.

Air Sealing

Recording the steps taken to air seal the external walls is advised, with special care taken to record the detailing around any service penetrations such as vents, utility routes, or conduits.

taking photo of a boiler for part l compliance

Mechanical Services

Installing a boiler? Take a photograph. Do the same for any HVAC services, solar panels, windmills, or heating or hot water plant. The final assessor will want to see identification labels that state the energy rating as well as any details regarding thermal efficiency and continuity of insulation.


Enabling geolocation on your photographic device provides evidence of where the photograph was taken. This is important because it details exactly where the picture was taken and can be used to prove compliance.

If a thermally broken lintel was specified for an opening, taking a picture of it is not enough. Enabling geolocation information imprints the exact latitude and longitude of the lintel in the metadata. No one can argue with that.

How Do I Enable Geolocation?

On a phone it’s easy to do, just open up the camera app and go to settings. Once there simply turn on the location tag and whenever you take a photograph the coordinates will be recorded.

On some devices, the data will also show up superimposed on a map. When saving and sending images to record compliant works, always check that location tagging is set to the on position as some devices can revert to default settings if the app is not used regularly.

Quick Link: Enable Geolocation on iPhone

Quick Link: Enable Geolocation on Android

What Happens to the Photographs?

The images should be collected and put together in separate files for each plot or extension project before being sent to the assessor. You will need a BREL (as-built Building Regulations Energy Label) and an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) together with the photographs for submission to building control.

The On-Construction Domestic Energy Assessor will determine from the photographs whether any additional action is required to fulfil the requirements of the Part L regulations prior to issuing the label and certificate.

All documents and photographs must be delivered to the building owner at the end of the project. Failure to do so may mean that the plot is unsaleable in the future.

Exemptions and Special Considerations

Unless an existing building is classed as an historic monument, is in a conservation area, or has listed status, then it will most likely fall under the Part L Regulations.

For these buildings, the regulations require that works should comply as far as is reasonably practicable, which means that the works should not alter the character of the building or increase the risk of long-term deterioration.

part l photographic compliance checklist

Extra Help

Why not download our Prompt Sheet to help point you in the right direction for what to photograph, and when. The photographic records for Part L on any project should be pre-agreed with the designer, however, in all cases, the requirements will likely include the items included on our checklist.

If you have been asked to supply and install energy-efficient thermal breaks, thermally broken lintels, or other products to enhance compliance with the regulations, do not hesitate to get in touch.

Our team is here to help you get the best products at the best prices as conveniently as possible. We deliver kerbside across the UK, saving you time, and saving you energy too!
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