2022-08-20 | 5 min read

Building Regulations Part L: What’s changed and how can you remain compliant?

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Significant changes to Part L of the Building Regulations came into effect on the 15th of June 2022 for all new build projects. These are a step toward complying with the goals set out in the Future Homes Standard. It is important that construction professionals understand their new obligations and how to comply with them.

Part L of the building regulations is a critical set of regulations that govern the energy efficiency of new build properties and extensions in the United Kingdom. The main aims of Part L are to reduce the carbon emissions associated with the heating and lighting of new buildings and to improve the overall energy efficiency of the building fabric. By complying with Part L, contractors and developers can help to create more energy-efficient buildings that will have lower running costs and reduced environmental impact.

Failure to comply with Part L can result in hefty fines.

Compliance with Part L is essential for all new building projects in the UK, and failure can result in hefty fines. Contractors and developers involved in new build projects should therefore make sure they are familiar with the requirements of and how to comply with Part L before starting work.

The Future Homes Standard and changes to Part L

The UK government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050; the building sector is currently responsible for a significant proportion of these. In order for the sector to reduce its current emissions, the Future Homes Standard[1] sets out plans to improve the energy efficiency of new build homes.

The Future Homes Standard will come into effect in 2025. New build homes will be required to have a Fabric Energy Efficiency target of levels similar to, or better than, those achieved by Passivhaus standards, as well as being fitted with low and zero-carbon heating systems. The aim is for the majority of new homes to be ‘zero-carbon’, meaning that any emissions that cannot be eliminated through design and construction will need to be offset through the use of renewable energy technologies such as solar PV or wind turbines.

The building sector is responsible for a significant percentage of current greenhouse gas emissions which the UK government has committed to reducing by 80% by 2050.

To ensure that new buildings achieve the stricter requirements laid out by the Future Home Standard, changes have been made to Part L of the Building Regulations.

One significant change is that photographic evidence will be required to show that buildings meet the new standards. Photos of key build stages must be logged with additional data such as geolocations and timestamps. This is to help prevent fraud and abuse, to make the certification process more efficient, and to provide a clearer audit trail for greater consumer protection.

What does this mean for contractors & developers and how can they stay compliant?

The changes to Part L are the most significant in a generation and will have a major impact on the construction industry. A new style of compliance report has been developed to support the changes. This is known as a Building Regulations England Part L report (BREL). The BREL compliance report will provide evidence that the completed work matches the as-built energy model, and must be accompanied by drawings and other supporting documentation.

Geolocation should be enabled to confirm the location, date and time of each image. Each image file name should include a plot number and detail reference.

Contractors and developers need to be aware of the new requirements and must ensure that they are logging all photographic evidence necessary to remain compliant. While this may seem like a simple task, it is important to ensure images meet the following criteria:

“Photographs should be digital and of sufficient quality and high enough resolution to allow a qualitative audit of the subject detail. Close-up photographs may be needed where a long shot image provides insufficient detail. More than one image of each detail may be needed. Geolocation should be enabled to confirm the location, date and time of each image. Each image file name should include a plot number and detail reference according to the numbers used in paragraph B7.”

Approved Document L, Conservation of fuel and power, Volume 1: Dwellings[2]

What solutions can be used to assist with compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations?

The good news is that software solutions are available to help contractors and developers comply with the new evidence regulations. Insite is an inspection-focused platform that can be used to capture and organise evidence. Images can be organised by plot or project and each one will be displayed along with its precise GPS location, timestamp, plot number, and detail reference. GPS coordinates are automatically logged and stored, and can easily be viewed on a map from within the platform.

Not only does Insite keep an organised record of all progress, it can also produce the supporting documents required to substantiate the BREL report. PDF reports can be produced at the tap of a button and provide all of the evidence to fulfil Part L of the Building Regulations.

View image locations on a map with Insite

Get started with Insite to ensure that you are compliant

If you're looking for a compliance solution, Insite is here for you. Sign up for a trial today or get in touch with us to find out more. We’re here to help make sure your business is ready for the changes ahead and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

[1]: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, 2019 - The Future Homes Standard: 2019 Consultation on changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation) of the Building Regulations for new dwellings

[2]: Building Regulations, 2010 - Approved Document L: Conservation of fuel and power