FAQ: Part L photographic evidence

Part L photographic evidence

FAQ: Part L photographic evidence

The updates to Part L 2021 have introduced a requirement for photographic evidence to support the new Building Regulations England Part L (BREL) report. But what does this involve, exactly?   

Below, we answer some of your most frequently asked questions around photographic evidence for Part L: 

Why do I need to take photographs? 

A photographic record of key stages of the construction is now a requirement to comply with Part L of the Building Regulations for England. The purpose of the images is to show thermal continuity, quality of insulation, airtightness and building services, as evidence of compliance with energy efficiency requirements. 

Do I need to use a professional photographer? 

No. Anyone can take the photographs, however they must be in a digital format, in focus, with a clear view of the detail, and of a high enough resolution to allow a qualitative audit of the subject detail. 

What should I photograph? 

A unique set of photographs must be taken for each individual building within a development. The images should show typical details of the build, as listed below: 

1. 

Foundations/substructure and ground floor, to show thermal continuity and quality of insulation in the following places: 

a. 

At ground floor perimeter edge insulation. 

b. 

At external door threshold. 

c. 

Below damp-proof course on external walls. 

2. 

External walls: for each main wall type, to show thermal continuity and quality of insulation for the following: 

a. 

Ground floor to wall junction. 

b. 

Structural penetrating elements. 

NOTE: For blown fill, photos should show clean cavities and clean brick ties with very limited mortar droppings. 

3. 

Roof: for each main roof type, to show thermal continuity and quality of insulation at the following: 

a. 

Joist/rafter level. 

b. 

Eaves and gable edges. 

4. 

Openings: for each opening type (one image per wall or roof type is sufficient), to show thermal continuity and quality of insulation with photographs of the following: 

a. 

Window positioning in relation to cavity closer or insulation line. 

b. 

External doorset positioning in relation to cavity closer or insulation line. 

5. 

Airtightness: additional photographs for all details 1–4 to show airtightness details (only if not included or visible in continuity of insulation image). 

6. 

Building services: for all plant associated with space heating, hot water, ventilation and low or zero carbon technology equipment within or on the building, show the following: 

a. 

Plant/equipment identification label(s), including make/model and serial number. 

b. 

Primary pipework continuity of insulation. 

c. 

Mechanical ventilation ductwork continuity of insulation (for duct sections outside the thermal envelope). 

Source: Approved Document L 

 

When should I take the photographs? 

Photograph each detail as it is completed but before closing works.  

How many photographs should I take? 

You should take one photograph per detail unless additional images are required; for example, where both a long-shot and a close-up are needed to show smaller details. 

What other information do I need to include? 

All photographs should be geo-location, date and time stamped. The file name for each image should also include a plot number and detail reference, according to the numbers used in the table above (cited from paragraph B7 of Approved Document L).  

For example, the reference for Plot 1 ground floor to wall junction detail would be ‘P1/2a’. 

What sort of camera should I use? 

You can use any type of digital camera, including a mobile phone or tablet. Just make sure the photographs are clear, unobscured and are of a high enough resolution to allow a qualitative audit of the subject detail. 

Who needs to see the photos? 

The photographs should be sent to your energy assessor, the building control body and the building owner. The person completing your SAP assessment will need to sign the as-built BREL report, to confirm that the as-built calculations are accurate and that the supporting documentary evidence and photographs have been reviewed. 

Example images

Example image showing 1A – Ground floor perimeter edge insulation (floor insulation) 

Credit: AES Sustainability Consultants 

Example image showing 1B – External door threshold (floor insulation) 

Credit: AES Sustainability Consultants 

Learn more about the updates to Part L in our full Part L Guide