Part L 2021 sees the introduction of photographs as part of reporting evidence for compliance criteria. These photos have to be taken at different key stages during the construction process. They need to be digital and of sufficient quality and high enough resolution to allow a qualitative audit of the subject detail. The BREL report needs then to be signed by the assessor and the client to demonstrate compliance against the design criteria. Photos taken will also need to be made available to Building Control and the homeowner.
This constitutes a significant change to current practice in Part L1 for new build homes. In fact, regulations are catching up with what is already common practice for existing homes or other requirements. Photos are already taken to demonstrate work carried out on fire stops, cavity barriers, and other items.
So that AES can produce EPCs, we need to establish how this process will be undertaken in each organisation, which will include answering the following questions:
There is definitely a foundation to build on but the devil as always is in the detail.
- Who will take the photos?
- When are the appropriate stages to take them?
- What guidance does the site team need to ensure the right photos are taken?
- How do we ensure we don’t miss any important photos?
- Where will the photos be stored?
Government guidance on the subject is minimal as yet and the list of questions could be easily extended. Collaboration between different stakeholders is essential to ensure that at the end of the process the EPC can be delivered for plot handovers.
Alex Brooks AES Business Development Director said “It will be imperative that we create robust procedures that ensure efficiency for all parties involved and that CMLs are met without delay. Here at AES we have a great understanding of how this can work”
For that reason, we have been on site with a Top 5 housebuilder, an SAP software provider, and another Sustainability Consultants to look together at the practicalities of taking photos on selected trial sites. We have and will further engage with relevant stakeholders to better understand the technical difficulties that will need to be overcome.
Our example report shows a typical Photographic evidence report.
Please contact AES to discuss the implications of these new standards for your development.