Survey proves enforcement of Part L

Enforcement of Building Regulations for the Conservation of fuel and power (Part L) 18.25% is running a close second behind Structure (Part A) 22.47% and ahead of Fire (Part B), according to recent research from LABC Cambridgeshire.

This survey was conducted against a background of misunderstanding of the term enforcement. Many people believe that building control surveyors only enforce particular regulations when seeking a prosecution. However, the reality is that a more collaborative approach is used by local authority building control with guidance given at an early stage on any problems that are noticed. This ‘pre-contravention intervention’ occurs when building control surveyors give any feedback about a project, whether it happens in the office looking at plans or on-site. This includes

any feedback given by telephone, fax, email or face-to-face, whether to a professional, builder, tradesman or building owner. PCIs save both time and money for all parties while ensuring compliance.

The survey tracked building control surveyors in all six local authorities in Cambridgeshire in the summer of 2009. The survey found that all parts of the Building Regulations from A to P were enforced at some point during the 2306 inspections undertaken. The survey results answer critics who claim that local authorities are not enforcing Part L. The survey also shows that enforcement of Fire Safety (Part B) was third in the number of site interventions recorded by building control surveyors in Cambridgeshire. 

Commenting on the need for the research, LABC Chief Executive Paul Everall said: “For the last 25 years, governments have required building control teams to help and support industry by moving away from a rigid tick box mentality to one of help and advice. Working with architects and contractors as a team has many advantages, especially as there isn’t always just one answer to a problem. Having made this change it is ridiculous for commentators to criticise us for ‘not enforcing.’ By this, they mean not prosecuting. This survey, along with others carried out in England and Wales, proves LABC enforces constantly, but at the right time, i.e. before the building work takes place.”

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