Building Regulations

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Unit: Building Regulations and Control in Construction
Title: The origins and purpose of building control

Pass 1
UK Building Regulations:
The first building control legislation in England dates back to the Great Fire of London in 1666. The reasons why it spread out so quickly were the proximity of the timber buildings. The government of the day realised this and introduced by-laws to try to prevent it from happening again. So in 1667 they introduced the London Building Act. However it was not until 1774 that the District Surveyors in London were appointed to enforce these laws. Around this time due to the Industrial Revolution other towns were rapidly expanding and they started to experience similar problems that London had previously. In an attempt to try and rectify this Local Acts were put into place to gain some form of control over the buildings. This meant that the building standards varied greatly from one place to the next and legislation became confusing. Later, cholera epidemics and what were known as The Great Stinks of 1858-59 prompted the authorities to pay more heed to public health and sanitation. Reforms were introduced to combat the four Ds – darkness, damp, dirt and disease. The by-laws were subsequently extended to rural areas and eventually became national laws. In 1936 a new concept of Building Legislation was developed. This produced a series of controls, regarding the construction and condition of buildings. At the same time a list of British Standards were introduced to indicate that the various aspects complied. Unfortunately these were not made mandatory and many Local Authorities stuck to their own standards. This was the first step towards the Building Regulations we have today. In 1961 the government removed the power of the Local Authorities to make building bye-laws. This meant that the Ministry were now able to make National compulsory Building Regulations, the first of which was put into action in 1966. Now the UK Building...
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