House construction during the twentieth century, within the
UK, is interesting and varied including the development of massproduced
industrialised housing evolved during the 1940's and 50's
helping alleviate acute housing problems caused by two world wars
together with erratic economic growth.
Traditional methods were extensively used in the construction
of the housing stock, and industrialised methods were experimented
with to speed construction.
During this period, very little, if any,
attention to the provision of insulation was given as energy was
cheap and plentiful in the form of solid fuel. Basic building materials
were in short supply and building regulations did not call for any
particular standard of insulation either for walls or roofs.
Industrialised methods proliferated, without regulation or control
resulting in the present substandard aging of some housing stock.
The provision of open fire-places to burn solid fuel was the
accepted method of heating which resulted in high levels of air-flow
or air changes. All windows were single glazed and constructed in
timber or steel. These windows were designed without any regard to
draught proofing particularly with badly fitting opening-lights and no
sealing strips. Whilst industrialized buildings were designed to be
constructed quickly and efficiently, little was done to improve the
design of windows or doors together with the thermal performance
of external walls.
Building Regulations were dependant on Local By-Laws
which were very basic in requirement and enforcement through local
Authorities dependent on mainly unqualified inspectors. No
consideration was given to the thermal performance of dwellings
until circa 1965, even these requirements were for the provision of
poor levels of insulation within roof spaces, no provision was given
to walls until the late 1960's.