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.