The First Building Regs
Building Regulations a History.
In 2200 BC Hammurabi the King of Babylon enacted a code of laws. He stated that ‘if a builder built a house for a person and that house fell down, the builder should rebuild the house at his own expense. If the house fell down and killed the person then the builder himself should be put to death.’ This was probably the first ‘Building Regulation’ to be passed!
The First UK Building Regulations.
The first building control legislation in England dates back to the Great Fire of London in 1666. The rapid spread of fire through the city meant that the Government had to Act to prevent similar tragedies 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.
Local Planning & Building Laws.
Around this time due to the Industrial Revolution other towns were rapidly expanding and they started to experience similar problems that London had 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. Unfortunately this meant that the building standards varied greatly from one place to the next and legislation became confusing. In most places the Regulations were so inadequate that outbreaks of cholera and other diseases were very common. This forced the Government into action once more.
The First Standardised Building Regulations.
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. However, this was the first step towards the Building Regulations we have today.
A New Breed of Building Regulations.
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 on the 1st of February 1966.
So the Building Regulations were bought in to provide safe and better quality buildings for everyone something that we probably take for granted these days.
Now the UK Building Regulations are helping to produce superior buildings for generations to come. With new legislation like the Code for Sustainable Homes they are also helping to ensure that buildings are cleaner, greener and more energy efficient keeping fuel bills down and ensuring a high standard of living for everyone.