BISF Historical Documents Series 20th July 1944 C1 Prototype

BISF Historical Documents Series 20th July 1944 C1 Prototype 1

In this series of posts we take a look at a selection of historical documents outlining the development and construction of the British Iron & Steel Federation, Steel Framed House.

We currently hold thousands of archive items that have each been photographed and in some cases converted to text form for easier searching. This conversion method is an on-going process that will take several months to complete however we hope that you will find these never before published documents to be as fascinating as we have found them to be.


Design of Type C.1.House

Note by the Architect

In the development of the Type C.1. house, the following Is necessary

a) Maximum construction under shop conditions and minimum construction on the site. b) Complete standardisation of parts with strict limitation on the choice of equipment, external finish, etc.
e) Maximum size of structural unit compatible with transport and erection.
d) Reasonable maintenance charges, particularly for the exterior.
e)  Adoption of existing standard equipment, e.g. metal windows.
f) Simplicity of construction and erection, e.g. elimination of intricate flashings, methods of bolting together, etc.

I believe that it may be possible to meet the above requirements with a double floor wall unit on a module of about 4 feet, as indicated on my drawings Nos. 160 and 161 and the perspective submitted to the British Iron and Steel Federation Main Housing Committee, for the following reasons:-

1) All units, whether wall or window, are the same size. 2) The units fit together in any combination and their junction is flashed by a cover fillet which seals them without complicated flashings, whether they be wall or window.
3) The external wall surface is fixed to the frame in the factory. This can obviously be more accurate and permanent than a site fixing.
4) The windows are fixed in the frame in the factory. Both this item and 3) above enable the windows to be flashed perfectly.
5) There are no horizontal flashings, always the weak Joint in building.
6) Both the existing standard metal window size and the existing standard sheet material size are reconciled in the design.
7) Whilst the unit embodies the maximum degree of shop fabrication it is not, in my opinion, too large to transport or to erect.
8) The flat metal sheet with which the panel is partially covered is suitable for paint harilng, a finish proved to be satis­factory as a permanent one.
9) The wide cover fillets allow the hand hole for fixing, reduce the area of the flat sheet of the unit, reconcile the 3’3″ window width with a 4’0″ inside sheeting width, and being finished in contrasting colour and texture to the wall becomes an interesting feature of the design instead of a blot.