BISF Historical Documents Series 8th January 1944 Fabrication

bisf house historical document

In this series of posts we take a look at a selection of historical documents outlining the development and construction of the British Iron & Steel Federation, Steel Framed House.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

British Iron and Steel Federation



8th January, 1944

Dear Sir

Post-War Housing, Technical Sub-Committee on Strip Fabrication

As arranged, the next meeting of the above Committee will be held at Steel House on Tuesday, 11th January, 1944, at 5.00 p.m.

The Agenda for the meeting is as follows and the documents to be discussed have been despatched to you enclosed and under separate cover (7.1.44)

Yours faithfully

D J Davies



1. Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday, 6th January, 1944.

2. Report by the Committee on their recommendations regarding the


Cold Forming of Sections




3. Report by the Committee on the following items:-

(a)     Maximum width of Hot-Rolled Strip and Gauge used in your works, before and during wartime. (State if slitting used).

(b)     Whether you have ordered H.R. Strip from abroad, and whether you have any opinion to express on this.

(c)     What weight of Coils are supplied to you, your preference, and the strip rollers preferred weight of coils.

(d)     What is the maximum width of strip you can cold form into sections.

POST-WAR HOUSING – Technical Sub-Committee of Strip Fabricators

Description of Designs.

Designs have been prepared of the framework for houses using steel

sections cold-formed from strip-steel.

These designs are classified as Type ‘B’ or Type ‘C’.

Type ‘B’ framework consists essentially of Individual cold-formed members connected together at the site in the case of designs B3 and B4, and in the proposed design for ‘BI’ (panel) the majority of the members are connected together at the works into suitable framework panels to save erection time at the site.

Design Type ‘C’ is fundamentally a “Module Design”, in which the framework of the house is constructed from these module panels, which have the steel sheet outer-skin for the house attached to them in the works, This design is essentially of a specialist nature in that the outside of the building is fixed as steel sheet, whereas in designs Type ‘B’ the outside cladding is not fixed on at the works and can be of any suitable building material built to the framework at the site.

For these designs to be satisfactory for the purpose for which they are intended, it is necessary that they should possess to as great an extent as possible certain qualities ranging from the framework as a whole to the individual elements which go to make the framework. The more important of these requirements are as follows :-


(1)          Suitability of any standard framework for the application to it of the widest possible variety of building materials.

(2)          Facility with which the framework can be erected as a prime influence on the completion time for the house. Erection man-hours must be the absolute possible minimum, for the framework.

(3)          Cost of the framework erected must be the minimum possible consistent with proper design. Too much expenditure on the framework will influence the quality of the remaining materials which go to make the house, reducing either their aesthetic appeal or the “habitability” factor.of the finished dwelling. This all in terms of a house fixed in price for the completed property.

(4)          Every precaution should be observed to ensure that the design of the framework and the applied materials used in floors, walls, and roof do not influence adversely the life of the framework.


(1)          Members from which the framework is formed to have sections suitable for making simple, cheap, and sound connections.

(2)          Sections of the members to be satisfactory for the type loads imposed upon them.

(3)          The variety of sections to be a minimum.

(4)          Sections to be suitable for attachment to them of building materials.


The following requirements should also be examined :-

(1)  Propagation of holes in members by specially designs rolls, so that the holes can be made during rolling.

(2)  Suitability of the connections in relation to break­down of corrosion resisting skin at Joints. This may favour bolted connections,

(3)    The use of sections without return flanges and the deviation from the straight of the edge of a flange without this return. Sections with return flanges are sometimes a source of interference and require the return flange to be cut away where another member intersects. The return in these cases cannot be reversed to obviate interference.