Archive Document Describing B.I.S.F Houses in 1946

Archive Document Describing B.I.S.F Houses in 1946 1

Below is a transcript from the original document of our British Iron & Steel Federation Archives.

The document is part of a much larger group of the original housing working committee records.

Archive Document Describing B.I.S.F Houses in 1946 2
Part of the original  BISF Historical Documents Series

B.I.S.F. Type A1 Houses


  • The framework consists of hot rolled steel sections with bolted connections, posts of which are spaced at 3ft. 6ins. centres to take standard metal windows and their trim. The framework in covered above 1st floor level with troughed steel sheeting, sheets being hot dipped, galvanised, and painted both sides with anti-corrosion primer.
  • Below the first-floor level the walls are cement rendered on expanded metal, asphalt dipped. Rendering is five coat work applied two coats from inside, and three from outside. Finish can be either Stucco or Tyrolean.
  • The inner walls are of plaster board on wood frames which are fixed to steel framework, glass wool quilts being fixed in cavity for insulation purposes.
  • Internal walls (partitions) are plaster board both sides on wood framing.
  • Ceilings are plaster board.


  • Ground floor is boarded on wood fillets set in breeze concrete, laid on waterproof membrane which covers the whole area of foundation concrete raft.
  • As an alternative, pitch mastic is laid on concrete which is first coated with waterproof membrane. The first floor is of T & G boarding nailed to wood noggins framed between steel Joists.

The roof consists of tubular steel trusses supporting steel ceiling joists and purlins, the covering being protected metal sheets, light alloy sheets, or sheets of asbestos cement.


  • Thermal insulation 13 provided by the fixing of glass wool quilts in the cavity between exterior and interior shells of the house. Quilts are also laid over the ceiling joists in roof space.   
  • The overall thermal resistance of the walls and roof are: –
  • Rendered wall and linings   – U – .186.
  • Steel sheeting and lining  – U – .196.
  • Ceiling and roof – U – .206.
  • Sound insulation between two semi-detached houses is by means of a cavity wall constructed in breeze slabs.


  • Heating is effected by a single multipurpose Neo Fire, burning solid fuel in an open grate. This provides radiant heat to living room, domestic hot water, and central heating by three radiators, in dining recess and front and back bedrooms.
  • Quick bath heating can be obtained by valve control.  Domestic hot water is obtained through an indirect heating cylinder.
  • 4″ diameter earthen-ware pipe is laid in concrete bed terminating at face of concrete raft to provide air inlet to Neo Fire. The Nee Fire gives 7,000 b.t.u. per hour radiant heat, this is sufficient to raise the temperature of living room to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with an outside diameter of 30 degrees.
  • At the same time, it will drive the radiators (total 40 sq. ft. of surface) and maintain the bedrooms and dining recess at 45 degrees Fahrenheit with outside temperature of 30 degrees.
  • The fire will provide 20 gallons of hot water at 80 degrees in two hours, and with valve closed, will give 2 1/2- gallons at 130 degrees in 1-1/2 hours.
  • In addition to this heating system, power plugs are provided in the bedrooms and dining recess.


  • The hot water supply is described above. The system is fed from a cold storage tank in roof apace. The rising main to cold storage tank is carried up inside flue easing. The hot water cylinder is at 1st floor level. Pipe work for the system varies with the locality in which the houses are cited, but copper and galvanised barrel have been used extensively.
  • The wastes, bath, lavatory basin and W.C. on first floor level are taken into a 4″ heavy L.C .C. soil pipe. This pipe is carried up above eaves to form vent. (Pipe is internal).
  • The sink waste and outside W. C.  are also connected to this pipe at ground floor level. No anti-syphon pipe is provided.

Day Lighting
It is regretted that information on the day lighting standard of the various rooms is not readily available.