An appraisal of the approach of the construction regulations controlling the rehabilitation of buildings - with particular reference to the protection of empty buildings

MPhil Thesis


Catt, Richard (1985). An appraisal of the approach of the construction regulations controlling the rehabilitation of buildings - with particular reference to the protection of empty buildings. MPhil Thesis Council for National Academic Awards Department of Building Economics, Polytechnic of the South Bank https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.955zw
AuthorsCatt, Richard
TypeMPhil Thesis
Abstract

This report investigates the problems of empty buildings particularly housing. After identifying sources of danger to empty buildings, either by way of sudden emergencies like fire or explosion, or by wav of gradual decay, the study examines the characteristics of empty buildings and their numbers in the United Kingdom. The causes of emptiness and dereliction are outside the scope of the study. The history of building control is outlined to reveal that the law has always followed events rather than anticipating the need for change. The scope of modern regulations reflects this approach. The several Acts of Parliament which exercise control over buildings are described in detail to illustrate that there are very few powers over empty structures. The law is primarily concerned with the protection of building occupants. Ways in which emergencies in buildings are dealt with and how the law is applied in practice show that even the limited powers of local authorities to preserve empty buildings are frequently not applied. A case study of Central St Leonards-on-Sea bears this out. An examination of the sources of decay of buildings in the United Kingdom reveals that buildings are liable to deteriorate rapidly if neglected. A study of empty houses at RAF Compton Rassett shows that even though the buildings were maintained by the government, they were subject to deterioration. By highlighting the costs of leaving buildings empty it is shown that if a wider view is taken of the value of preserving buildings costs of rescue works will often be justified. The report concludes that there is a need for new legislation to preserve empty buildings. Recommendations for change are given hy suggesting the consolidation of existing law and including a draft code of practice for protective works, with a view to making the existing systems more coherent and effective. It is suggested that by directing attention to a group of old buildings obviously in distress that this should highlight the need to maintain the remainder of the nation's building stock, which is likely to have to last for longer than the traditional design life of 60 years.

Year1985
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.955zw
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Print1985
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Deposited27 Oct 2023
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