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The housing stock of G.B. 1800-2050

Wyatt, DP


DP Wyatt


RA Burgess


Not only is housing a major activity, in which the building industry
plays a significant role in the life cycle of the housing stock, but
today, society is becoming aware of its dependency on scarce resources
particularly "energy constraints", rising construction costs and a growing
dissatisfaction with housing standards. It was against this background
that this study was carried out. This work :-
(i) traces the growth of G.B.'s housing stock
from 1800 to the present time and discusses briefly
those historical and current influences which have
shaped its condition, state and housing standards,
(ii) ." . included an extensive field impression survey to
identify how dwellings aged or decayed and failed
and how long did a differing construction form
(iii) discusses the fiscal life in the public sector
Which, may be taken as sixty years and questions how
long a dwelling lasts. What constitutes unfitness,
and housing standards are also briefly reviewed.
(iv) examines, what causes a dwelling to fail; modes
of failure, significance of failure patterns whether
attributed to twilight areas, physical ageing, economic,
functional or social obsolescence or technical
failures or due to other shortcomings, e.g, in
legislation, design, manufacture, tenure, construction
form or maintainance standards.
(v) considers the difficulties of differing decay rates,
mismatch of component/material life to a dwelling life
and their significance on survivorship are explored.
Likewise the problem of an ageing housing stock and
early failure of newer forms of construction are con-
sidered with Government policy favouring rehabilitation
in preference to clearance.
(vi) highlights the significance of the dwelling stock
state for the future and considers the mean stock age,
replacement and clearance years with the implication
of changing legislative and preference standards with a
stock which cannot be replaced in one's life time.
(vii) involved developing a methodology of both appraising
the housing stock's physical status and setting up
likely future levels of build and clearance to highlight
the problem of mismatched clearance to replacement year
ratios and the need to consider how will society reconstruct or replace its. present net stock which
cannot be achieved in one life time,
(viii) suggests responding to the inheritance of the
housing stock yesterday today may not be sufficient
in turn for our successors.
(ix) continues and suggests housing is essentially a
dynamic "stock" system which may be modelled and a
suite of programs were developed to indicate a
theoretical state using given construction forms with
decay rates based on field studies undertaken in
different parts of Great Britain and prescribed
rehabilitation strategies to extend the life of
"survivorship", and is discussed in some detail.
(x) discusses the implications of survivorship and
differing rates of decay and suggests housing standards
should be reappraised for unfitness, unsatisfactory
housing and in the life span of the housing stock
which a designer's construction form enters.
(xi) stresses that the decay characteristics of each
basic construction form that forms the housing stock's
population determines the likely mode of clearance needs
in the future and all each housing district/occupier can
do is to slow down or stop the inherent decay
characteristics, much of which is determined by the
designer and through lack of reinvestment.
(xii) suggests unless major changes take place in the
management of housing stock Condierable problems are
likely to arise, for example the concern expressed with
the inner city areas will, by the turn of the century,
be echoed for suburbia. Furthermore it is suggested the
housing stock's failure rate is not being matched by
clearance and upgrading strategies and as a result there
is a danger of instability arising. This latter view
has in part a parallel with the work of Rene Thorn on
catastrophy theory and this study lends some support to
the view; that the housing stock could be modelled to
examine its instability.
(xiii) states that unless construction forms' life span
performance increases more resources will be required to
upgrade, or alternatively unless the relationships or
build and clear are not quickly re-examined there will
MM; mother housing condition problem.
(xiv) concludes by suggesting that far more research is
needed in "the field" and in manufacture to determine
the life of given components in given situations, and
that a prescribed life and review of fitness should be
undertaken, that in spite of the considerable number of
bodies involved in both public and private housing sectors
present housing management needs to be urgently reviewed
and that the C.I. needs to review its own effectiveness
and level of technology used.
(xv) - questions the whole basis of discounting and cost constraints which make little sense without producing designs
capable of meeting a required predetermined life and prescribing the period and standard acceptance for given
stages of a dwelling's life and housing stock management
(xvi) stresses that housing may be considered as a
stock management exercise which can be structured and
examined through a multi deck housing stack. Failure to
do so will mean future reconstruction programmes are likely
to have to be on the scale of the 1950 f s and the same basic
errors made then will be repeated.
(xvii) considers that it is important that planners, politicians,
economists, manufacturers and the building industry should
understand the dynamic characteristics and the housing
model and should urgently review the clearance cycle.
Finally the study makes a number of recommendations in
the field of performance and research.


Wyatt, D. The housing stock of G.B. 1800-2050. (Thesis). Salford : University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2012
Award Date Jan 1, 1980

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