With the London property market being one of the largest and most powerful in Europe, it is normal to be a little curious about what led it to become what it is today. The history of house building in the UK is extremely dynamic and, at times, complicated. As it generally follows the up and downs of the country, we will offer a brief overview of thousands of years of house building in the UK.
The Romans and the First House Building Innovations
The Romans built many of the most efficient and long-lasting buildings – some of which we still benefit from today. They also brought the first innovations in house-building in the UK, including joining mortar and concrete. The introduction of blueprints for planning and central heating systems is also thanks to them. However, after the Romans left Britain in 410 AD, they brought many of the innovations with them, which Britain returned to use only many years later.
The Fire of London and the First Building Regulations
While there were not many regulations regarding hazards in the homes before 1666, after the Fire of London, policymakers decided to introduce stricter guidelines. These, known as the London Buildings Act, passed in 1667. Today – over 350 years later – some of these regulations have been amended, and they are still in use.
The 1878 Building Act to Increase Public Health
Another wave of innovation hit the house building industry in England after the cholera epidemic that arose due to poor sanctification in London. The epidemic caused over 43,000 deaths in a period of over 30 years, something that the Victorian’s policymakers decided to address by introducing the 1878 Building Act.
From then to the beginning of the German bombing, the UK experienced a period in which several million houses were being built – due to the pledge of Victorians and Georgians to improve poor people’s lives. This period left one of the most significant legacies in the field of house building in the UK.
1919 & 1930 Housing Act for Council Houses
Just after WWI, David Lloyd George wanted to create better housing options for the people of this country and eliminate the idea of the workhouse. The construction of modern working-class homes started, and the new Housing Act passed in 1919.
The project was also resumed in 1930, with a second Housing Act, which eliminated the shadow of slums and helped the country build over 700,000 new homes. With over 350,000 houses built in a single year in the mid-1930s, this was one of the most flourishing periods of England and helped it regain financial stability after the Great Depression.
Today’s UK Homes
Other important milestones are represented by the constitution of a Federation of Master Builders (FMB) body in 1941, which is still the largest association in the field of construction in the UK.
Plans were created since then for a more conscious city planning blueprint, which would guide the creation of new towns.
Today, the UK house market is extremely powerful, and there is an increasingly high demand for accommodation options. However, the years of evolution in the field of house-building has caused us to settle in smaller houses. So, while today, many families and homeowners look for more spacious solutions, most houses are characterised by smaller windows and more restricted spaces.
Large building site’s and housing developments continue to spring up around the country , many with an emphasis on energy efficiency and natural resources. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens in the future.