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When Did Building Control Start?

When Did Building Control Start?


Have you ever wondered how buildings are regulated and kept up to code? It’s easy to take for granted, but the history behind building control is a fascinating one. From ancient times when construction techniques were passed down through generations, to modern regulations that ensure safety and sustainability, the evolution of building control has been shaped by countless factors. In this blog post, we’ll take a journey through time and explore the origins of building control – so buckle up and get ready to learn!

The Early Years

The history of building control can be traced back to ancient civilizations. In China, for example, there are records that show the use of architects to design and supervise construction projects as far back as the 8th century BC. However, it wasn’t until the 16th century that building regulations began to be enforced in Europe. At this time, builders were required to submit plans for each project before starting work, and if the project didn’t meet certain specifications it could be stopped altogether.

As building standards improved over the years, so too did the technology used to enforce them. In 1848, for example, London’s Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) began using a system called “clocks and bells”. This consisted of a network of bell towers scattered around the city which could be heard from a great distance. If someone detected an unauthorized construction project, they would ring one of the bells in order to notify the authorities who would then stop the work in question.

However, it was not until 1921 that Building Control truly took off in England with the creation of The National Fire Service (NFS). Under this new system, all buildings over a certain height were required to have fire alarms and sprinkler systems installed by law. It was also at this time that The MBW started using radio communication in order to make better use of their clocking system.

As you can see, building control has undergone many changes over the years in order to keep our cities safe

The 1920s

The 1920s were a time of great change in the world. New technologies were being developed, and new ways of living were emerging. One area where this change was especially apparent was in the way buildings were constructed.

During the 1920s, building control became an important part of safety management. Buildings had to meet new safety standards, and construction companies needed to know how to build safely according to these standards. Building control started as a small section within engineering departments, but it soon grew into its own field.

Today, building control is a vital part of safety management for all types of buildings. Construction companies must follow strict guidelines when building structures, and employees must be trained in safe working practices. Building control is an important tool that can help ensure that buildings are safe and compliant with safety standards

The 1930s

The 1930s were a time of great change for building control. Prior to this decade, building regulation was largely based on fire safety concerns. With the onset of the Great Depression, however, it became clear that more stringent controls were needed to prevent economic collapse.

One key development during the 1930s was the development of regulations specific to industrial buildings. This was in response to the dangers posed by fires and explosions in factories. Buildings such as power plants and textile mills had high rates of accidents and death, so it made sense for regulators to develop specific rules for them.

Beyond industrial buildings, other important changes during the 1930s involved the use of technology in building control. For example, fire alarms started to be widely implemented throughout society in order to warn people about potential fires. In addition, thermometers began to be used more often in monitoring temperature inside buildings, which allowed officials to take action if necessary.

The 1940s

The 1940s were a time when the world was on the brink of World War II. Buildings were being constructed at an incredible rate, and with good reason – it was important that cities and buildings be ready in case of war.

Building control began in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until after World War II that it became a more formalized process. Prior to that, builders had to comply with a variety of guidelines (like height limits) that were put in place to ensure safety.

After World War II, governments realized that they needed to regulate building construction in order to keep people safe. This led to the development of building codes and standards, which are still in use today.

The 1950s

The 1950s was a decade of great change in the world of building control. Advances in technology allowed for more effective ways to monitor and control buildings. In response to concerns about safety, building codes were developed that set guidelines for how buildings should be constructed and operated.

One of the most important developments during the 1950s was the development of electronic monitoring systems. These systems allowed building operators to check on conditions inside a building without having to enter the structure. This made it possible to detect problems early and prevent them from becoming serious catastrophes.

Other advances during the 1950s included the development of fire detection and suppression systems, improved methods for measuring weather conditions, and better ways to communicate with building occupants. Together, these developments made it possible to ensure that buildings remained safe and functional while maintaining an acceptable level of efficiency.

The 1960s

The 1960s in Britain were a time of great change, with many new buildings and structures being erected. One of the first pieces of legislation to be passed during this time was the Building Control Act 1959, which gave local authorities the power to enforce building regulations. This law helped to create a consistent set of rules for construction, which ensured that buildings were safe and functional.

The 1970s

The 1970s were a tumultuous decade for many people and for the building industry, too. There were major changes in how buildings were constructed, which affected the way that they functioned and how safe they were.

During the early part of the decade, traditional methods such as masonry and wood construction continued to be used, but as time went on more innovative techniques were developed. One of these was structural steel frame construction, which became popular because it was stronger than traditional methods and could be built faster.

As structural frames became more widespread, building inspectors began to focus on their safety aspects. It was now understood that a poorly constructed building could lead to serious accidents, so inspectors began issuing citations and even jail time for violators. This shift towards stricter regulation helped to improve the safety of buildings across the board and has continued into the present day.


At first, building control seemed like a daunting task. But with the right planning, research, and execution, you can successfully build your foundation for a successful life. By starting small and working your way up, you’ll be able to reach your goals more quickly and easily than if you tried to take on too much at once. Remember that it’s never too late to start building control – just take the first step!