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Factory Construction (Barrel Vault Roofing)

Volume 441: debated on Monday 28 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that if the system of barrel vault roofing is employed in factory construction about two-fifths of the steel required for a steel-frame roof can be saved; and whether, in view of the present shortage of steel, arrangements will be made to use this type of roofing.

I am aware that barrel vault roofing would effect a saving of steel. There are, however, certain drawbacks to this form of construction for factory buildings, such as the difficulty of providing adequate roof lighting and the need for very extensive shuttering, involving a heavy call on timber. Only a few firms are competent to undertake the work, and I cannot hold out any expectation of a widespread adoption of this method in the near future.

Will my right hon. Friend consider taking the opinions of certain architects who have found this system of considerable value; and would he, if possible, save steel by utilising their experience in this regard?

There is little purpose in saving steel if, as a result of it, we use more timber, which is in equally short supply.