asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what progress has been made in the harmonisation of Structural Codes and Building Regulations pioneered by CBE in the USA, the Middle East and South America; and if Her Majesty's Government will provide support for this, in view of the need to increase opportunities for British construction industries and professions in markets overseas; (2) what progress has been made in the harmonisation of Structural Codes of Practice and of Building Regulations in Europe as a whole; and what support has been given by his Department through the EEC and elsewhere to the Comité Europé en du Béton on which the British Government and industry are represented, to achieve this end.
After consulting with representatives of member countries, the Commission of the European Communities has recently initiated, a "Programme of Work for the Building Sector". One of its main objectives is to harmonise fundamental technical requirements underlying building regulations in member States. It is proposed that a priority area for action within the programme should be structural stability and that, wherever possible, this work should be Nos. 42–46 Ludgate Hill and Nos. 1–6 Old Bailey is the most extensive in relation to the concervation area concerned; it involves the demolition of approximately one-tenth of the buildings in the City of London's Amen Court conservation area.based on technical work carried out by the existing international organisations best suited for this. I understand that the Comité Europé en du Béton (CEB) has been engaged by the Commission to assist in this work, but the full extent of the CEB's contribution will depend upon decisions yet to be taken by the Commission.The UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) has also recently instigated a programme aimed at harmonising the technical content of building regulations on a wider front and the CEB is co-operating in this.My Department has given support to the activities of the CEB in preparing codes and other technical documents, both financially and in kind, through staff resources made available for this work at the Building Research Establishment. Decisions by Governments in the USA, the Middle East, and South America to adopt CEB codes, are, of course, matters for them.