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THE RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING

Author(s): A. B. WATERS
Source: Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, Vol. 118, No. 5171 (OCTOBER 1970), pp. 659697
Published by: Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41370664
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THE RLE OF THE ARCHITECT


IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING

I Three Bossom Lectures by I

Il A. B. WATERS, , GM, F RI A, F I Arb III

111

111

THE FIRST LECTURE

delivered to the North West Centre of the Society at the Univ

Manchester Institute of Science and Technology on Friday 20th

with D. R. Harper , Arch, PhD , FRIBA, AMTPI> Professor

University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technolo


in the Chair
The Chairman: This is the first of the

stream of his work over the last many years h


firm
has been
formal regional lectures which the
Society
has getting closer to the interests o
arranged and we are naturally delighted
industry
that
as related to design. I mean design
this area should be the first meeting
their
place.
fabric
Thislargely, but integrated also, I thin
Institute itself is very closely relatedwith
to industry,
the processes. I have no doubt that in
to us he is particularly interested frcm
and we like to feel that not only in talking
the character
of its development, but perhaps toothe
inpoint
its of
buildview of this particular integration
of thought
what a firm of
does, what it needs to do and what
ings, some of the character and the
the university as a whole rubs off. kind of envelope is required. Probably he would
Mr. Waters would not want me to
not
spend
mind my
any
saying that his work is fairly
modest;
but then
length of time referring to what he
has done
in much of our industrial work
should
be, the
more flamboyant it is the less
the past. He and I are more or less
of an
age.
it is to allow for that flexibility that
We have grown up, as it were, on thelikely
architecture
industry
of the 1930s. We still rub shoulders
on aneeds.
fewMay I say in reference to Mr.
Waters' subject
occasions, significant ones, like tonight;
and tonight that we must be careful
to read and
its title
correctly; it is 'The rle of the
every time I recognize him as a friend
one
architect He
in industrial
building'. A very popular
who talks the same language as myself.
has
subject of
now conis industrialized building, which is
been particularly interested in aspects
something
quite different. Mr. Waters is contracts as related to the various parties
concerned,
cerned with
for industry.
and on another occasion would be willing
to buildings
talk
about this aspect of his subject. But in the main
The following lecture , which was illustrated , was then delivered.
INTRODUCTION

series, they are to be given in three centres at

comparatively lengthy intervals, and this


poses for me an organizational problem. In
For which going
which
the has to avoidance
hascome
come
talk to aboutto
be ofbe
knownknown
doubt, prfabrication,
asas IndusI am Indus- not
such circumstances it is not enough to give
three separate lectures, since these would
trialized Building. In my definition indusnot necessarily be, each one, broad enough
trial building means any building used by
in scope to interest three separate audiences,
industry for production, storage and distriwhile to give the same lecture three times
bution, which might also be called factory
would result in treating the subject in less
buildings. Although the lectures are one
going to talk about prfabrication,

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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

Mill at half ord, Gloucestershire. ( Reproduced by permission

depth than it deserves, and


well
prove
But may
in a subject
of this
complexity, where
to be very dull for the audience
does one begin
that
?
hears it
delivered for the third time.
Factory buildings are liable to be thought

There is also the problem of approach:of in different terms by different people.


whether one should give a philosophical talk
Management has to justify the expenditure,
about factory buildings as architecture,
and provide finance to cover the cost of the
possibly by comparing the run of the mill project. The plant engineer is concerned
buildings that satisfy most people with those with the design, installation and operation of
buildings that have proved to be acceptable the machinery required to produce the
to the critics, or to discuss in simple terms product that is to be manufactured. The
the requirements of factory buildings, the sociologist is concerned with the location of
materials that are available to construct
the building, for ease of access for personnel
them, and the various ways open to the
and with the building as a place of work.
industrialist to get his building.
The architect and his associated profesI regard the second approach as one that sional colleagues with planning, the form,
is more meaningful, and one that has more and the cost of the building and its surroundin common with the aims of this Royal
ings. The builder is concerned with interSociety, and this is the one that I propose to preting in terms of 'bricks and mortar' the
adopt.
intentions of the architect and as part of the
work that is available for the construction
To have pursued the first one may well
have meant talking mainly about the more
industry to do. Finally the public at large
expensive buildings produced at costs that
has to look at what is built as part of the total
environment in which it lives and works.
we are not yet ready generally to accept in
Each of these considerations will be
this country.
My intention is to divide the subject
touched on again as the subject develops and
broadly into three separate groups of sub-the designing, financing, building, equipping
jects that can be treated in some depth in and commissioning of industrial buildings
each lecture and, at the risk of some repe- are discussed.
tition, to give sufficient by way of introduction and conclusion to each lecture that will

THE FUNCTIONAL TRADITION

enable the subject to be covered broadly on


Before dealing with the present it wil

each occasion.

interest to look briefly at the past.

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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - I

Jarrols Printing Works , Norwich (1834)


There is a tradition of fine industrial

equally a product of the hard-headed relation-

ship of ends and means that functionalism in


buildings in this country built in the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, andthis sense implies.
many of them still exist and continue to Two examples are given to illustrate the
transition from the nineteenth to the twenproduce the same commodities for which
they were first built. J. M. Richards, in his
tieth centuries, of an early reinforced conbook The Functional Tradition , has this to
crete structure at Swansea, and of C. F. A.
say:
Voysey's factory at Chiswick for Sanderson's
Wallpaper (see pp. 662, 663).
It goes without saying that the functional
element has always been present in architecture Thereafter most illustrations are of work
in the sense that buildings have always had a in Europe, all by architects who have since
practical function to fulfil. But the photographs been recognized internationally. After look-

in this book illustrate an architectural tradition

ing at these illustrations one is left with the


to be found in nearly every period of history,
thought that perhaps the Continental induswhich is functional in a special sense. Buildings
trialist was then more enlightened when
belonging to this tradition derive their artistic
commissioning the design of his building,
character directly from the way the challenge of
and saw, in a different light from his confunction is met, and all the qualities they have
British counterpart, the contribuin common - forthrightness and simplicity,temporary
the
tion that the building has to offer.
emphasis on the basic geometry of architecture
rather than the ritual of historic styles, the use
THE APPROACH TO DESIGN
of building materials in a way that brings out
most strongly their intrinsic qualities - are
In the RIBA Exhibition, which I hop
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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

[Caroline Hambury

Granary and Flour Mill at Swansea {1895-7), Hennebique and

will all have seen, there are listed the criteria important than i
for factory buildings that are thought to be is the former whi
necessary to achieve efficient production, cost that must be a
and therefore profitability, in a working product when it is

environment that is good both socially and These are gener


technologically. The building must not be industrial buildi
too specialized, because it must be capable examined in deta
of adaptation to changing techniques in This is best done b
production, and to tailor a building too acting together, for t
closely to immediate requirements is to successful if each
invite obsolescence and, in changed circum- approach of the o
stances, be left with a building which cannot This is a commu
be disposed of easily. time is well spent in ensuring that there is
Mention is also made of the need to complete understanding - on the one side
consider speed of design and construction of the needs that the building has to fulf
and flexibility for growth within the cost and on the other, how it is intended tha
limits laid down, and this underlines the these needs shall be met. Frequently,

fact that there is an economic cost at which time between the appointment of the ar
the building is an economic proposition. tect and the date for occupation of the com
It is, however, important to define cost in pleted building is all too brief, but thi
this context, for cost in use ought to be more particular aspect cannot be short-circuit
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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - I

Sanderson's Wallpaper Factory , Chiswick (1902). C. F. A . Fojysey, Architect.


(. Reproduced by permission of Jane Beckett )

To enable the architect to start effectively


out feasibility studies to assist the client in
on his design he needs to know from
the
reaching
his decisions.

client :

the size of the


for which it
the acceptable
where it is to

ON THE SELECTION OF THE SITE

building and the purposes


is to be used ;
Obviously the first stage is the sitin
cost ;
factory, and unless the new building
be sited;
erected on an existing site (and even
have difficulties under the Industrial Dewhen it is required.

With this information the architect can


make recommendations for suitable struc-

velopment Certificate procedures) a site has

to be chosen. (Without an IDC a planning

tural materials and the main structural grid,


permission cannot be granted, except in very

for cladding and finishes, and the basislimited


on
circumstances.)

which the contractor will be employed when


Leaving aside the effect of Government
the building is erected. If these matters have
policy (which seeks to direct industry into

not been decided, then a design brief must


the development districts from the traditional industrial areas of the Midlands and
be prepared by the client and architect
working together (an American architect the heavily populated South-East, where
once said that for this purpose 'the architect most industrialists probably prefer to be),
should be skilled in cross-examination'), and then the considerations which affect the
it may be necessary for the architect to carry choice of a site are :

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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

Fagus Shoe Factory , Alfeld an der Leine (1911-13). Gropius.


Described by Maxwell Fry as ' the prototype of all factories to come '
(. Reproduced by permission of David Carnwath)

SITING OF BUILDINGS
availability of labour ;
availability of raw materials ;
It is not proposed in these lectures to di
good transport connections to customers,
the land use problems involved in d
and for export, to docks and airports.
mining suitable locations for indus

To these primary requirements can


be
buildings.
These are very complex,
shown by a recent article in The Ti

added, for some types of industry,

adequate supplies of water of the


right'Oil Refineries: need versus local
entitled
amenity'.
the ability to dispose of trade effluents.
While the architect is clearly concerned
For distribution buildings, communicawith the discussions that are reached, his
tions between factory and depot and
cus- will normally be to ensure that,
contribution
type;

tomer are of primary importance,


and
a location
having been determined (fre-

roads leading to the site must be capable


of strong local opposition), the
quently against
accepting large vehicles. These facilities
will to the building are so sited,
surroundings
not now readily be available and thedesigned
number
and laid out that it makes as little
of good industrial sites is decreasing.
Planadverse
impact as possible.
ning restrictions will also affect location,
since most planning authorities will seek
to
SIZE OF BUILDINGS TO BE
segregate industry from housing, although it
CONSIDERED
has been argued that, with the increase in
It there
is, I think, at this stage that some l
female working on a part-time basis,
must
be set on the size of the buildings
are many types of manufacture which
could
discussed
in these lectures. Industrial b
quite properly, and more conveniently, be
ings range in size from mammoth un
sited in housing areas.
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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - I

Hoffman la Roche Factory , Basle (1936-7). O. R. Salvisberg, Architect


LAYOUT
takings requiring a very large area of land
in ! OF

INDUSTRIAL ESTATES

one location to the small 'nest' or 'nursery'


Laying out an industrial estate is a co
factory of around 2000 sq. ft. But the
large
problem
in which attention must be gi
installations are very few, and onlymovement
oneof traffic, human and veh
the distribution of services of all ki
tenth of one per cent of all factoriesand
employ
Some estimate must also be made - and
more than 2000 people.
So far as most industries are concerned,
however well informed it might be it will be
a guestimate'
- of the areas of individual
300,000 sq. ft. is a very large building,
and
the average is perhaps 60,000 to 80,000
sq.for
ft. which there may be a demand, but
sites
The Industrial Estates Corporation has
with flexibility to enlarge or decrease the site
areas if the initial assessment turns out to
concluded that, for advance factories (a
factory built in advance of demand with no have been a bad one.
particular occupant in mind), the requireThe first industrial estate in this country
ment is likely to range between 5000 sq. ft. was Trafford Park, which was laid out in
and 60,000 sq. ft. For this reason I propose 1896 to encourage development at the end of
in these lectures to think in terms of buildthe Manchester Ship Canal. This was
ings of this order of size not only because of
followed by the Slough Trading Estate in
their greater number, but because it is easier
1920, which was a surplus army site with
to assess matters on a smaller scale if the
surplus buildings and surplus materials for
problem is limited in this way.
sale. As the buildings were sold and sites
In such cases the siting is perhaps simpler,
became available new buildings were erected,
because it makes it possible to consider which
a site in turn created a further demand.
on an industrial estate. Such estates may
be provide a pattern which was
These
private ventures or local governmentfollowed
ven- by other developers and by Governtures, either by existing local authorities
orwhen, in the '30s, it was seeking to
ment
by the New Towns, or one of the estates
attract employers to areas of low employadministered by the Industrial Estatesment.
Cor- The rigid grid pattern of the roads,
porations - one each for England, Scotland
used by traffic and pedestrians alike, resulted
and Wales.
in a series of unrelated blocks, with large
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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

Trafford Park Industrial Estate. (. Reproduced by permission of

areas left vacant around them to provide for

Having started to talk about road


expansion. Attempts are now being made to it is tempting to go on to discuss th
improve layouts, and while there are now a requirements of planning for motor
number of well laid out estates, two have
but this is better deferred until th
been selected to illustrate what is being
characteristics of industrial build

done.

been discussed.

At Teesside, Napper Errington Collerton Barnets master plan for the English CIRCULATION WITHIN THE FACTORY
Industrial Estates Corporation provides a The most important aspect of factory
modified Radburn layout with car-free areasis, without exception, the plan, by w
within the superblocks. The layout for the meant both the internal planning
Astmoor Industrial Estate at Runcorn New
building and the placing of the buildi
Town separates traffic and pedestrians, with
the site. This can be summed up in
vehicle access at the rear of the factoryword, 'circulation', for the basis of f
blocks and pedestrian access at the front.
planning is circulation, of the product
The internal roads are linked to a main road
manufacture, of personnel and of se
running through the estate, and there is in
such as electricity, steam, water, comp
addition a 'Rapid Transit' used by 'buses
air, gas and drainage. It begins with the
only. A large part of this estate is laid out for arrival and storage of raw materials, flows
advance factories of two types - nursery through the processes and ends at the desfactories of 3,200 or 6,400 sq. ft. and
patch bay. Into this main chain of activities
standard factories in multiples of 12,800 sq.
are woven the circulations of personnel and
ft. But provision is also made for larger services.
buildings, including one site of some 16
But a plan is only two-dimensional, and
acres.
the design of an industrial building cannot
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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - I

Hoover Limited , Perivate ( 1930 ). Wallis Gilbert and Partners , Architects.


(. Reproduced by permission of Aerofilms Ltd.)

proceed very far without consideration


of theGiven a site which is large
building.
third dimension of height, since an early
part
enough,
a single-storey building is almost
of the study of possible methods ofalways
circulathe answer, and it should be re-

tion must involve the consideration of the

marked that a brewery or mill is really a


level at which circulation is to take place:
single-storey building of considerable height,
should services be run in or below the floor ?
with plant that requires operating platforms
at different levels.
Should goods in transit - whether work in
progress or finished goods - be transported Most production and storage buildings
below, on, or above the floor ?
are built as single-storey because of the
Such considerations dictate the height of
flexibility this gives for moving the process
the structure, and with the three dimensions
around, and because of the freedom from
starting to be determined, the shape of the
supports. But in a country like Switzerland,
building begins to emerge.
where building land is at a premium, the
While, it is suggested, there is little freemulti-storey building has to be accepted.
dom to change the plan requirement for As
a an example, the Tobler warehouse in
building, the shape of the envelope can beBerne is five storeys high, including three
basements, and the rail cars which serve two
altered (provided minimum heights are
preserved), and this may have to be done to sides of the building have to do a right-angle
suit the structural system which is chosen.
SINGLE-STOREY OR MULTI-STOREY

turn on a turntable.

DETAILED STUDY

BUILDING

When the broad decisions have been taken


At this stage also the decision
must the
be size
taken
regarding
and shape of the building,

as to whether the process isthe


todetailed
be accomstudy can begin. While the
modated in a single-storey or
a multi-storey
design
and provision of the plant will not
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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

Van Nelle Coffee Factory , Rotterdam {1927-8). Brinkman and Van

necessarily be the province of


the architect
in building
for light industry and manufac(although it is becoming increasingly
so in
turing is estimated
to be 17$ million.
the warehousing field), it is essential
for
It is perhaps
the him
recognition of this factor,
to understand the process ifamongst
he is others,
to dothat
his
has led to two imporjob efficiently. This applies particularly,
for Industrial Buildings
tant discussions about
example, in brewing, where
large
vessels
that
appeared
at the end of last year, one in
the Architectural
Review under the title
have to be accommodated and
frequently

have to be installed in advance and the

'Manplan 3' and the other in Design . the

building erected around them. Eachmagazine


unit or of the Council of Industrial
section of the progress must be studied
Design. to
determine floor loading, acceptable spans
The NBA proposals recognize seven
and headroom, lighting, heating and fire
preelements
in a factory building:
cautions and any other special provisions
Structure :
that may be necessary, and an overall
A stanchion grid of 60 x 60 ft. or 40 x 48
scheme begins to emerge.

ft. is envisaged (with clear heights of

BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR


FACTORY BUILDINGS

14 ft., 16 ft. or 18 ft.) capable of extension


in any direction, and with a sub-module of
12 X 12 ft.

The basic requirements for a factory buildThe structure


is required
to carry a uniing are well illustrated in the
Report
pre-

formly distributed
load of 10 lb. per sq. ft.
pared in 1966 by the National
Building

or equivalent point
loads at 6 ft. to 15 ft.
Agency on behalf of the Industrial
Estates
centres.
Corporation. In the introduction to the
This is in addition to other loads imposed
Report it is stated that 'in 1965 the capital
by the structure and the services.
invested by industry in new factory buildings and works was 525 million, and there Roofing:
is every indication that by 1970 this level of

With this shape of grid a flat-roof deck is

Programme in size and therefore it is of vital

required. (It is interesting to note that, at

investment is second only to the Housing

national importance that these new factory


buildings should be designed and constructed as efficiently and economically as
possible'. Of this amount annual investment

envisaged, but self-draining falls are


Irvine New Town, where the grid for

advance factories is 80 x 80 ft., the architect, David Gosling, has used a 70 pitch
portal.) Roof glazing is envisaged, insula-

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OCTOBER 197O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - I

tion is specified and fire vents and fire THE NEXT STAGE
curtains are required.
Having posed the problems that
siting a building and defining the basic
Cladding:
requirements for a typical industrial buildDaylighting is envisaged only for ancillary
ing, the next stage would be to discuss in
accommodation.
some detail how the problems might be
Goods doors are to be 12 ft. wide and of
the full height of the building.
Service Zone :

The introduction to this section is of


interest and will be referred to in some
detail in a later lecture.

answered.

I do not propose to deal with this in

detail in this lecture, but given time I will


show some illustrations of buildings to cover
pictorially the shapes of buildings, ancillary

buildings, external treatment, internal lightThe services are one of the most important
ing and siting and landscaping.

elements in factory premises, accounting


for nearly 20 per cent of the total building

THE ARCHITECT'S CONTRIBUTION

It is appropriate at this stage to discuss the


contribution
which the architect has to
. portance that they be integrated with
the
cost. It is therefore of the utmost im-

other elements and not considered in

ofer - The Rle of the Architect'. In the

issue of Design , referred to above, a works


manager is quoted as saying, 'Give an archiThe design of the services, the services
tect a factory to design and the man will
zone, vertical distribution and control
positively sweat blood to make it look more
must provide easy access and replace-

isolation.

like a factory than any damn factory that you

ment.

Services referred to as essential:

ever saw. And after that he'll probably

plaster the canteen with engravings of

Heating and ventilation: steam, air,


hot Having seen from the illustrations
factories.'
how different factories can be, one from
Lighting: light fittings, wiring, trunking;
another, we may ask, what does a factory
look like ?
Energy: electric power, trunking;

water, etc.;

Domestic hot and cold water;


Fire fighting: hose reels, sprinklers.

The architect has much more to do than

provide the box which is to house the

process, because allowance must be made by


anticipating and allowing for the inevitable
Telephone, compressed air, air conchanges in industrial processes. He must be
ditioning, humidification, public address
able to control the project throughout, and

Reference is also made to:

system.

be allowed to do so if the result is to be a

The service zone is required to be above successful one. First by assessing needs and
the clear height specified, with a minimum then translating them, within the agreed
depth of 2 ft., the desirable average being cost and time limits, into a building programme. For this purpose he must be the
given as 3-4 ft., which should not be
main link between the client and contractor,
obtained by stepping the roof. Services
must be installed so that they are accessible by liaising with all parts of the client
for maintenance without interfering with organization, and channelling and co-ordinating all the specialist skills, which will
the maintenance of any adjoining component. Heating, ventilating and lighting include structural work, mechanical, eleccriteria are given, the latter being increasedtrical and other specialist contributions to
the design of the building. It will also be
in the case of a windowless building.
to give cost advice, which must be
Requirements for partitions and ceilingsnecessary
are
not only in terms of first cost but also of
given, but not for floors, except as a fixing
for other elements, although this, with cost
the in use.
These may be regarded by some as
possible exception of the roof, constitutes
claims, but I offer no apology
perhaps the most important element of extravagant
the
building.
I for making them.

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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O


DISCUSSION

ventilation, I ws told, 'There is ventilation


The Chairman : I am conscious of the fact,
provided in every bay; if you look up you will
when remembering how the critics of the time
looked at the Wallis Gilbert and Partners
see it.' In the centre of each bay was a nine inch

hole,that
probably with a bit of asbestos pipe
buildings, that these were the very few
through
it, and that provided the ventilation.
Britain produced of any real quality. They
are
Do not Ibe misled; the general quality of
still worth looking at now. Another which
industrial
remember as being included in a collection
of work in this country to-day is as good
as it is anywhere.
pre-war industrial buildings was the Owen
Williams Boots factory, which had a very imMr. Clifford Paine, bsc, fric: I
portant influence upon general structural design
would like to have heard a little more from Mr.

at that time. The 1930s of course were a fairly


dismal period for many architects, and we had Waters on an aspect which seems to me to be
very little influence upon the industrial buildings important, and that is the relation between the
of that day. In the development from the late client and the architect in industrial building
1950s to 1960s I get a strong impression that and design. I suppose ideally the client should
architects increasingly have been brought into have a very clear functional idea of the building
the picture - perhaps in rather a different rle. to begin with, but this is not always so. What
Perhaps the Lecturer would give his opinion as methods can be adopted to assist the client in
clarifying his own functional ideas in so far as
to whether architects in fact are now more
they affect the design of the building ?
central to the picture of industrial development
To me, brought up in the chemical industry,
in terms of building.
The Lecturer: I think the answer must

the slides we saw didn't deal with one of the

most difficult problems of industrial architecture

be yes; not to the extent that I and other


and they don't indicate what seems to me to be
architects would like, nor always in the way in
the trend of recent times : that is factory design
which they can have the most interest, but emerging by building plant out of doors. Really,
without question there is much more industrialthe aesthetics of such outdoor layout have
work being handled or being influenced by emerged from the engineer rather than from the
architects than there was, particularly in thearchitect.
period which you have mentioned. I was articled
to a man who for practically all his professional The Lecturer : Some of our more suclife had been involved in industrial work, and cessful plant arrangements have been clearly
he told me once he only made one mistake and
controlled by architects. have views about the
that was when he gave up his office in the Eastlayout of plant and the part that an architect ca
End and moved into the middle of London,
play in it. Given the opportunity we can do
when all his industrial clients forgot about it. A lot more than most people think and I have been
recent issue of the Architectural Review devoted
able to demonstrate this successfully on many
to industrial work said that ours was not as goodoccasions. As to plant out of doors, I know of
as it was elsewhere, and that the best industrialone outdoor brewing plant of which it was said
building in this country was for American
that it would have been far cheaper to have put
firms who were prepared to spend the money. the conditioning tanks into buildings rather tha
This is true. I showed you a building with a to spend more money on insulation and the
magnificent office block which was a warehouse weathering of the insulation. And finally, even
for Sterry and Hutchinson, for gifts awarded for

though it was in an area where temperatures ar

collecting their pink stamps. It is a fantastic mild the boiler blew up because of frost. It is
building which I shall be talking about in one true, for example in petrol refining, that it i
of my later talks. But buildings here can be
wrong to seek to enclose all the plant, and it can
seen by everyone, whereas the foreign buildings be arranged into some very exciting shapes.
that are illustrated and those I have shown you
On your first question - how can the architect
on the screen are the best ones.
assist in helping to get the client's ideas clear
But if you think of what you regard as Ithe
gave you the American solution ; the architec
must be skilled in cross-examination because if
worst possible factory built in the last ten years,
he is woolly and the client is woolly, the building
I will assure you quite positively that it is much

better than the bad American examples. I


may also be woolly. In the industrial field it is
visited a warehouse in Ohio in June of last yearmy experience that most clients are fairly good
which was designed on a fifty foot by fifty footall the time, and on certain occasions quite
steel grid. It had one eight-foot fluorescent tubebrilliant in the manner in which they do envisage
in the centre of the fifty by fifty grid and theretheir buildings. The architect must come in early
was no natural daylight except for perspex at theand by discussion assist in formulating the
the top of the sheeting on the front of the requirements for the building. The only way
building. The owner of this building was
always to promote good relations between client

chiefly proud of the fact that it cost him next to


and architect is for each to recognize that there

nothing. When I asked what was done about

is a contribution to be made on both sides ; the

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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - I


some of to
the more simple Crown office buildings
architect must be able to do something positive

where,
answer a particular situation which is not
of if
hisI remember rightly, they have opted

for two foot windows at something like eight


foot centres. This gives quite adequate daylight

invention.

Mr. Harry C. Channon, bsc, ceng,


and ventilation.
afraes, amimeche: When I have discussed
A lot of work has been done on this at Newthe aesthetics of a building I have always found

that the architect has blamed the client and the


client has blamed the architect. There is one

castle, both in the building science section


belonging to the Department of Architecture

and in the School of Architecture itself, which


building in particular which I have nothas
been
a Crown office building as a project.

able to discuss with either client or architect. It

The Chairman: I think architects shudder


is one which I am sure has been the subject of
slightly when people talk about monuments to
many discussions, the South Bank complex
which embodies the Queen Elizabeth Hall, etc. architects. In an industrial sense I don't think
I should very much like the speaker's views on there are many of us who could quote more than

this particular building.

The Chairman: It is of course not an

industrial building.

The Lecturer: I would merely remark

that of course the client and the architect are

half a dozen names of architects who have

produced a hundred different industrial buildings. By and large the glass structures of the last

twenty years have tended to become status

symbols.

The Lecturer: Mr. Howorth may have


heard the story of the late Sir Edwin Lutyens
architect is the architect's department who,
of the
being told this by a surgeon replied, 'Yes,
GLC. I suppose it could be called a veryitspecial
is true. But you must remember, I have to live

here one flesh. The client is the GLC and the

sort of industrial building, but it is not included


with my mistakes. You bury yours.'
in my definition tonight.

Mr. David Button: Reyner Banham's

Mr. F. H. Ho worth (Chairman, Northrecent book The Architecture of the WellWest Centre and Member of Council) : Speaking
Tempered Environment suggested that the
as an air-conditioning engineer, I have observed
future history of architecture might be written

in industrial office blocks a fashion of embodying


in terms of building services as opposed to the

a very great amount of glass. I have the feeling


past history of architecture which has been
that the poor client is going to be impoverished
written in terms of building construction. I

for ever in trying to keep the place warm in


thought Mr. Waters' short story about the
single fluorescent tube and simple ventilation
Continent these buildings which are something
in the American factory was amusing, but in
of a monument to the architect, and look beautifact the use of air conditioning and mechanical
ful, but they require great efforts such asservices
pro- in the States is increasing greatly.
viding external Venetian blinds, to keep Indeed,
the
one air-conditioning manufacturer in
sun out. A classic example is the Mercedesthe States has aspired to give a package design
Benz Museum at Unterturkheim, where they
deal and he is in competition with architects;

winter and cool in summer. One sees on the

have in fact used exterior Venetian blinds. Does


Mr. Waters feel that even an office block should

additionally he is diversifying into manufacturing construction systems. There is a considerable


approximate to an insulated cube rather thanincrease in air conditioning in this country. In
to a greenhouse ?
this context, how does Mr. Waters feel about the
future function of the architect who has to
The Lecturer : Yes, I think this is true.
design a building where the major part of the
Professor Harper mentioned the recent factory
budget goes to the mechanical services ?
of Owen Williams as being one of the earliest
buildings in this country which might be desThe Lecturer : A building has got to be

cribed as an all-glass building, and that has


under control of one person. It is for him to

recently been listed as a building of architectural


integrate the work of all the others, be their
importance. There is a serious move away from
task major or minor. My view is that there is

excessive glazing. It is no good pretending that

only one profession able so to co-ordinate (badly


double glazing will serve. If sun isto be prevented
though we may do it) all aspects of a building -

from heating up a building it must be shaded;


and I don't mind in this context what building
it must not be allowed to warm up in the hope
it is - even if it is ninety-nine per cent engineer-

that by putting some Venetian blinds inside


ing. I am satisfied that the architect is the right
(which after an hour or so become an even better
person for this.
radiator than the glass) it will become cool. It

was a bad fashion, and it is now well on the wayMr. Sharp (Manchester Polytechnic, Deof Environmental Design) : Mr.
out. More and more the 'windowless' factorypartment
is
Waters said that a large number of factories now
being built because it reduces the effect of solar
are being built without windows, and there
gain. You may know of the work of the Ministry
seems to be great difficulty in deciding whether
of Works in this context, not only in the landshould be in zones or ghettoes, or
scaped air-conditioned office at Kew, butfactories
in

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OCTOBER 1970

JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS

have to be air-conditioned, and this would more


mixed in with urban situations generally. We
than double the cost of any equivalent factory
know the appalling effects of factories particubuilding.
larly in relationship to the approaches of towns
and cities. Why is it that so little thought hasMr. G. E. Mercer (Secretary of the

been given to putting the whole lot underSociety) : I wonder if I may make two comments ?
ground ? These attempts at landscaping ofFirst, as the Society's educational work began
which Mr. Waters showed us some exampleswith assistance to the Mechanics Institutes,
might then have some meaning. Is there any
and particularly in Lancashire, I was very
fundamental reason why building of this nature
pleased to notice on the door of this building

shouldn't be buried ?

The Lecturer : I doubt if you would like


to go to work down a shaft, as in a coal mine. But

of course the real answer to your question is

that I don't think we could afford it. The

that the Institute's forebear was the Man-

chester Mechanics Institute. It is entirely


appropriate therefore that the first lecture the

Society has arranged outside London should

be held here.

referring to Mr. Waters' story of


expense would be so much greater thatSecondly,
our
Lutyens, a note on which we might end the
is to recall the epitaph for Vanbrugh,
conditioning is essential on a regular basis evening
in

costs would rocket. And while it is true that air

the architect of Blenheim which, if I remember


large areas in the United States, it is not true of
rightly,
read 4 Lie heavy on him, Earth! for he/
this country. There may be half a dozen days in
Laid many heavy loads on thee.'
the year when it might be worth having but for

the rest ordinary ventilation is good enough. The meeting concluded with the usual expressions
of thanks to the Lecturer and Chairman .
But if you were underground the building would

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THE SECOND LECTURE

delivered to the Midlands Centre of the Society at the Universit

Birmingham on Friday 13th March 1970 , with Professor E. A .


Chairman of the Midlands Centre , in the Chair
The Chairman: This evening I have an
a firm well known internationally in this respect,
he serves on many committees concerned
unusual privilege in two senses: first, toand
hear
Mr. Waters and second to be the host, as it
with standards in industrial building, in conwere, for the second of his series of three
tracting and surveying. His path and mine are
Bossom Lectures. As you know, these are nor-now very far removed, but by a curious coinmally given in John Adam Street, but as a part cidence just before the war we ran very near

of the Society's policy of strengthening regionaltogether for two or three years. I am referring

activities in the RSA the series is for the first

to his time at the Hammersmith School of

time being given in three regional centres. Building, where he was head of the building
I had a more modest rle teaching
Mr. Waters has had a distinguished careerdepartment.
as
and science to builders at the rival
a consultant architect, particularly in regardmaths
to
the Brixton School of Building.
industrial building. He is a founder memberinstitution,
of
The following lecture , which was illustrated , was then delivered.
THE RLE OF THE CLIENT

THE MODERN MOVEMENT

At this time William Morris and others,


notably Lethaby who was a founder of the
IF ing he he
an cannotcannot
which architect dodo
is satisfactory
it in
it in isolation.
isolation.
is to produce in every
HeHe needs
needs
a respect buildthe
the
Design and Industries Association in 19 15,
associated with the Arts and Crafts Movefull co-operation of his client, who must take
ment were advocating a non-historical apan equal part in the conception of the buildproach to architecture, which during the
ing that is to result from their collaboration.
period of the Revivals suffered badly at the
ing which is satisfactory in every respect

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

hands of the unskilled. This led to the

modern movement
which flourished on the
It is a curious thing that between
the excelContinent,
where industrial clients seem to
lence of the buildings of the
eighteenth
have
been much
more susceptible to change.
century and the present day
there
should
The result
can be seen in the many splendid
have been a period in which factory
building
industrial buildings on the Continent that
should have been so bad. It is, of course,
true that buildings of other kinds and the were built in the early part of the twentieth
decorative arts generally were also of poor century, which can be regarded as direct
quality. For the latter it has been argued that evidence of the effect of the skill of the
with an increasing demand from people of architect in creating a proper environment,
little discernment, coupled with rapid deve- since industrial architecture was the perfect
lopment of materials and processes, it seemed vehicle for modernism. This flowed from the
to be inevitable that the artistic standard
realization of the need to regard design, in
should be low. But what is true of decorative
this context the external appearance of the
art need not have been true of buildings, for building, as inseparable from planning and
it was still a craft process and the ability was construction.
there to provide buildings of quality so far

as labour and materials were concerned. The

PRESENT APPROACH TO
FACTORY BUILDING

poor environment may have been due to too


rapid growth, which transformed what were Although there is ample evidence of
basically cottage industries into production this approach to the design of factor
industries requiring large concentrations ofings is not yet universally accepte
workers in one location, without realization are still far too many industrialists
well satisfied with a building which,
of the need to change the standards of
accommodation; and so the industrial slums as something which is only there t
arose. There were notable exceptions: Sal- expensive plant and raw materials,
something to which very much thou
taire 1853, Bourneville 1879, and Port
Sunlight 1888, being built to provide a good be given. It is still not uncommon t
'it is only a factory' when seeking s
living and working environment.
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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS

OCTOBER I97O

provement in quality, not only from a client


but that profession needs the assistance of all

but also from a builder who is being taken


the others associated with building, whose

efforts must be co-ordinated.


to task for carrying out work in an indifferent

It was the recognition of this need in a


This attitude of mind is fostered
our that led, as part of the
developingby
industry
tax structure, which allows greater
relief of
for
RIBA Handbook
Architectural Practice
revenue expenditure than for
ex-to the preparation of the
andcapital
Managementy
penditure, thus encouraging the shortPlan of Work for Design Team Operation.
sighted approach which considers only initial This recognizes that the architect has two
distinct functions :
cost, rather than the more realistic view

manner.

which is concerned with the 'cost-in-use'

1. The management function - to ensure


Fortunately this attitude is changing, andthat the project as a whole is well run,
more and more people are becoming awareand to co-ordinate the process of design.
that, with rising costs of building maintenu
2. The architect function - to contribute
ance, full study must be made in the initialparticular architectural skills.
stages of a development of every aspectTwelve
of
distinct stages are recognized in the
the building to ensure that the cost-in-use
Plan of Work :
can be as low as possible.
A. Inception, previously referred to as
There is also another reason for providingbriefing;
a good working environment. With full emB. Feasibility;
ployment, labour is more likely to be
C. Outline Proposals ;
attracted by good surroundings.
D. Scheme Design (sometimes called sketch
It is then for the architect to provide a plans) ;
building of the right kind, which he cannot
E. Detail Design;
do in isolation, but only in partnership with
F. Production Information (or working

his client.

drawings) ;
G.
Bills
of Quantities ;
the architect's function
H. Tender Action;
The rle of the architect has J.
not
changed
Project
Planning;
over the years, for even with the
more comK. Operations
on Site;
plex buildings of to-day he must
continue to
L. Completion;
identify himself not only with
building
M. the
Feed-Back.
as a whole, but also with its erection.
This analysis of design team
In the detailed
is not to claim that he should take over the
operation the contribution to be made by all
province of the builder and contract forthe
its specialist skills, and the time at which
erection, although there are some who they
ad- are to be made, are set out. It provides
vocate this and have done it successfully.
a background for good communications, the
After all, there are two large contracts in need
this for which was highlighted by the two
country in contemplation, where it is a conTavistock Institute reports, Communications
dition that the main contractor does no
in the Building Industry (1965) and Interwork, but must sub-contract everything;
dependence and Uncertainty (19 66).
and this is the normal practice in some parts
of West Germany, where the general con- THE APPROACH TO DESIGN
tractor does not exist, and the architect is
wholly responsible for the erection ofI the
want now to return to the design crit
building.
outlined in the NBA Report, and by gi
That situation has not yet arrived in this
solutions to some of the requirements, i
cate the matters to which the architect must
country, and there is much to be said for our
own system of having one contractor responhave regard when he is designing an indussible to the client for the erection and comtrial building. Two statements must be made
before this is done.
pletion of the building, and it is against this
background that the task of the architect The first is that many of the considerations
should be examined.
will apply to buildings of any kind; it is just
It is all too frequently argued that as
that popular misconception does not always
building becomes more complex it can no recognize the contribution that the architect
longer be controlled by one man. While thishas to make, nor does it recognize that indusis true, the argument should not be extendedtrial building merits this sort of careful
to suggest that no one profession can do so,thought.
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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - II

The second, that in going to this second


stage of the design process, the all-important

briefing stage has been omitted, when the

industrial firm and the architect sit down

together to consider in detail the long and


short term needs for their premises, be they
obsolete or obsolescent existing ones, or new
premises on a new site. The preparation for
such a meeting (or meetings) is important,
and my own firm has a standard question-

naire which serves as a check list on such

occasions. Those of you who are familiar

with the Institute of Directors' Better Fac-

tories may recall A Questionnaire for Clients

which was published as a supplement.


After the briefing meeting the architect

must prepare an overall plan for carrying the


outoverall cost and to the time by which the
building must be commissioned.
the whole of the design and building process.

STRUCTURAL FRAME
Matters to be covered by such a plan are:
The general composition of the teams; the
This
involves
a choice of material, stee
contract procedure to be adopted; the overall
reinforced
concrete,
and of shape, betw
cost target and the policy on running cost,
together with the general programme using a
barpitched roof and a flat roof. While it
be argued that reinforced concrete has be
diagrams or networks and time targets.
In its preparation the architect will co-operate
fire-resisting qualities than steel, which m
with the Project Manager (a member of the
have to be cased in concrete in some app
client's staff), who in turn will consult with tions,
the
my preference is for steel. It is m
various members of the Company's team. Then
readily strengthened, and this is an adv
follows the systematic collection and analysis of
tage when the changes occur that are in
the Company's requirements by each specialist
able in industrial buildings.
member of both teams, involving a continuous
process of exchange of contributions. After aAs to shape, it is my view that except

the case of single-span buildings


general indication of the requirements has been
roofs should be avoided, because of the
provided, the architect will prepare an association diagram and each member of his team will
difficulty of making a truly weathertight
submit questionnaires. This is the most imjoint between roof slope and gutter. The
portant stage of the process, calling for the

greatest thought and time-consuming effort. The

pit

spacing of the stanchions may be dictated by

the need to provide an economic span in

operation has to start and be concluded within


terms of cost, having regard to the size of the
the time set in the overall programme and will
involve regular intermediate meetings of both building, or by the operation that is to take

place in the building. This second con-

teams.

It is a difficult and important stage sideration


through is particularly important in warewhich no individual member (in eitherhousing,
team) can
where the width of the operating

work in isolation.*

gangways and the dimensions of the pallet


stacks must be the controlling factor.
THE PREPARATION OF
The normal practice in America is to
SKETCH PLANS
work, broadly, to a 50 ft. square grid, but in
thisinvolves
country it the
is more usual to find stanThe preparation of sketch plans
consideration of all the matters shown in the
chions spaced at 15 ft. to 20 ft. centres
NBA Diagram, not only in relation to thecarrying a main frame (truss or portal), when
process to be carried out within the buildinga span of 60 to 75 ft. will probably prove to
and to the regulations controlling the con-be the most economical. It is interesting to
note that NBA recommend a grid 40 or 60
struction of buildings (I was tempted to list
these, and did in an earlier draft for this ft. square, while at Irvine New Town
standard factories are being built on an 80 ft.
lecture, but it made such a dismal catalogue
that it seemed better merely to acknowledgesquare grid.
ROOF COVERING
that such regulations do exist), but also to
* Alex. Gordon, 'The Designer's Contribution': Better

Factories.

The main objection to the use of a pit


roof has already been mentioned. Secon
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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

Car ling Brewery, Toronto. J. F. Marshall 5 Architect

Power station , Rugeley , Staffs . IFasow wd Coates , Ar

676

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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - II

[Sydney W. Newbery

Abbott Laboratories , Queenborough. Boiler house and pumping station.


Llewellyn Smith and Waters } Architects

[John Mills ( Photography ) Ltd

Pilkington3 St. Asaph , North Wales. Ormrod and Partners , Architects

677

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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

Concrete panels , Carlinga Toronto . J . F. Marshall , Arc

the cubical content of theThe


building
isupon
invarichoice will depend
the cost, the
ably greater for a given plan
to is
speed of area,
erection andleading
the appearance that
increased cost in heatingdesired.
and
The ventilating.
proximity of the building toIf
the
natural light is required itboundary,
is easier
and in
tosome
provide
cases to adjacent

patent glazing in a pitched


buildings
roof
within
than
the same
incurtilage,
a
will
flat roof. A pitched roofdetermine
would
thebe
firecovered
grading required by the
with corrugated asbestos cement
sheets,
corBuilding Regulations,
and
this, too, may
have a bearing corrugated
on the material to be chosen.
rugated aluminium or protected
galvanized steel sheeting. Brick,
Theconcrete
advantage
of concrete
blocks or precast
metal sheeting is that it panels
can give
be an
obtained
in
air of permanence
to the
lengths of up to 30 ft., resulting
in will
fewer
structure, and
require end
little maintenlaps and enabling the pitch
ance.
of
Sheet
the
materials,
roof usually
to be
corrugated to
some stiffness,
decreased without specialprovide
treatment
ofinclude
the asbestos
joints.
cement, aluminium and galvanized steel,
For flat roofs, metal decking will normally
with or without added protection such as
be used, either galvanized steel or alumivinyl or stove enamelling, which are frenium, because it is so much lighter in weight quently employed; tinted glass is also
than even lightweight concrete. The decking sometimes used.
will need to be waterproofed and built-up
THE WINDOWLESS FACTORY
felt roofing, comprising two or three layers
Whether
or not to provide natural
of hessian, asbestos or glass-fibre-based
industrial
buildings is a question fr
bituminous felt, laid on insulating material
which may be fibreboard, cork or expanded debated, and the 'windowless factory' is
gaining in favour for a number of reasons.
polystyrene treated with a fire retardant.
Insulation must be provided at least to the Satisfactory comfort conditions within a
values required by the Thermal Insulation building can be more easily obtained if solar
Act, while the material used for covering the heat gain can be reduced, and this is most
roof must conform with the fire gradings easily achieved if roof lights are eliminated.
Correctly orientated north lights will avoid
laid down in the Building Regulations.
heat gain but will result in serious heat loss.
WALL CLADDING
It is also questionable whether natural
The materials available for the external cladlight plays any useful part. With the inding of the building are many and various.
creasing cost of plant, its economical use
678

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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - II

Concrete panels , Sperry and Hutchinson , Chicago. A. Epstein and Sons, Architects

frequently demands shift working ; by


with
one
trowelling
it mechanically after laying,
and after
the addition of admixtures to imshift doing most of its work during the
hours
of darkness, artificial light must be used
proveeven
its wearing qualities and to prevent
in summer. Further, in a manufacturing
dusting. Either of these floor finishes will be
building, roof lighting may well be obscured
satisfactory in general use, although both

by overhead conveyors and services;


or,be
incarefully protected to prevent
must
storage buildings, by pallet racking.damage in the later stages of construction.
Where there is a danger of chemical attack
by acids, sugars or concentrations of oil,
THE FACTORY FLOOR
alternative finishes must be used. The tradi-

The floor is of primary importance


in
any
tional answer to
this
problem is a brick floor
industrial building, whether
jointed
it in
is a required
resin based cement; but this is
for manufacture or storage. very
Theexpensive,
use of and
power
there are a number of
trucks demands a strong, dustless
proprietaryfinish,
materials that have proved to be
which will be resistant to the
quite
severe
satisfactory
in use.
It must
be remembered that some moveduty that such equipment will
impose.
The tendency in this country
is to
ment will
takeuse
placeain any floor, and, in
granolithic finish (a mixture
of cement
and
concrete
floors, some
shrinkage is bound to
granite chippings) laid monolithically
occur. The floorwith
should be laid in panels in

the concrete base.


In the USA the base concrete is surfaced

such a way as to minimize the effects of such

movement.

679

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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

Avon Cosmetics factory , Cincinnati

[Wimpey News

Hoover Limited , Distribution Centre at Enfield


Llewellyn Smith and Waters , Architects
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OCTOBER 197O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - II

scheme design stages with all major deci-

THE ARCHITECT AS

sions, such as the type of heating installation,

CO-ORDINATOR

method of
ventilation, method of artificial
Roof, walls and floor are sometimes
referred
and will,
to as the building envelope, lighting,
and this,
to-with the client, have laid
down the standards to which these installa-

gether with the placing of the building on


tions must conform.
the site, laying out roads and drains and
designing the surroundings, covers theSERVICE
broadZONES
field of the architect's direct responsibilities
It is important in planning for servic
as a designer.
adequate room is provided for their p
There are numerous other matters which
he is responsible for co-ordinating at theinstallation and maintenance, and tha
of pipes and cables shall not obstruc
design stage, and for which he is responsible,
under the building contract, for issuing other nor penetrate into the clear heig
has been determined for the building
instructions to the main contractor.
It is essential for the proper control ofquate provision must be made either
the roof structure itself or, where t
both the job and its cost that proper channels
insufficient to permit the easy pass
of communication should be established.
services, by increasing the clear height
The RIBA Form of Contract requires that
instructions to the main contractor shall be

the steel to enable this to be done.

issued by the architect, who has an overall


THE FACTORY BOX
accountability to his client, while instrucThe
logical
development of the idea
tions to sub-contractors, nominated or nonhave been discussed is that the factory
nominated, must be given by the main contractor, who is responsible both for theirshould be a box capable of extension. While
this is easily achieved laterally, it is difficult
to extend vertically so that the initial assessSERVICES
ment of the height is important as being the
one dimension
Of the matters that it is proposed
not that
to cannot easily be changed.

workmanship and for their performance.

Fortunately
increased
discuss in detail in this lecture,
by far
the height, if decided
before construction,
most important are the mechanical
and elec-is one of the less costly
trical services. These services embrace heataspects of factory building (although heating
ing, ventilating and lighting, and may alsocost will increase), so that it is possible to be
include compressed air, fire-fighting equip-generous in this respect. With stanchions
ment and power for plant operation. The spaced at 50 to 60 ft. centres, with trussed
detailed design of this work may be under-beams spanning between stanchions of suffitaken by a services consultant and competi-cient depth to afford adequate space for
tive tenders invited, or a specification of services within the roof steel, and designed
performance may be prepared by an engineerto carry some additional load at each node
on the architect's staff and the work tenderedpoint (for there is always something to hang
for on a design and instai basis, again infrom the roof), a really flexible building will
competition, by specialist sub-contractors. be obtained which can be used for any
Although not necessarily concerned inpurpose, either for changing manufacture by
detail with these services, the architect willan existing occupier, or by somebody moving
have been involved during the briefing andinto the building for the first time.
DISCUSSION

referred to normally as vision strips, which


Mr. J. N. Alderson, ariba: I should like
to bring one question a bit further into discus- enable people to see whether it is raining, for
sion, and that is the windowless factory. Thereexample, or whether the sky is blue. But in a
have been a number of psychological factors indevelopment of any magnitude nobody is really
near enough to be able to take full advantage of
this which Mr. Waters did not talk about.
this so that I do not think it helps particularly.
Could he enlarge a little ?
In the work we have been doing recently at the
request of clients we have gone over to windowThe Lecturer: We think that people like
less buildings because it is generally regarded as
to be able to look out, but there is no real
evidence now for this. There are ways of gettingbeing more important to get control of temperaover the difficulty by having occasional windows, ture that arises from a windowless building.
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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS

OCTOBER I97O

(We talk about windowless buildings, but we This has been my experience over very many
really mean buildings without rooflights, bejobs. There are very few who are prepared to
cause once you are fifty feet away the window
think out a proper development programme of
means very little.) It is easier to control temperawhat they want. It is getting better, however.
ture and this on the whole is more acceptableIn
torecent years I have been working for two
the people who work inside. In one building for
groups of people with whom we have been able
which we were responsible the men could work
to sit down over a period of six months and

talk about their needs.


comfortably, but they were making plywood really
and
the glue would not set because it was too hot.The other problem is to get the confidence of
All sorts of ways have been advocated to aget
client, because a lot of people still don't really
understand what we are for. We are often
over the psychological disadvantage. Aldersley
Williams has recommended using fish tanks,
regarded as a sort of a contractor, but one who
strategically placed in the building, so that
doesn't get mud on his boots! They also feel
people had got something to look at. A certain they ought not to tell us how much they are
amount can be done with colour, but I think it prepared to spend on the building, because if
is primarily a matter of an interesting job, fairly

comfortable conditions and a tea break with


somewhere nice to have it.

Mr. Geoffrey Barrett, bsc, diparch

(School of Architecture, Birmingham) : The


general impression of industrial architecture,
engendered by the slides Mr. Waters has shown
us, is of outstanding projects; but the client
organizations of these examples were almost
exclusively American or American subsidiaries.
However good an architect is, he will surely not
be able to produce such superlative schemes as
these without the full collaboration, indeed the
desire, of the client to sponsor just such a
building. By collaboration I mean an extension

they tell us we will spend that amount of money,

whereas if we were left on our own we might


come up with an idea costing something less.
With some clients it is easy to establish con-

fidence, with others it can be very difficult; but


if the building is to work this confidence must
be there; otherwise the building may suffer.

The Lecturer was next asked to develop his


reference to contracting procedure on the Continent.

The Lecturer: I was talking about one


part of West Germany around Dsseldorf.
Nordrein-Westphalia I think is the province.

The architect designs a building in the ordinary


way and places a number of sub-contracts. This
aspect of it is not dissimilar from the direct
of the rle of the architect into the briefing stage trades contracting procedure which is still curin such a way as to enable him to gain the
rent in Scotland (in spite of their being blessed
confidence of his client. Would Mr. Waters care

to extend his remarks in this regard ?

The Lecturer : As I have said, designing

buildings is a two-way process. If a painter gets


an idea he can go and paint, and somebody will

buy the picture or somebody will not; but he


has had a lot of fun. Much the same thing
applies to a sculptor, except that his materials
might be a little bit -more expensive so it is more

important that he should get a sale. But an

with the RIBA form of contract and the standard

method of measurement) where either the architect or somebody quite outside is responsible for
organizing the work on the site. There is in West
Germany a group of people to which our nearest
comparison, professionally, would be a building
surveyor. He will take over the drawings which
the architect has prepared, he will take over the
sub-contracts and he will organize the work on

the site, with his own inspecting staff doing

architect cannot have a building without a client whatever is necessary. I saw this being done on
because there is nothing to be gained by just a thirty-three storey office block. The whole of
making drawings. It is bricks and mortar we are the frame was up when I saw it, and on the first
floor was a huge drawing office, with three men
interested in. Most industrial clients who come
from the metal window manufacturers, six men
to architects are prepared to take trouble, though

from the ventilating contractors and so on they will sometimes be a bit late in deciding

thirty or forty people - all working


what they want. It is not infrequently that about
an
together, each making the drawings of his
industrialist realizes that he wants a factory
part. It was very exciting to see this
when he has signed a contract for delivery ofparticular
a
being done, and the building continuing with
new line for which he has no production space.
all these sub-contractors under the direct control
I see a lot of people smiling, but it is true! The
of the architect.
next stage is that you do your best to extract
information from him. There was an article on
Mr. Ellis Thirkettle, cbe : Mr. Waters
this aspect of an architect's work in one of thementioned, as the last of the architect's funcAmerican magazines a few years ago in whichtions, 'feed-back', and I wonder whether he
the writer said that it is a good thing if themeant the feed-back of information after the job
architect is skilled in cross-examination. From
has been completed ? There may be a time lapse
this information sketch plans can be prepared,
of many months, or possibly years, between the
and when you take those back the client starts
initial planning and the ultimate use of the
to think seriously about the building he is going
finished building, and the building may not
to have.
come up to expectations in some respects. Who
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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - II


does the feeding back ? Is it just the architect
tion) or
: To put the last question in a different way :

the client as well? Does the architect ask the

would Mr. Waters consider that the most

valuable
client for his impressions of the effectiveness
of advice the architect can provide to his
the building, and if so, at what stage ? industrial client in the first stages is in advising
him whether what he asks for is what he really
The Lecturer: What I meant was feed-

? The on
engineer's training is directed
back in every direction. Feed-back needs
on cost,
the solution of structural problems,
the way the building works and ontowards
whether
the architect's function is the solution
people like what they have got - or, whereas
if they
are
of human
of organization and environdisappointed, in what respects. I know
a lotproblems
of
andlook
the physical means of achieving those
architects who will go every year orment,
two to
solutions. It seems to me that this is the essence
at a building to see what is going on
there. If
ofhear
the architect's
professionalism.
anything goes definitely wrong you
about
it fast enough. But I think it is important that
The Lecturer : It is for this reason that I
as a matter of routine one should go and see
think that the architect is particularly fitted to
what is going on and that this information
the leading adviser.
should get back into the office. Doesbe
a particular
But? IDoes
will tell
you a little story against myself
detail work in the way that you hoped
a
here.
I was
particular way of weathering let in the
water
orbuilding a small factory for a man
who in
hadthis
said he wanted it ten feet high ! I told
does it keep it out ? - and so on. Only

was making a mistake. He thanked me


way can you really seek to do betterhim
nexthe
time.
for my. trouble and advice, but he was satisfied
Mr. Gordon Shacklton, beng, ceng,
that as long as he was alive he would use the
mice (Resident Engineer, C. Bryant & Son
building and so it did not much matter what

Ltd., ATV Centre, Birmingham): Will Mr.

happened to it afterwards; he knew precisely


what he was going to do inside it and ten feet
an industrialist in trying to get an industrial
was fine. The roof sheeting was not on the
building of the nature he has been showing us ?
steelwork when I visited the job again, and he
He could go to the architect, he could go to the
said to me, 'You know, you were quite right:
consulting engineer or direct to a contractor.

Waters please comment on the choices that face

Which does Mr. Waters think he should choose ?

The Lecturer: An architect. There are

we ought to have made it higher'. But there you

are!
The architect must be involved because of

four basic choices. He can go to a professional


this ability to look at the project from more than
(without specifying what sort of professional
one pointatof view and not to accept whims. If
this stage) who will design the building,
invite
the client
says, 4 1 want it three feet square and
tenders and get it built. He can go to acoloured
developer
pink', and you decide it ought to be
and buy or rent a building: either one
which
four
feet is
square and coloured green, you must
already up or one which will be built show
to hishim
ownone three feet square and coloured
particular requirements. (By developerpink
I include
first and explain why the alternative is
the New Town Corporations and the better.
Industrial
This is what has to be done. It doesn't
Estates Corporations because there is matter
a lot to
bewhether he is described as an
much
said for the advance factory technique.)
He can
architect
or as an engineer, so long as he is able
go to a contractor for what is called a to
design
studyand
what is required, and present alternative

build service, previously referred to as the


solutions.
package deal, or he can go and find an existing
factory somewhere. Now whichever one of those
The Chairman: Mr. Waters has given a
four avenues the client is going to explore I
well illustrated and comprehensive survey. I was
think he needs professional advice, and from an particularly fascinated by what he said about the
architect. That is not to say that the architect dynamics of communication between architect
may not bring his own or another engineer along and client. As he went through his points I
with him for certain aspects of the problem; but realized how the architect is involved in all
I think the architect must take the lead in these

values.

matters.

Mr. Robert Madeley, friba (ViceThe meeting concluded with the usual expressions
of Associathanks.
President, Birmingham Architectural

683

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THE CONCLUDING LECTURE

delivered to the North East Centre of the Society at the Merz Court

Newcastle upon Tyne> on Wednesday 6th May 1970 , with

J . H. Napper , , MA , Dip. TP, FRIBA , AMTPI, Professo


Architecture in the University of Newcastle , Chair
The Chairman: Mr. Waters is an old friend

on Better Factories. He is one of the RIBA

of mine, and if I were to tell you all representatives


I know
on the National Joint Consultaabout him it would make a very interesting
tive Committee of Architects, Quantity Surlecture in itself. He is a very active member
of Builders, and Chairman of the Good
veyors and
the RIBA, probably best known through
his panel of that body. He is, too, a member
Practice

of the
Professional Services Board of the RIBA.
work as Chairman of the Joint Contracts
Tribunal, the body responsible for the production
Principally I would like you to know him as an

of the form of contract which is commonly


architect who has contributed a great deal to
accepted. It is known quite wrongly as the
our profession, a man who builds, and who has
RIBA form of contract. He is also part authortaught building. He is a founder member of the
of one of the few productions which has really firm of Llewellyn Smith and Waters, who have
contributed to improving industrial buildings,been responsible during the last five years for
the book published by the Institute of Directorssome fifty industrial buildings.
The following lecture was then delivered.
INTRODUCTION

from the small advance factory of some 5,000

sq. ft. to car manufacturing plants which


may be 2,000,000 sq. ft., and there are large
series, of which this is the last, I have
IN series,discussed
discussed the of two in which
ingeneral
general
previous this termsterms
is lectures the thethe
last, designdesign
in I have this of of complexes consisting of numbers of quite
industrial buildings, both in this country and large buildings, as in the paper-making
in other parts of the world, to show how industry.
these have developed and the influence that There is a tendency, as firms amalgamate,

architects have had in their general improve- to concentrate manufacture into a smaller
ment, both as places of work and as a con- number of larger installations. One result of
this is the need for an increasing number of
tribution to the general scene.
I took as my starting point the work of the distribution centres, which is a comparaeighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in tively new development in industrial buildthis country by illustrating buildings which ing; and since this can be used to demon-

strate in a simple way a number of the


problems that arise in industrial buildings,
it will be discussed in some detail. Internal
functional requirements of factory buildings
layout and method of operation will be
have been discussed, and I have dealt in
referred to, for which there can be common
some detail with the performance criteria set
solutions in a way that is not always possible
out in the Report prepared by the National
Building Agency in 1966 on behalf of the in manufacturing buildings. External appearIndustrial Estates Corporation. In the firstance will not be considered in detail, since
most factory buildings tend to look alike, a
lecture I described some of the industrial
natural result if the building will permit
estates which have become a feature of most
complete flexibility in operation. This lecnew towns. As well as enabling me to outline
ture will be concluded by discussing the
the way in which industrial estates devevarious ways that are open to industrialists
loped, this afforded an opportunity to illusto obtain their buildings.
trate how factories may be sited for proper
belong to what has been termed by J. M.

Richards The Functional Tradition'. The

access for vehicles and personnel as well as


THE DISTRIBUTION CENTRE
the way in which, mainly by good landscaping, factory buildings may be placed satisI have chosen this type of building
general example because:
factorily in their environment, an important
factor since industrialists are coming to it is a comparatively new type of ind
trial building and is much more th
accept that good landscaping adds to the
prestige of their buildings.
just a storage building;
Factory buildings vary enormously in size,
it illustrates the application of sim
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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - III

[Sydney W. Newbery

Fine Fare Limited , Aylesford. ( Unless otherwise stated , the Architects for all the building

illustrated in this Lecture were Llewellyn Smith and Waters)

though efficient, mechanical aids


andloads to a height of 10 or 12 ft., to the
small
management processes, including
stock capable of lifting an omnibus thirty
monsters

control ;

it demonstrates the need for planning


adequately for the accommodation and

or forty feet into the air.

It is inappropriate in this lecture to describe in detail appliances of this nature,


movement of vehicles.
although it will be necessary to make some
It is frequently said that handling costs reference
can
to them when looking at the illusaccount for 40 per cent of all manufacturing
trations, but it must be stated that the type
costs, and add nothing to the value of the
of fork lift truck to be used may influence
product. Any reduction in handling is therethe planning of the building.
fore clear gain. It was from consideration The
of main consideration in the planning
this fact that the conception of the unit of
load
a distribution centre is the stacking area,
and this must be based on the size of the
developed. The unit load allows a number
of comparatively small units to be stacked
pallet, the method of stacking and the type

of fork truck. These factors determine the


on to a single pallet in the factory and remain

in that form until the final destination is


reached.

dimensions of the stacks and the width of the

of both horizontal and vertical movement.

supporting or whether they have to be stored

aisles between them, from which, given the


There is a large number of varieties ofvolume of goods to be stored, the plan area
can be determined.
pallets, but in essence a pallet is a flat board
on which goods can be placed for moving, The height of the building is determined
transport and stacking into store. The pallet
from the stacking pattern. The considerais moved by a fork lift truck which is capable
tions here are whether the goods are self-

Again, there are many varieties, frominthe


racks. In the former case it will prove to
pedestrian-operated truck capable of lifting
be economical to stack the goods one above
685

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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

[John Mills Photography Ltd

Associated Biscuits Limited , IV. & R . Jacob , Ain


Factory warehouse. Turret truck in operation

the other, and the stacking


method of height
picking goods.will
If theybe
are to be

collected
floor level arranged
the area must be
determined by the stability
ofat stacks

in this way. If
must be stored
cost is accepted
be determined

the goods
adequate
are to
fragile
provide athey
sufficient number of
in palletpicking
racking,
and
if
this
locations,
while
the
length and width
dimensions
be such
that movement
the height
of must
the
stacks
will is
by two restricted
considerations:
the
as far as possible.
In most cases a

labour cost of lifting the


goods,
since
vertical
length
to width
ratio of
two to one will prove
to be satisfactory.

movement is much slower than horizontal

The next consideration is the method of


movement ; and the cost of handling equipassembling goods for despatch. Goods may
Against these costs may be set the be
reducdespatched as unit loads on pallets, but
tion in building cost which usually follows
more frequently will have to be assembled as
from building higher, with consequent
individual orders, possibly in very small
units.
reduction in plan area.
A further important factor in determining The size of the area in which goods are
the floor area of a distribution centre is the | assembled will be dictated by the number

ment.

686

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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - III

Sperry and Hutchinson , Chicago . A, Epstein and Sons , Architects

[John Mills Photography Ltd

Associated Biscuits Limited, W. & R. Jacob , Aintree.


Conveyor loading in distribution depot

687

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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

[John Mills Photography Lt

Associated Biscuits Limited W. & R. Jacob , Aintree


Vehicle loading pits

Beer Cellar 3 Charrington Distribution Depot at Nezvha


688

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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - III

of vehicles which have to be loadedat


atfloor
any level, and this provides the only
one time - from which the length of
practical
the
method when the goods are stacked
at depth
more than one level within the vehicle.
building can be established - and the
of this area will be arrived at by the need
If the
to load is not on pallets retractable
conveyors can be used for loading the
lay out at least two loads for each opening,
since it takes less time to load a vehicle than
vehicle, and in this case the relationship

it does to assemble the load.

between road level and floor level is not

It is at this stage that the relationship


critical (and the provision of a raised loading
between the level of the road and the floor
dock on a flat site does add to building cost).
One more decision is necessary, and it is
level must be settled. The popular conception of a number of vehicles ranged against
then possible to plan the stacking and
assembly area.
or alongside a raised loading dock as an
essential feature of a warehouse is long out- There are alternative ways of putting
goods into the building; they can be loaded
moded, and modern methods of loading
in on one side and loaded out on the other despatch vehicles can vary.
An important consideration in arranging referred to as a 'through' warehouse; or they
loading facilities is that, as a vehicle is loaded can be loaded and unloaded from the same
the springs compress, and the difference inside of the building - the 'push-pull' method.
level at the beginning and end of the loading This latter method gives economy in roads,
operation can be as much as 4 to 6 in., andand may simplify control, but makes it more
the reverse is true when the vehicle is being difficult to avoid cross-circulation of internal
unloaded. An extension of this problem is traffic.
that vehicles are not standard in height, and
PLANNING FOR VEHICLES
while it is possible for a manufacturer to
standardize within his own vehicle fleet, it The next stage is to consider vehicle
must be possible to accommodate other
ment external to the building. The
vehicles ; for example, if loads are deliveredmum sizes of vehicles now permitted
in containers the height from the ground to Overall length :
the bed of the container will vary, and it is
Articulated vehicles, 49 ft. 2' in. (
then necessary to provide for a range of
with trailer some 40 ft. long.
heights that can differ by as much as 22 in.
Rigid vehicles, 36 ft. 1 in. (11 m.

This can be achieved if it is desired to wheel

Overall width:

the loads - normally using a pallet truck - Both types, 8 ft. 2' in. (2J m.)
on or off the vehicle, by using dock levellers,
If the easy movement of vehicles is to be
which are steel plates housed in the loading
allowed for, so that they can be accurately
dock. The required inclination is obtained
positioned without effort on the part of the
by the use of counter -balanced, springdriver, then quite large spaces in front of
loaded or hydraulically operated mechanisms loading doors are required, of the order of
which maintain the dock leveller in position. 50 ft. clear for smaller rigid vehicles, and
An alternative, not yet widely used in this 80 ft. for larger articulated vehicles.
country, is to use vehicle lifting tables, by
When parking space is provided for empty
which the vehicle can be lowered for loading vehicles and for employees' and visitors'
cars, the areas required become quite considerable, and the site area may be of the
order of twice the area of the building.
SELECTION OF SITE

Reference has been made in earlier lectures

to the need for the architect to take part in

the selection of the site. It will be clear from


what has been said about the critical nature

Charrington Distribution Depoty

Newhaven - Section '

of the dimensions for a distribution centre,


that such a building ought to be designed
before the site is chosen. This is not always
possible, because the location of a site may
be equally critical. There must be ready
access to trunk roads for the transport of
goods from factory to warehouse, and the
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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

[Sydney W. Newbery

Ambrose Wilson Limited 3 Wellingborough

building, for true economy,


must
a well-known
firm be
whichsited
required toat
extend
its factory. He told me that when he said to
serve.
his managing director that the first thing to
This is a short description of the
planning
do would
be to appoint an architect, the
the load centre of the area which it is to

considerations for a building of


the
replywhich
was that this
would not be necessary
as he knew
a contractor
who would be able
operation can be readily understood,
but
it
is hoped that it will demonstrate
way in Although there are a good
to the
do everything!
which an architect arrives at a solution to
many who hold this view, I hope that when
the problems offered by a particular building.
I have finished speaking to you it will be
The illustrations which follow will show
agreed that this is not necessarily the way
how these problems have been solved in
to get the best results.
relation to three distribution centres for
To some extent this approach stems from
three different industries - a brewery, athe
food
popular conception, or misconception,
manufacturer and a manufacturer of domes-

of what an architect does. If one talks about

tic appliances.

the medical profession the word 'doctor' can


describe anybody from a general practitioner
THE FUNCTION OF THE
to a gynaecologist, and it is accepted that
ARCHITECT IN THE ACQUISITION
there are general practitioners and specialists.
OF A BUILDING
The same is true of the architectural profesI want now to talk about the
of
sion,acquisition
except that in medicine
people tend to
an industrial building. If an
industrialist
choose
their specialism, while in architecture,
wants a new building how does
he gojobabout
one successful
tends to bring another of
it, and how does he ensure the
that
gets
the
samehe
kind,
and specialization
is on the
right building at the right way.
cost and at the
right price ?
But to return to the main topic. I referred
I met by chance recently the
of
to thechairman
right building at
the right cost and the

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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - III

[A. G. Ingram Ltd

Edinburgh Crystal Glass Company Limited. Interior

right price. In my definition cost is


that the performance of existing ones, or
against
which is acceptable as part of the total
as part of new production methods of which
it is part of the cost.
production cost. Price is what has to be paid
in the market for the building so defined. If the distribution centre is taken again as
It has become common to arrive at cost
an example, then the cost of, perhaps, fewer
limits for many kinds of buildingslarger
- hosbuildings against a larger number of
pitals, schools and housing to nameexisting
but a smaller buildings would be exfew. These are buildings provided,amined.
in oneInvestigations would be made to
way or another, by the State. In such
casesif the existing buildings could
ascertain
the normal definitions of cost cannot
apply,
accept
new handling methods, and, if not,
since there is no recognizable earning
what
power,
saving would accrue from a new building. Another consideration would be the
or none to which a price tag can be attached.
For industrial buildings the situation
saving is
in the cost of supervision by having
different, and they have to earn their
keep.
fewer
depot managers. The answers to these
The first action of any industrialist and
marketsimilar questions provide fairly positive
ing a new product is to examine the
cost of against which a board of direcinformation
can take a decision.
production against its value in the tors
market.
He then carries out a pilot study to The
detercost of buildings for manufacture is
mine whether or not his forecast figures
of the are
order of 8 per cent of production
correct.
costs, while the cost of distribution centres
Much the same is done when new building
can be as much as 25 per cent to 30 per cent
is planned, to house a new line, to extend
of handling
an costs. It is therefore essential
existing one, or, for example, to provide
that theaestimate for the building be reliable,
number of buildings when new distribution
and this will involve expenditure on a
arrangements are proposed.
feasibility study.
A new building has to be examined
In talking of cost, one should be concerned
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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

Hoover Limited. Interior

[Sydney W. Newbery

with cost in use, and consider not only


there is no such restriction, then one of the
capital cost, but also maintenance and run-many ways that are open may be selected.
ning costs, although our present tax laws do
An architect can be appointed who in turn
not always favour this approach.
will recommend the appointment of other
It is by conscious investigation of this consultants - a quantity surveyor and a
kind that it is possible to arrive at what thestructural engineer will normally be rebuilding should cost if it is to be economicalquired. They will then prepare tender
in operation. There will be occasions when, documents based on an agreed scheme and
because of the advertising value of a par- invite tenders from a small number of
ticular site, it may be thought better to spendselected contractors known to be reliable for

a little more to have a prestige building. the type of work, and the work will be
This does not happen very frequently, andplaced with the firm submitting the lowest
in 1903 when Albert Kahn was appointed totender. A variant on this would be to
design the Packard plant in Detroit, it wasnegotiate a price with a single contractor,
on the understanding that the well-designedpossibly on the basis of an earlier contract
building that he proposed should cost no obtained in competition.
more than the building that they would have A contractor may be approached direct,
got before they considered the appointmentwho will prepare the scheme, using either
of an architect.
a staff architect or a private practitioner
All too frequently, it is after having estab- appointed by the contractor, and submit a
lished that a new building is required and, price, which may be examined by an archipossibly, allocated a quite firm budget for tect or quantity surveyor - or both it, that the industrialist will begin to consider appointed by the building owner.
the alternative ways in which the building
As an extension of this method it is posmight be obtained. In some cases the site
sible to go to a developer owning his own
may have been chosen, and if this is owned site or to a contracting firm which is set up
by a developer, which would include the solely to undertake a complete design and
Industrial Estates Corporation, there will build service - the package deal. Probably
be little freedom of action. But given that I do not need to discuss in detail the claims
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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - III

firm of architects and engineers


made for the package deal; they are to sional
be
surveyors are not used in the
found regularly in large advertisements(quantity
in
USAa as they are here), and there is an
the daily press, from the man who offers
increasing number of firms organized on
simple building erected on the client's own
this basis in this country with engineer
site to the consulting contractor who will
programme the work and assess its costand
on quantity surveying partners, who can
undertake the complete project. Where
his own computer.
this does not exist, professional firms
Perhaps the attractiveness of the package
accustomed to working together can form
deal is that the industrialist has only one
a consortium for a particular project so
person to deal with. He will not be conthat there is one legal entity working for
cerned with appointing the consultants, nor
a single fee, thus providing the closely
with choosing a contractor, possibly not even
knit team to which Mr. Ove Arup
with arranging finance, since it is all offered
referred in his recent Alfred Bossom
as part of the service. An undertaking is
lecture.
given to complete the building described in
the contract for a given price within a given (2) The developer employs a qualified architect, and his services must be as good as
time, and if no changes are required this
those of a private practitioner. That he
may work out well; where there are changes
is as professionally competent may be
it may be less favourable.
true, but the architect owes his allegiance
But, in discussion with a Canadian packta the firm that employs him, whereas
age dealer it emerged that 'the drawing
the sole concern of the private pracoffice design procedure is very similar to
titioner is to offer a professional service
that developed by the Kahn organization,

except that as the package plan firm is

to his client.

firm.' And further: 'often an offer will be


made to do small additional work free of

warrant an extension of time under the

actually financing the project, where a prob- (3) The contractor can guarantee completion
on time. The architect cannot do this, but
lem arises the overriding consideration is
generally speaking the reasons that give
finance; that is the finance of the designing

rise to unavoidable delays that would

charge if there is some minor point whichstandard form of building contract will
the client thinks can be improved. This isbe found in the contract prepared by the
contractor.
anticipated in the original costing, and
(4) The contractor is appointed at the comallowed for, so that there is an amount
within which the offer to do additional or
mencement of a project, and advantage
alteration work for the client can be made.'

may be taken of his constructional know-

While in particular circumstances expediency may dictate otherwise, I remain convinced that the building owner, and particularly the industrialist, has most to gain
by entrusting his building to an architect in
private practice, and placing the building
contract on the basis of prices obtained in

ledge in designing the building. In my


experience the throughput time for industrial buildings is such that this will

happen in any case, for it is usually


necessary to have a contractor on site
within weeks of the architect being
appointed. Competitive tenders can be
competition from builders on a short selected obtained quite quickly by preparing an
list (for which the National Joint Consulta- approximate bill of quantities on which
competitive tenders are invited, and the
tive Committee publishes a code of prodrawings are finalized after the work
cedure).
starts, so that the contractor is autoIf it is intended to rent the building,
matically available for consultation.
rather than employ capital, this method is
still advantageous.

In case these statements should be re-

(5) The early appointment of the contractor

by negotiated tender creates a better

bond of trust between the contracting


garded as special pleading, the advantages
parties. It is generally recognized that a
and disadvantages should be discussed.
negotiated price will add at least 5 per
(1) It is a disadvantage for the building
owner to have to deal with a number of
cent to a price obtained in limited comprofessional firms whose fee scales are petition (although I should add that I
difficult to understand.
have experienced negotiated contracts
I made reference earlier to the firm of
where negotiation was part of the deal
for acquiring a site where this was not
Albert Kahn, which is a multi-profes693

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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS OCTOBER I97O

which
the building
the case). The premise that
there
is a owner is involved,
and that where
on a short-term
better contractual relationship
the basis, is for the
price is negotiated does not
acquisition
obtain
of the
if site.
the
It may
be askedshort.
what this has to do with
list is selected sensibly and
is kept
rle ofthe
the architect
in industrial buildCompetitive tender doesthe
test
market
in a manner that cannot otherwise be
ing. My answer would be that it is part of
done, and this is to the advantagethe
of work
the of the architect who specializes in
client.
the building of factories and other industrial
buildings.
(6) The developer, or the contractor,
can
In this, and in the earlier lectures, the
provide finance for the building.
The client can also do this, first
more
by
important factors in the design of
obtaining bridging finance for theindustrial
period buildings have been discussed, so
far as
time has allowed, and it has been
of the contract, and then by selling
the
demonstrated
that the architect is concerned
building to an investor from whom
he
takes a lease (lease-back).
with all aspects of the total project.
I hope that it has also been made clear
In the case of an industrial company
that the architect cannot (and should not)
whose covenant is sound this can readily
workhas
in isolation, particularly for industrial
be arranged, and the building owner
buildings. The client has an essential rle
had the advantage of the lower price
to play, through members of his own board
obtained in competitive tender, and
avoids, or may retain, the profit which and staff, which he cannot delegate, if the
the developer obtains when he sells the resulting building is to be entirely successful.
lease, for few of them keep industrial This I would define as :
a building completed to time,
properties as an investment.
at the cost agreed,
Investors, if approached early enough,
which will be flexible in use,
will usually provide bridging finance as
economical in running cost.
well, so that the only capital outlay in
DISCUSSION

Mr. Kenneth Steen, friba (County PlanThe siting is a very complex business. Should
ning Officer, Cumberland County Council):you have twenty vans and let them travel half
the distance, or ten vans and let them travel
Could I ask about the siting of distribution
centres - whether the best place is in the indus-double the distance ? Each organization has to

trial scene itself, or whether it is advisable that know the location of the main volume of its
large cities should have an area set aside for sales, for this affects the establishment of what
distribution centres where goods can be brought is called the load centre, where the distribution

from industry and then redistributed in the centre should be sited. Having established the
load centre a site must be found, and this can
be difficult. Generally speaking, it is necessary
The Lecturer: When you say the siting

locality ?

to take whatever site offers within half a mile

of a distribution centre, you are thinking of a


radius of that particular point, because it can be
multiple building which would receive anypinpointed to that degree of accuracy.
body's goods and despatch them ?
Mr. Steen: Yes.

Mr. Steen : There is a case for out of town

distribution centres ?

The Lecturer: This does happen. There


are a number of warehousing companies that The Lecturer: Yes, simply because it is
much easier to feed into a town, now that ring
offer a service of this kind, and British Road
roads are being developed, than it is to feed out
Services has done much the same sort of thing.
of a town. There is a tendency to build small
Much depends on the volume of traffic and the
warehouse complexes in the centres of towns
nature of the product. Dealing as I have in this
which in some instances are useful : a trailer can
lecture very largely with the food industry, the
be brought into the yard and half a dozen vans
question of the freshness of the product is im-

can be filled from it. This is a staging point


portant. One organization that I do work for
than a warehouse. Trunking vehicles will
has a link-up of three companies ; one doing more
its
contribute to traffic congestion if they have to
own distribution and the other two using a
public warehouse; and the one that was doing go into the town, while turn-round time is
reduced if the distribution centre is sited on or
its own distribution had very much lower costs

than the other two. If the volume of traffic is

near a main trunk road.

there, I would think that the majority of firms


Mr. Richard Turley: May I ask the
would prefer to keep it under their own control.
speaker about cost and life of building ? One

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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - III


reads of no less than 1,500 million a year
material like asbestos isn't a perfectly good one
expended on building maintenance, and 60,000 to use in the right places. It can be the right
people a year involved. What is the economic answer as long as it is protected from vehicles,
life of an industrial building, bearing in mind because it is very susceptible to damage. The
changing circumstances and investment? Also, building must be designed to take account of
what does Mr. Waters think about use of
the behaviour of buildings in use. Remember
always
that the building owner may get tax
materials like asbestos ? This is a big
problem
relief on repairs but what cannot be measured
that faces us in industrial buildings to-day.
is the effect of the interruption caused by having

The Lecturer : The life of a building


the repairs carried out.
rather depends on how well it has been conceived in the first instance, because buildings
Mr. Charles N. Fox, ariba: I know of
do not normally wear out. They become outa recent case of a large corporation involved in
moded or get damaged but otherwise they go
communications
on
technology which bought a
reasonably well. I think there is a case for
very large area of land without knowing what it
thinking in terms of rather better materials than was going to do with the land in terms of
we have been accustomed to use. It is fairly well building. The firm then commissioned a firm
known that we spend less in this country on our of architects to produce a development plan.
buildings than almost any other country in the Subsequently they asked the architects to
world. This is influenced by the tax situation. develop part of the site, but before the comOn the whole it can be established that it is less
pletion of the designs of the first building, the
whole need for the building disappeared and
costly to have a cheap building and spend a lot
of money on maintenance than it is to buythey
a
had to design another building on another
good building in the first instance, and not spend
part of the site, meanwhile making adjustments
a lot of money on maintenance. The questioner
to their development plan. Ina growth industry,
with a fast-developing technology, I can see
has pointed out, quite rightly, the enormous
amount of money that is being spent, and the
other problems of this kind arising.
number of people involved who might well be
The Lecturer : With the right sort of
doing something more useful. But when combuilding envelope you can do what you like
plaining that work is not being done properly
inside it. But to get the right sort three things
one is frequently told by contractors that 4 i have
is
to be established: what kind of floor is
only a factory. This has been the attitude.
required, what height is needed, and what loads
The situation changes immediately if a 'lease

you expect to hang from the roof. If these


back* is being considered, because in any lease

requirements can be established there is no

arrangement of this kind there are rent reviews.


reason why a building should not go on for ever.

The rent is fixed initially on the value of the


It is not all that difficult to do within certain

investment, with the reviews normally at sevenlimits of manufacture. For example, washing
year intervals, although fourteen-year reviews
machines are virtually metal boxes. However
can be obtained. I have even known twenty-one
the insides differ, the outside must be a cabinet
years, but seven is common. When the rent
of a size which can be easily put under a draining
comes up for review it is related to rents being
board and brought out again. Again, computers
paid for equivalent buildings in the particular
mainly come in sections six feet high, two feet
area. If you put up a cheap building, which will
front to back and, generally speaking, four feet
require a lot of maintenance, you may start off

long; and however big the installation is, it is


with a cheap rent. But at the end of the rentmade up of these pieces. If an assessment is
review period the rent is increased and a higher
made of the way in which a particular manurent will be paid for the cheap building, which
facture has developed it is reasonably certain

will go on costing money for maintenance.


that an assessment can also be made of what

Whereas if you start off with a more expensive


variation in production is likely to occur, because
building there may be no increase in rent
it is only size which presents a problem.

because the better building attracted a higher

If the method of assembly is changed and

initial rent. It is not as straightforward as this,


requires a dust-free atmosphere it is possible to
because an investor has to be persuaded that it
put a covering on the floor, improve the ventilais worth putting money into a building which
tion and install a ceiling, and there is a dust-free
has to be rentalized at something higher than
atmosphere, all within the original envelope.
the going rate for that type of building in that
particular area. This is the snag in the argument Mr. R. M. Higgins, bsc, fistructe:
that I have just put forward, but it can be The speaker mentioned the windowless factory.
We know this has been developed quite a lot in
overcome. Broadly speaking, investors are more
the United States and to a somewhat smaller
interested in the covenant than in the building,
extent in this country. It has a number of
because they know the rent will be paid whatever
distinct advantages in terms of environment,
the condition of the building.
cheap maintenance and cheaper building. Would
The answer to your question is that I believe
Mr. Waters say that there is a demand for this
that we should design buildings to be as maintype of factory from industrialists ?
tenance-free as possible. That is not to say that

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JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS

OCTOBER 1970

The Lecturer: In my own experience


part of architecture will increasingly become a
separate entity in the next decade or so ? If so,
there is a strong move away from pretending
that natural light can be used in any industrial
how far will the planning of mechanical handbuilding. In storage buildings, where high temling, and patterns of circulation, become a
perature and light can be detrimental, there
is
speciality
and architectural responsibility ?
very good reason for not letting the sun in. You

can control temperature very much better The


if Lecturer : It is becoming commonthere are no roof lights. So that as far as place
the for architects concerned with industrial

work to prepare layouts for mechanical handling.


storage building is concerned, I think that there
For example, it is impossible to lay out a wareis no argument at all for serious natural lighting.
house economically if the handling scheme is not
In manufacturing buildings the roof is so clutdetermined very early; and the pallet layout and
tered up with services and conveyors that,
generally speaking, there is little advantage from the gangway widths may well determine stannatural light. I have been asked to design build- chion spacings. The same thought applies to

ings without roof lighting on the basis that it production layouts. At the time of the RIBA
exhibition in 1949 Maxwell Fry wrote an article
strip is not a great deal of use, because most
on the contribution that the architect's special
skill in planning could make to the layout of
people are too remote from it. Natural lighting
factories, taking as his theme the layout of a
as a focal point, to provide a point of interest,
factory for Sigmund pumps then recently comis of value from a psychological point of view.
pleted. Maxwell Fry would not normally be
Dr. Henry Russell : Most of the pictures
thought of in this field, but I see it as a normal
shown gave us a very good idea of the environ- development of the architect's skills, and not as
ment of the factories. What guide lines do you a separate entity.
use in costing the amount of money spent on
environment? Do you place much importance
Mr. K. Kennedy, Ariba (Taker & Kenon it, and do you have any difficulty in
nedy) : In your experience have you found that
persuading the prospective owners ?
your clients have done their own homework
makes no contribution. And even the vision

before they approach you ?

The Lecturer: It is almost impossible


now to get planning consent for an industrial
The Lecturer: Very often it is not until
building unless the site is laid out reasonably

you have gone a long way along the line believing


you are doing what is required that you find out
landscaping scheme be approved before the
it is not right because the clients have not given
building is finished. That is the lowest argument
sufficient thought to the project. It is not until
- you are doing it because you have to. I have
they are faced with a set of drawings that serious
rarely found people who resist this and they are
consideration is given to the way in which the
quite prepared to think about it sensibly. As to
well. It is a condition of most consents that a

building is to be used, and this influences the


planning. When I said that the architect had to
be skilled in cross-examination, I was referring
pounds at most would be spent on the surto the need to discover from the building owner
roundings, and you are really going places if you
what is really required.
spend ten thousand. To buy instant trees eighty
feet high is expensive, but if you are prepared
The Chairman : We thank Mr. Waters for
to wait and buy ordinary nursery stock or even
carrying out a very difficult assignment - to give
semi-mature trees, you can get a lot for a
three lectures in three different cities, all with a
hundred pounds. I have just submitted a plant- basic theme, but not the same. I am sure we
ing scheme for a small contract costing fifty have all appreciated it very much, the way he
thousand pounds, and the trees will cost a
has done it, the way he has answered the
hundred pounds. Once the planting is done it questions. It is the sort of lecture which, I
is usually possible to find somebody on the staffthink, should be continued in the classroom.

cost, on a development costing three or four

hundred thousand pounds, five to ten thousand

who likes to look after the site, if it is a smallish


Thank you very much, Mr. Walters.
installation, otherwise it must be maintained
under contract. The most costly part is keeping
The vote of thanks to the Lecturer was expressed
the grass cut.
with acclamation.

Dr. Russell : I was also thinking of access.

Sir Sadler Forster : This is an important

occasion for the Northern Branch of the Royal


Society of Arts, because it is the first time we
access, width of roads and so on, can be demonstrated to a client as being as necessary ashave
the been privileged to hold one of the lectures
normally given in London. We are delighted to
size of the building itself. Generally speaking,
have Mr. Mercer, Secretary of the RSA, with
industrialists recognize this.
us once again and hope he will take back to
Mr. J. W. Davidson (Structural EngiLondon our thanks to the Council for arranging
neer): Does Mr. Waters think the industrial
this admirable lecture, and the feeling of the

The Lecturer: Ordinary methods of

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OCTOBER I97O RLE OF THE ARCHITECT IN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - III


along
on an evening when the good weather
meeting that we would like more of them.
I also
have tempted them to the golf course or
wish to thank the University for making might
accomtheir gardens. Finally, may I thank my friend,
modation available, and Dr. Thompson, the
Honorary Secretary of our Centre, for the con- Jack Napper, for taking the Chair.

siderable hard work he has done in organizing

this occasion. I thank the audience for coming

The meeting then ended amidst applause.

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