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whose property it was he knew not, nor was it his business to know, and there was nothing that called for his interference. That was a case in which a man's external wall was turned into a party wall against his will, without remedy. It is proposed by the Bill to enormously extend the evil, so that an external wall 100 feet long will be made party all its length if a 5-foot building be erected against any part. The provisions of the Bill will enable a neighbouring owner to alter the character of the adjoining owner's wall, and to limit with impunity the owner's power over his own property.
Section 50, Sub-section 4, provides, inter alia, that noflue shall be used for close ranges of eating-houses unless it be surrounded with brickwork 8 inches thick up to the level of the ceiling of the room next above the same. This is unnecessarily stringent, and will work great hardship, in the poorer suburban parts of London, on proprietors of small coffee houses, and on their customers, by tending to reduce the number of small places of cheap refreshment.
Sub-section 15. The provision that hearths shall be twelve inches longer than the chimney opening, although in the existing Act, is scarcely sufficient. It is good practice to build the opening very little wider than the grate body, and to let the iron front plate of the grate lap considerably over the jambs. This gives a much sounder setting for the grate. But applying this rule would result in the grate front in many cases being wider than the stone hearth. Many a 3-foot grate can be set in an 18-inch opening, and the hearth in such a case would, by the rule, be only 2 ft. 6 in. wide, which would be insufficient for safe construction.
Sub-section 18 provides that "a flue shall not be built. . . against any party structure unless it be surrounded with "new brickwork at least 4 inches thick," i.e., it must have a new half-brick back against the party wall. This is
unnecessarily severe, as no timber is allowed within 4 inches of the centre of a party wall. The rule will make corbelled chimneys more difficult to construct, and the flues will take up an unnecessary amount of room in consequence of the greater projection. In Sub-section 20, paragraph 6 (soot-doors), the requirement of a close iron door and frame is. scarcely sufficient in many cases. "Iron frames and double
iron" soot-doors are desirable.
Section 52 (proviso) restricts steam pipes from being fixed nearer to combustible materials than six inches, and hot-water pipes nearer than three inches, but is not to apply to pipes conveying steam or hot water at low pressures. This is the same as the present amended Building Act. What is low pressure? Under the present Acts I find the greatest diversity of opinion among district surveyors as to what is "low pressure." As to steam, some say five pounds, and others any intermediate pressure up to 30 pounds per square inch above atmospheric pressure, or as shown on the gauge. The five pounds man justifies his opinion by stating that as the usual pressure of a low pressure condensing engine. Another district surveyor's view is that "low pressure means "no pressure," i.e., atmospheric pressure, or zero on the pressure gauge; really, steam in an open blow-off pipe of full capacity. As to hot water, some allow as low pressure hot-water pipes, all pipes of low-pressure (i.e., open circulation) apparatus, irrespective of the pressure to which they are subject by the "head" of water, as distinguished from high-pressure close circulations as BACON's; others, again, take the severe view that "low pressure" is to apply only to pipes from and below open boilers from which the water is drawn below the level of the boilers. This great diversity of opinion among officials is highly inconvenient, and is not cleared up by the Bill.
Section 54 provides that "public" (and some other)
buildings shall have all the stairs and the floors of all passages, &c., of fire-resisting material, and that the stairs should be ventilated on every storey by windows or skylights opening directly into the external air (this must be read with Section 34 as to size of air shafts). These provisions are very proper to be applied to all the public parts of the building, but are not necessary, and will be the cause of much difficulty in the private stairs and passages used, for instance, by the housekeeper. The district surveyor should be allowed to use his judgment, and permit a relaxation of the rules in these parts.
Section 57. (Lifts to be enclosed with brickwork 9 inches thick, and the door openings to same to have solid selfclosing iron doors.) These are very severere strictions for the City-the brick enclosure especially so. Is an open well staircase enclosed by a grille, so as to hold a lift, a cause of greater risk in case of fire than the same staircase entirely open? And as to self-closing doors, which I presume are to be imperforate, I imagine the sliding Bostwick gates will still be used, and the solid self-closing iron door fastened back, open all day; if so, who is to see that it is closed at night? I know a public building erected 27 years since where several sets of iron doors were insisted on by the district surveyor, because the cubic contents of the building were so large. The doors have never been closed for over a quarter of a century. The surveyor's demands were absurd, as the building is actively used and the operations therein in full swing day and night.
PART VII. Rights of Building and Adjoining Owners. -It is doubtful whether so much alteration is desirable
as is contemplated by the Bill. The provisions of the existing Act have worked with wonderful smoothness on the whole; with a few necessary alterations they might be allowed to remain. The provision of an umpire-surveyor at
once turns the proceedings of the surveyors appointed by the owners to settle disputes into an arbitration, and will bring them under the Arbitration Act, so that a good many of the regulations of the Bill, whether old or new, must be read with that Act, and even if the Bill do not conflict with it and other existing Acts, the law will be somewhat complex. The present arrangement of one surveyor, or three surveyors, such one, or two of such three, to make the award, has answered very well, and need not be altered. Nevertheless, some amendment is required. If, as has been held, every sub-lessee occupying, or entitled to possession of, any part of the adjoining premises is entitled to notice, then he is entitled to appoint a surveyor, so that there may be several sets of three surveyors all adjudicating and making inconsistent awards as to different portions of the same wall. This requires alteration, but the Bill does not touch the point. A further matter for consideration is as to questions of differences which arise after the award has been made, such as those respecting the account of the cost referred to in Section 82, and many others which arise in practice. Are the surveyors functus officio after they have made the award, and have the parties to go through the form of again appointing surveyors to settle such after-questions, or can they be determined by supplementary awards of the original surveyors? What is a What is a "surveyor' surveyor" for the purposes of this part of the Act or Bill? Can an owner appoint himself as his own surveyor in either case, whether he be a surveyor or whether he be not one? Can an owner appoint a builder as his surveyor? I would suggest the attention of the framers of the Bill to these questions.
Section 72, Sub-section 6, gives a building-owner, at any time after expiration of a month's notice, if the adjoining owner consent, a right to project footings and concrete foundation on the land of the adjoining owner. There
should be some limit of time for the exercise of this right; "at any time after" is extremely wide. As the Bill stands, the owner who may build on the verge of his land must have projecting footings on both sides of his wall, and, in some cases, projecting concrete; so that if he do not get the consent of the adjoining owner, or there be not an adjacent wall, he must set back his wall to obtain space for projecting the footings, &c. Where there is an adjacent wall the footings of the new wall abutting thereon may be omitted on that side. Query, whether this provision should not be extended to concrete also, and to new walls abutting on adjacent land where there is no adjacent wall; but the concrete so omitted should be extended on the buildingowner's side, and on that side it is desirable, for purposes of stability, that the footings should be of double width and double height.
Section 73. The present Act, Section 83, gives similar rights to this Section 73 of the Bill, viz., inter alia to pull down and rebuild party structures not in conformity with the regulations of the Act, and to rebuild the same in conformity therewith, charging a portion of the expenses on the adjoining owner. But the Act has a proviso which the Bill omits, that all such structures shall be deemed to be conformable with the Act if they are conformable with the two previous Building Acts. The omission of this proviso from the Bill may be the cause of great hardship and injustice, with regard to contribution of expenses, to owners of comparatively new walls. I would suggest that a proviso be inserted in the Bill, that buildings which are conformable with the provisions of the present Building Act shall, for the purposes of this part of the proposed new Act, be deemed to be conformable with the regulations of the proposed new Act.
Section 75, Sub-sections 1 and 8. There appears to be some discrepancy between these two sub-sections as to time