A glimpse into construction during the second world war

February 1945

New developments in building materials: plastics

During the war we have learned a great deal about the use of glues in wood construction, and the development of plastics has given us a wide variety of glues to meet different conditions.

Through necessity we have learned to make many things out of plastic, so a wider variety of plastic compounds is now available than in pre-war days. Some of the things that were made during the war have not given good service but the knowledge we gained has indicated fault and remedies.

Thereby, our knowledge of the use of combinations of materials has been greatly increased, and information which will lead to improvement in many sectors, especially construction where better homes constructed for less, can be made available.

War damage progress report

Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve of the London Repairs Executive issued on 15 February figures on the repair of war damaged houses up to 8 February. Of the target of repairing 719,300 damaged houses, set on 22 September, 503,029 (70%) have been made “tolerably comfortable”. Between 12 January and 8 February 134,399 were repaired.

Labour engaged at 9 February was 132,000 men, equivalent to an average of one house per month per man. Of the labour force, 45,900 had come into London from the provinces, and Sir Malcolm, when answering questions, indicated that the extension of the area of the £10 building limit was expected still further to augment the available force. Included in the 132,000 are 4,900 men from the services and 1,960 American soldiers, of whom all but 225 are engaged on building emergency huts.