"The Balency et Schuhl system was a French system of production which was made available in Ireland and Great Britain under licence to the British firm Holland, Hannen and Cubitts Ltd. First used in 1949, it had two main distinguishing features which it was claimed made it superior to other systems. The first of these was the use of precast walls and in-situ concrete floors which avoided the need for complex joints. The second distinguishing feature was the 'functional units'. In the Balency system thee are two such units which can be arranged to suit any layout. Firstly, there is the 'technical block' which contains the plumbing, water supply, gas pipework, vertical heating mains and the mechanical ventilation duct. The second functional unit is the floor slab containing the heating coils and the electric wiring. It was claimed that the method had numerous advantages in terms of factors such as cost, speed and the number of man hours required. Savings of fifteen percent were predicted on a flat of 750 square feet compared with normal construction methods" (Balency et Schuhl system (1964, July 30th). Building Industry News).
This image was taken in 1969 by John Schooley, FAIA, during an Urban America tour. Urban America tours allowed architects and planners to visit New Towns and meet professionals involved in their planning and continued development. Many of the high-rise buildings that were a part of the development of New Towns were constructed using prefabricated systems.
Keywords: industrial structures, industrial buildings, factories. Submitted by John Schooley, FAIA.