The Tenement Revealed

The Tenement Revealed

History, Design & Construction

John Gilbert

  • An accessible and informative handbook for all
  • A comprehensive guide to all elements of the tenement structure, also advocating good maintenance practice
  • An enlightening account over 200 years of the variations in methods and materials, in concert with social changes


Print edition: £39.99
210 x 280mm
c 352 pages
illustrated with over 300 photos and 150 diagrams and plans, colour throughout
August 2024

The Tenement Revealed is a liberally illustrated guide to the construction of tenement housing across Scotland from 1700 to 1915, with detailed information about the changing methods and materials used. Numerous detailed drawings accompany the photographs, resulting in an attractive and accessible book that is equally relevant as a maintenance guide or historical account with relevance beyond Scotland.

The period covered was a time of considerable social change, reflected through attention to law (e.g. around sanitation), land ownership, transportation (e.g. the development of canals and railways), colonialism, and the coming of fireplaces, oil lamps and electricity. In this context, the book considers the drivers which underpinned improvements such as the risk from fire, dry rot, collapse due to coal mines, and health problems (leading to installation of bathrooms and kitchens). The current and future impacts of climate change and carbon emissions on tenements are assessed and the author makes a plea for attention to breathable insulations, with an example of how this has been achieved in a tenement block in Glasgow.

This comprehensive book is also a plea for good maintenance of this important type of urban housing, particularly in the light of climate change and addresses how maintenance and insulation of tenements can be achieved. This is of vital importance because increased rainfall due to climate change is damaging stone mortar, and the lack of insulation leads to more carbon emissions and to fuel poverty.

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In the UK P&P is £3.50 for the first book, plus £1.00 for each additional one.

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