Your article on failures in iconic buildings (19 June, page 26) raises a number of interesting questions about the design and construction of some recent headline-grabbing structures.
It has always seemed to me that innovation brings with it the inevitable risk of later problems. Even the expense of constructing a trial section of the acclaimed roof over the Waterloo Eurostar terminal in a Norfolk field did not prevent embarrassment to its creators.

My gut feeling is that society has to accept that out of the colossal number of iconic buildings being constructed in this period of unprecedented prosperity, some will fail spectacularly. We should hope that your exposé will not deter the innovators. Neither should we overlook the fact that the client, in demanding its "trophy" building, must acknowledge its own part when blame is being apportioned.

Your article says defective buildings might be on the increase and regrets the lack of national research. You mention BRE's analyses in the days when it was a government body. My recollection of this time was the inconclusiveness of BRE research – it never quite applied to the particular design innovation in process. I have little doubt that the daring design risks now being undertaken would find little precedent in any research.