Issues around the Edinburgh wall collapse and Grenfell Tower need to be addressed, says past-president

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has announced the formation of a Commission of Past Presidents to investigate the issue of build quality in the construction industry, and what needs to be done to address it.

On top of a number of historic issues, including the wall collapse at a school in Edinburgh, chair of the Commission and immediate CIOB past president Paul Nash said the “tragic events at Grenfell Tower have further underlined the need for an urgent review of the way in which quality is managed in our industry”.

The Commission will consider what steps the CIOB needs to take to address the already identified issues around management and supervision, the importance for our education framework, and whether there are further steps the industry can take to contribute to improving build quality.

A workshop at the CIOB’s members’ forum was held in Cardiff yesterday, involving what the institute called “high-level industry input” into the Commission’s work, focusing on understanding the problems and identifying potential solutions. 

Nash said: “Whilst aspects of the public inquiry must necessarily focus on the issues of regulation and inspection, I think we have to look beyond this at the behaviours that have led to a lack of focus on quality at all stages of the build process, from design and procurement through to construction and re-fit.

“The CIOB has a duty to respond to this issue, acting in the public interest. As professionals we have a duty to the industry and wider society to act responsibly and ethically. This defines what it means to be a professional.

“And we all have a responsibility for the reputation of our industry and, most importantly, the wellbeing of those who use the buildings that we create.”