Grenfell lessons may not be learned, says ex-RIBA president

Grenfell Tower after the fire

Jane Duncan says industry can’t say that a similar disaster won’t happen again

The UK construction industry is in danger of failing to learn from the Grenfell Tower disaster and a similar tragedy could happen at any time, according to RIBA ex-president Jane Duncan.

Speaking at a building regulations and fire safety conference hosted by Building’s sister publication BD last week Duncan – who was RIBA president at the time of the Grenfell fire in which 72 people died – said she was “not convinced” that the findings and recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s review would prevent a repeat of the disaster in west London nearly a year ago.

While the Hackitt review, due out at the end of this month, “could come up with some very good suggestions” Duncan said she didn’t think the industry was in any position to say there will never be another Grenfell. “I have heard many people say it will never happen again, from government ministers downwards, and I’m sorry, it can happen,” she added.

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