civil engineers commission their own Grenfell review
July 19, 2017 – Peter Hansford, the former government chief construction advisor, has been commissioned by the Institution of Civil Engineers to lead a review of the lessons for civil engineers from the Grenfell Tower fire.
The government has already commissioned its own independent review panel and has geared up the Construction Industry Council (representing the professions) and Build UK (contractors and specialists) to provide their input.
However, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) president Tim Broyd has asked Peter Hansford, who is also a past president of the ICE, to conduct a separate review with a wider focus. He has been asked to identify and address systemic issues highlighted by the Grenfell Tower fire and report back by the end of October 2017.
The ICE says that Hansford’s review does not duplicate the government enquiry into the specific failings at Grenfell or cover matters that are currently subject to a criminal investigation. Issues to be covered by the ICE review include:
- Competency and capability within owners, clients and all tiers of the supply chain, including capabilities to understand and manage whole systems
- Responsibility and accountability for safety at all stages of the assets’ life-cycle
- Inspection and quality assurance regimes during and following construction, operational management and in-service modification, refurbishment and re-fit
- Creation, maintenance and implementation of regulation, guidance and codes & standards
- Assessment and management of system related risks
- The effectiveness of industry efforts to understand and apply lessons from recent catastrophic failures
- The impact of procurement practice, commercial arrangements and changes to professional roles and culture on all of the above.
Tim Broyd said: “The nation has been deeply shocked by the events at Grenfell Tower. ICE’s aim with this review is to establish what needs to be done to mitigate the risk of a similar tragedy resulting from the failure of infrastructure assets or networks. As the world’s premier civil engineering organisation it is right that we assess whether change is needed to how we procure, design, construct and maintain the UK’s infrastructure.”
Peter Hansford said: “I am honoured to have been asked to carry out this vital review. The Grenfell Tower tragedy has quite rightly led to a period of deep reflection amongst civil engineers about what the failings at Grenfell highlight for practices across the construction sector. Inevitably the Judicial Inquiry and any criminal investigation may take time to complete. It is important however that the profession moves quickly to capture and implement lessons as quickly as possible”.