Faults found in 17 Edinburgh schools ‘self-certified’ by Miller

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  1. A result of systemic lack of technical competence, by either both designers and or builders, (which in this case the builder is both) inadequate supervision, lack of ownership and weak management from the top down.

  2. One can only imagine the panic in boardrooms across the country as this will prove likely to be the tip of an iceberg. Self regulation of the press and banks has been seen not to work so why do we expect self regulation within the construction industry to work? Do we not study history to learn from the mistakes of the past, Norfolk and Norwich hospital 2001 being a case in example.
    The needs of the client (to maximise build at minimum cost) is diametrically opposed to the need of the contractor (to maximise profit). Forget ‘Partnerships’ (whatever the acronym they hide behind), as in this case it’s proved again they don’t really work – let’s get back to designing fully before going out to tender, not on the hoof ‘on-site’ where contractors use of claims conscious ‘value engineering’ impacts original design proposals and inexperienced, junior staff are put under enormous pressure to reduce costs. How about reverting to a common sense approach, including the reintroduction of a Clerk of Works paid for by the client to ensure that what’s been designed is what’s delivered. Also how about making an example of the guilty parties here, or will once again the guilty escape under corporate protection?

  3. Unfortunately, the onus is being put on the contractor to reduce costs hence this often means supervision. Most projects these days are ‘design & build’, which sounds fine on the outside but is fraught with risk. We need external supervision similar to a Clerk Of Works as even the most ‘competent’ specialist sub-contractors have problems with their own systems/work packages. The labour on site is critical, that’s where the mistakes are made often due to time constraints or even a lack of understanding. Good quality costs money.

  4. Employers, Employer’s Agents and Client’s Representatives take note. Inspection by second parties and inspections by the building insurer during construction is the best approach to sustainable development of the built environment.

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