Laura Sharman 15 February 2017

Architects warn hundreds of public buildings could be unsafe

Hundreds of public buildings constructed since 2000 could be unsafe, architects have warned.

An inquiry into 17 unsafe schools built in Edinburgh found it was mere ‘timing and luck’ that the collapse of a wall at a primary school last year did not result in the deaths of any children.

It warned that councils ‘would be naïve’ to assume other properties built around the same time and using the same procurement regime would not put the public in danger.

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), which contributed to the inquiry, said lives could be at risk if public bodies did not review the quality of the buildings.

The president of the RIAS, Willie Watt, said: ‘The message is simple and the responsibility of all commissioning authorities is clear. An early process of inspection by appropriately qualified experts should proceed as urgently as the various public commissioning authorities, local, health and governmental, can muster the skilled individuals who can do this work.

‘The Royal Incorporation’s own submission to the Inquiry agreed strongly that without diligent and careful checking at every stage of the building process problems are almost inevitable. In this instance it was fortunate that nobody was injured, or killed.’

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