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News - September/October 2018

Review of Scotland’s building standards urges changes

Review of Scotland’s building standards urges changes

A review of building standards compliance and enforcement in Scotland says the system needs to be strengthened.

The review was set up following In January 2016 the brick outer wall of Oxgangs Primary School in Edinburgh collapsed during a storm. Further investigations of a number of Edinburgh schools built at the same time revealed that the principal cause of the collapse was the incorrect installation of wall ties reducing the structural capacity of the walls and their ability to resist the forces on the walls in periods of high winds.

It also concluded that the approach to enforcement where non-compliance has been observed, as currently practiced by verifiers, does not appear to be effective and that enforcement needs to be more strongly implemented by Local Authorities.

Review chairman Professor John Cole said: “There is a need for a culture change within the Building Standards system, which requires both verifiers and applicants to fully understand and deliver on their responsibilities. Culture change can be achieved through education and training of individuals that enables them to do their work effectively, but it is also necessary to have corporate commitment to change. A common goal of compliance with the Building Standards should be a requisite of any project.”

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