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Welcome to the blog of Members’ Forum 2017.

Build quality – getting it right first time

Recent high-profile incidents, such as the Grenfell Tower fire, Edinburgh schools wall collapse, and public dissatisfaction with quality of new homes, have shone a light on the issue of build quality in the construction sector.

And while the above are UK examples that have been recently thrust into the spotlight, there is no doubt that this is a global problem: high-rise fires in Dubai; structural failures in buildings in Bangladesh, Ghana and China; bridge collapses in the US, and of course the ongoing gap globally between the design and performance of how our buildings are supposed to operate.

It all makes sobering reading for anyone who cares about our industry and the reputation of those who work in it. With poor quality comes reputational risk, adding to a perception that reflects poorly on the industry while also asking questions about the ethics that lie behind this.

Reporting in some of the cases above has focused on the failings of the procurement processes, the role of government, insufficient quality assurance and poor levels of workmanship. But there are many unanswered questions about the role of those responsible for directing and managing these projects, which have wider implications for our industry and society.

It is therefore clear that the CIOB, acting in its public interest remit as outlined in our Royal Charter, has a duty to respond to these criticisms.

This is why we are holding a workshop at Members’ Forum to examine the issue of quality in light of these recent events with a focus on understanding the problems and identifying potential solutions.

We also need to acknowledge that the CIOB cannot act alone on this issue. This is why we are delighted to welcome Ben Derbyshire, President Elect of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), to the workshop to give his views on the role of design and designers in the quality debate.

We know that the built environment has enormous socioeconomic benefits if, and only if, buildings and infrastructure are built and maintained correctly. We have to get it right first time.

David Hawkes, Policy Manager

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