Review Panel on Building Standards (Fire Safety) in Scotland: report

Report by Dr Paul Stollard on recommendations of the Review Panel on Building Standards (Fire Safety) in Scotland.


7. The Review Panel on Building Standards (Fire Safety) in Scotland brought together the best available advice from within Scotland, as well as from the rest of the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions around the world. Individuals were appointed either because of their personal knowledge and expertise, or because they represented key stakeholders in the fire safety of high rise domestic buildings. Unsurprisingly there was a degree of overlap between the membership of the Review Panel and other inquiries which had already been established, or were to be established, examining similar issues. Two members of the Review Panel are expert advisers to Grenfell Inquiry chaired by Sir Martin Moore-Bick and one is providing advice to the Metropolitan Police on the on-going criminal investigations. Others are closely involved in the programme of fire tests which has been undertaken. Representatives of the other building standards jurisdictions (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland) were invited. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Local Authority Building Standards were also represented. The membership is set out in Annex 1.

8. It was agreed that the notes of the meeting would be made public once agreed by all members. These would present the collective views and the consensus which the panel could achieve and opinions would not be attributed to individual members.

9. The international group comprised of four members of the Inter-jurisdictional Regulatory Collaboration Committee ( IRCC), representing Australia, Austria, Netherlands and the USA. This group met separately approximately 4 - 6 weeks after the full Review Panel to provide an international perspective and to suggest alternative or additional ideas.

10. The international sub-group agreed that their role was to add a wider and independent perspective on the discussions of the main Review Panel. A flow diagram was developed during the second meeting of the international group (Edinburgh 7 February 2018) which summarised this, and a copy is attached to this report as Figure 1.

11. Both the full Review Panel and the international sub-group met three times and the agreed notes of their meetings are available on the Scottish Government website.

12. In the autumn of 2017 a questionnaire survey into the fire safety of high rise domestic buildings was circulated among the 13 members of the IRCC and its results also fed back into the deliberations of the Review Panel. The results can be viewed here.

13. At the first meeting the remit and objective of the Review Panel were discussed and accepted, this was to:

  • review standards in light of evidence from Grenfell Tower
  • comment on appropriateness and relevance of the current standards and guidance
  • consider the relevance of British Standard and European tests
  • provide an opinion of whether or not any changes are necessary, and
  • keep this under review, as further evidence emerges.

14. The formal scope and remit are set out in Annex 2.

15. The Review Panel was conscious that they were meeting before the Grenfell Inquiry had begun its public hearings and therefore any conclusions to which they came might have to be reviewed in light of the evidence presented to that Inquiry and its eventual findings.


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