Hundreds of public buildings built after year 2000 may be unsafe

  • 15 Feb 2017

Architects in Scotland say urgent safety checks should be made on many public buildings constructed after the year 2000 because of a new report that highlights a lack of scrutiny that may put lives at risk.

Last year Buildingtalk highlighted the growing concern about dangerous sub-standard schools and hospitals built via PFI schemes and the big profits that were made from careless accounting in government schemes.

Now, a new independent report warns that the lack of proper scrutiny of the construction work could mean that many public buildings erected since 2000 maybe unsafe.

Are our new public buildings safe?

In January 2016 nine tonnes of masonry fell at Oxgangs Primary School. Any children near that wall could have been killed. The incident forced the closure of 17 schools in Edinburgh built under the PPP1 scheme, with over 7,600 pupils affected.

The new report into safety failures highlighted a lack of proper scrutiny of the construction work and criticised the council, the construction company and the partnership which managed the contracts.

Following the publication of the report, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) warns that the lack of proper controls and scrutiny on buildings may be putting lives at risk The Scottish government has written to councils about the problems

Kevin Stewart, Minister for Housing and Local Government, said that the safety of public buildings is the priority and he is very concerned by some of the findings highlighted in the report.

Taxpayers owe billions for sub standard public buildings

And finally, despite the problems of sub standard buildings, UK taxpayers still owe over £300 billion in PFI repayments across 700+ projects for the next 30 years.  Some private contractors who agreed these deals will make massive profits, with some due to see returns of up to 70%.

But no one has taken responsibility for sub standard dangerous building work and poor finance packages that has helped to impoverish the education and health systems.

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