Former government chief construction advisor to identify lessons for infrastructure in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) President, Professor Tim Broyd, has asked former government Chief Construction Advisor and Past President of the Institution, Professor Peter Hansford, to lead an independent review of the lessons for civil engineers and other professionals working on the UK’s infrastructure in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The independent review will seek to identify and address systemic issues highlighted by the Grenfell Tower fire, which may increase the risk of a serious failure of infrastructure assets and networks in the UK.

The review does not duplicate the government enquiry into the specific failings at Grenfell or cover matters that are currently subject to a criminal investigation. Issues to be covered include:

  • Competency and capability within owners, clients and all tiers of the supply chain, including capabilities to understand and manage whole systems
  • Responsibility and accountability for safety at all stages of the assets' life-cycle
  • Inspection and quality assurance regimes during and following construction, operational management and in-service modification, refurbishment and re-fit
  • Creation, maintenance and implementation of regulation, guidance and codes & standards
  • Assessment and management of system related risks
  • The effectiveness of industry efforts to understand and apply lessons from recent catastrophic failures
  • The impact of procurement practice, commercial arrangements and changes to professional roles and culture on all of the above.

"The nation has been deeply shocked by the events at Grenfell Tower. ICE's aim with this review is to establish what needs to be done to mitigate the risk of a similar tragedy resulting from the failure of infrastructure assets or networks. As the world's premier civil engineering organisation it is right that we assess whether change is needed to how we procure, design, construct and maintain the UK's infrastructure.”

President of ICE Professor Tim Broyd

"I am honoured to have been asked to carry out this vital review. The Grenfell Tower tragedy has quite rightly led to a period of deep reflection amongst civil engineers about what the failings at Grenfell highlight for practices across the construction sector. Inevitably the Judicial Inquiry and any criminal investigation may take time to complete. It is important however that the profession moves quickly to capture and implement lessons as quickly as possible.”

Review Chairman Professor Peter Hansford

Professor Hansford may make recommendations for changes to policy and/or practice to reduce the risk of future failures. He will complete his review by the end of October 2017.

Notes to editors

  1. ICE has offered full support to the Government's review into the Grenfell fire.
  2. The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is a leading source of professional expertise in transport, water supply and treatment, flood management, waste and energy. Established in 1818, it has 91,000 members, 25% of whom are based overseas. ICE's vision is to place civil engineering at the heart of society, delivering sustainable development through knowledge, skills and professional expertise. ICE has long worked with the government of the day to help it to achieve its objectives, and has worked with industry to ensure that construction and civil engineering remain major contributors to the UK economy.
  3. Professor Peter Hansford is Chair of Construction and infrastructure Policy at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, University College London.