The author of the Inquiry Report into Edinburgh's PPP1 Schools, Professor John Cole, has kindly agreed to the release of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland's written submission to the Inquiry which is attached.
The Report on the Inquiry into Edinburgh's PPP1 Schools (the Cole Report) is a strong signal to all of Scotland's, indeed the UK's, public bodies to review the build quality of their recently commissioned properties.
The Report, written by independent expert, Professor Cole, highlights highly significant risks. The Report strongly signals that it is incumbent on every public commissioning authority to read this important, carefully written and considered report, consider its conclusions and act upon them. This will require significant expertise at substantial cost - however not to act may cost lives. Public bodies have a duty of care to protect public health and safety. While the problems highlighted may not be of their making, they are nevertheless responsible.
The Cole Report emphasises the potential danger from major latent defects in recently constructed buildings. The fact that the collapse of the wall bringing down nine tonnes of masonry at an Edinburgh Primary School in January 2016 did not result in infant deaths was, according to the report down to mere "timing and luck".
The President of the RIAS, Willie Watt, commented,
"When major inquiry reports are published there is a tendency for everyone to breathe a sign of relief, mutter "well that's that dealt with" and move on. That should not be the case with this, extremely well researched and deeply concerning report. The message is simple and the responsibility of all commissioning authorities is clear."
RIAS Secretary, Neil Baxter, commented,
"This Report demands a response - and don't underestimate it - that response may save lives!"