Construction defects found at another 71 Scottish schools

Grant Prior 11 months ago

Construction defects have been found on at least 71 more schools across Scotland following a wall collapse at Oxgangs Primary in Edinburgh.

Extensive remedial work was needed at Oxgangs Primary school when a wall came down in high winds due to inadequate ties

The collapse in January last year led to the closure of 17 schools in the city while remedial work was carried out.

The main issues concerned the inadequate use of wall ties and poor construction quality

A BBC investigation has now revealed the extent of the problem across Scotland after councils were quizzed about defects discovered in their school buildings.

Problems were found in 71 more schools across 15 council areas.

Remedial work has been completed on most of them with repairs still ongoing at six sites.

Fears have now been voiced that construction problems could be present at other schemes built under the public-private partnership model used for the Edinburgh schools.

Glasgow had 23 schools affected, including 22 built through PPP programmes and one under design-and-build.

Elsewhere, there were five in Aberdeenshire, four in Angus, five in Argyll and Bute, two in Clackmannanshire, three in Dundee, four in East Lothian, two in Fife, three in Inverclyde, one in North Lanarkshire, 10 in South Lanarkshire, three in Stirling and three in West Lothian.

Prof Alan Dunlop, a fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and a visiting professor at Robert Gordon University, told the BBC: “The PPP financing process was not only used for schools, it was also used for hospitals and a number of public buildings, care homes, things like that.

“I’m wondering, if they found a similar problem in schools, are other things happening in other building type that have been used and building under PPP?

“And this is focusing primarily on wall ties and header ties – are there other elements of the building’s structure that are actually at fault? I find it difficult to believe it could only rest with wall ties and header ties.

“We have to review and re-think how we build these buildings, especially for our children.

“The only way we found out about Oxgangs was because the wall collapsed. If the wall hasn’t collapsed, we would never have been any the wiser – so we need intrusive surveys to find out just what on earth is going on.”

Ian Honeyman from the Scottish Building Federation said: “The fundamental point that has to be addressed is that people have to have confidence in the buildings that are being produced, and also be confident that people are safe when they’re living or working in them.

“I don’t think it’s something that can be tackled by one individual company or one individual organisation – I think it has to be done by a combination of all organisations and people involved in the construction industry to look at the fundamental things that have gone wrong here, and look at how we can address it as an industry rather than as individuals.”

Honeyman added the way construction work was signed off might need to be looked at.

He said: “The system itself in terms of the certification process requires ultimately one person to sign off a piece of paper called a completion certificate.

“Unfortunately there’s not one person involved in the whole project who is actually in a position that can do that, because it’s a combination of everybody – not one person can be on the site 24/7, see every piece of brick or steel or whatever else is put up, you can only be there so often.

“There are systems in place that are supposed to pick up these issues going through – but that relies on everyone in the chain to do what’s expected of them.

“And when things get missed, that can have an impact further down the chain, and ultimately I think that’s part of what’s happened here.

“I think the whole industry has to look at the system and manage the system better than we have, as it’s indicated at the moment.”

Latest news

Private equity firm buys railway ground engineer Aspin

Aspin sets sights on £60m revenue target by 2020
6 hours ago

Family pays tribute to demolition worker killed in fall

Statement highlights human cost of construction accidents
6 hours ago

Interserve agrees £292m rescue funding with banks

Banks extend borrowing facility to £834m in short-term fix for Interserve
1 day ago

£5bn Southern Construction Framework renewal race starts

Eleven contractors in fight to retain places on UK's largest regional framework
13 hours ago

Sunderland council rebids Carillion Vaux brewery project

Work set to restart on Sunderland business district scheme
13 hours ago

PwC racks up £20m fees since Carillion collapse

PwC is charging 12,500 a week for each member of staff
1 day ago

Crossrail construction enters final stages: Picture special

Latest site shots released as nine-month countdown to completion begins
13 hours ago

BAM confirmed for £65m Leeds Uni science complex

Work starts on University's largest ever single project investment
1 day ago

New UK Managing Director at Turner & Townsend

Patricia Moore promoted to run whole UK operation
1 day ago

Boost your online presence with the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
3 weeks ago

Cladding specialist Cover Structure goes into administration

Robertson takes over from stricken subcontractor on Aberdeen conference centre
2 days ago

Watkin Jones 780-bed Coventry student scheme approved

Student accommodation builder's work pipeline swells to nearly 10,000 rooms
2 days ago

Rival rescues Hydrock division from administration

Vertase FLI swoops to safeguard jobs under threat at QDS Contracting
2 days ago

BAM gets planning for £23m Aylesbury school

Work to start next month on Buckinghamshire secondary school
2 days ago

Procure North West launches £2bn bid race

New north west region public building framework launched
2 days ago

Kier clinches £57m student village for Warwick Uni

Five student blocks to be demolished to make way for new buildings
2 days ago

Clugston to start work on £25m Hull warehouse

Arco national distribution centre will be extended for extra 220,000 sq ft
2 days ago

McAlpine JV wins pre-construction deal on £466m hospital

J3 Limited joint venture chosen for new Jersey hospital
3 days ago

Lendlease and McLaren win £1bn Manchester St John’s scheme

Enabling work to start next month on St John's neighbourhood
3 days ago

DNA research firm to build new plant in Oxfordshire

Oxford Nanopore reveals plans for new manufacturing centre after £100m cash injection
3 days ago

Urban & Civic praises speedy planners

Developer gets green light in just 20 weeks for 2,800 new homes
3 days ago

Mears chases £2bn bid pipeline after profits weaken

Mears suffers challenging year after Grenfell disaster and Middle East contract hits
3 days ago

Stalled Angelgate site put up for sale

Land earmarked for blighted Manchester resi scheme to go under auctioneer's hammer
3 days ago

£36m Cardiff student block set for planning OK

Crosslane gets go-ahead for 384-bed scheme
3 days ago

Vinci UK profits soar despite £18m civils loss

Profit boost from land disposal offsets further losses at Taylor Woodrow
3 days ago

FRC launches probe into Carillion finance directors

Investigation into Richard Adam and Zafar Khan over preparation of financial accounts back to 2014
4 days ago

Kier set for £48m Pirbright animal virus research lab

Work due to start before end of 2018 on the high containment large animal facility
3 days ago

Wates sees order book swell to record £5.1bn

Contractor confident about future prospects as it offers new roles to former Carillion staff
4 days ago

Engie to start stripping cladding on East London tower blocks

Canning Town and Plaistow Tower housing blocks get reclad go-ahead
4 days ago

Passer-by raises safety alarm over solar panel contractor

Director and contractor fined after ignoring safety warnings
4 days ago

Contractor services