Construction defects found at another 71 Scottish schools

Grant Prior 2 weeks ago
Share

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

Edinburgh schools
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

Mayor of London pulls plug on Garden Bridge

Sadiq Khan withdraws backing amid fears of funding gap and rising construction costs
2 days ago

Specialist sites to get £15bn funding boost

Building boom to continue in sectors like student accommodation and PRS
2 days ago

Manchester’s Harbur Construction goes under

More than 20 jobs axed at social housing specialist
3 days ago

Hill on track for £850m turnover target

Rapid growth ranks south firm as country's third largest private house builder
2 days ago

Scape starts race for £1.4bn Midlands framework

Procurement specialist aims to pick firms for 10 lots in Midlands and East of England
2 days ago

Reading FC’s £500m Royal Elm Park scheme approved

Work to start early next year on convention centre and housing next to club’s Madejski Stadium
3 days ago

Construction firms: Show staff and suppliers you care

Entry deadline approaching for a chance to be recognised among the best in the business at the Enquirer awards
2 days ago

Betting Spy: Chelsea title tip paying off

Nearly time to collect on our pre-season punt while Stoke, Spurs and Palace can land a treble
2 days ago

Taylor Wimpey chief takes reins at Countryside house building

Countryside unveils leadership shake-up at house building and partnerships operations
3 days ago

New home registrations soar to 10-year high

NHBC registrations jump 17% in first three months of 2017
3 days ago

AstraZeneca HQ project costs skyrocket

Cambridge HQ project running over two years late and to cost £170m more than expected
3 days ago

HSE inspector numbers fall by 25%

Spending cuts bite at HSE raising union concerns about lack of enforcement
3 days ago

Taylor Wimpey sets aside £130m to settle lease rows

Housebuilder acts to help homeowners hit by ground rents which double every ten years
3 days ago

Styles & Wood targets schools and Government hub refit

Fit-out specialist targets public sector refurb work as profit jumps 26%
3 days ago

Forrest lands twin towers resi deal in Manchester

Contractor lands significant deal as it shifts from traditional maintenance market
4 days ago

CSCS backs “try before you buy” apprentices

Skills body supports on-the -job training with funding for contractors
3 days ago

Heathrow plans offsite revolution for infrastructure construction

Four new logistics hubs to be dotted around country to pre-assemble components for £16bn airport expansion
4 days ago

Interserve and Kier walk away from £100m water deal

Contractors unable to agree a price after six months with Severn Trent Water
4 days ago

Irish duo scoops £85m Cumbria pipeline job

Farrans and Roadbridge joint venture to deliver Thirlmere water mains project
4 days ago

Civils firms win £60m Welsh roads framework

Alun Griffiths, Dawnus, Jones Bros and JN Bentley snare Welsh roads spend
4 days ago

Grosvenor eyes mid-market housing as London chills

Plans for 1,500 homes to be submitted this year for five hectare Bermondsey site
4 days ago

CBI turns to “future leaders” to reform construction

Think tank set-up of rising stars under 35 to generate new ideas
4 days ago

Laing O’Rourke to get new Chairman

Anglo American chief Sir John Parker to join later this year
5 days ago

Talks start on independent appeals against FFI charges

Contractors to get fair hearings over £124-an-hour safety visit charges
4 days ago

Former Liverpool Chinatown contractor goes under

Bilt Group in creditors' voluntary liquidation
5 days ago

Staircase contractor fined £185k after death at O’Rourke site

CMF Ltd fined after worker crushed by falling concrete staircase
5 days ago

British Land submits latest Broadgate revamp plan

Developer to boost shopping space at 135 Broadgate bank building
5 days ago

Newly merged housing group to build 1,200 homes a year

Vivid plans to double new build housing output in Hampshire and Surrey
5 days ago

Willmott Dixon wins £24m Harwell testing lab

Builder returns to Harwell after completing project two years ago
5 days ago

Morgan Sindall wins £30m Soton student digs

Select Property Group has nine schemes in development around the country
5 days ago

Contractor services