Timely report

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell praises the interim report published by Dame Judith Hackitt.

Hats off to Dame Judith Hackitt for publishing her interim report concerning building regulations in a timely fashion after the devastating Grenfell Tower fire .

Too often, investigations that are launched to expose weaknesses following a catastrophe drag on for too long – to the point where they lose their effectiveness. In this instance, not only has Dame Judith Hackitt promised a final report by the spring, but she has recommended an immediate course of action.

According to the feedback that I’ve received, this has been universally welcomed and applauded.

For example, Peter Caplehorn, CPA’s deputy chief executive, said: “Dame Judith recognises that buildings are not currently inherently unsafe but certain shortcomings need to be addressed that cover the complete spectrum, from project initiation through design, procurement and construction, to occupation and use.”

Peter speaks for many organisations when he said “we are pleased to have been able to contribute to the review and look forward to leading our sector to help deliver tangible results”.

I have worked in the construction industry for more than 20 years, and never have I been told that the current operational culture is one to be proud of. There are standout projects – Heathrow’s Terminal 5 for example – but many are beset by delays, unseen costs, and litigation. It is not surprising, in my view, that issues such as fire safety have been almost institutionally overlooked.

Sadly, we report this week that Jon Skinner died at the end of last year . I regarded him as a true friend, and have always enjoyed catching up with him at various events – a view shared by all of us at Glass Times. Unsurprisingly – given his affable intelligence – many people in the industry regarded him in this fashion, and I know he will be widely missed.