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Ben Wigley

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  • Comment on: Grenfell Tower inquiry turns down RIBA's offer to help

    Ben Wigley's comment 22 November, 2017 11:18 am

    Architects know more about the fitness for purpose, performance and specification of an overall constructed building than any other consultant in the construction industry. Being lead consultant they need to stand up and be counted. Not being included formally in the Grenfell enquiry confirms two important things in my opinion:
    1. The construction industry prefers to ignore the integral role of the competent architect in terms of expertise in the technical aspects of construction and performance of buildings. In a fragmented industry where collaboration is rare and experts tend to work with their own agenda in isolation this disregard for what the RIBA can contribute to this enquiry is dangerous.
    2. Architects have given the impression over the last 50 years that building is for the contractors to worry about. The design and build contract reinforces this tendency. I believe architects need to embrace the opportunity to reclaim the reputation for technical expertise by really getting involved in the detail when it comes to construction and performance of buildings before they become even more marginalized by clients and other consultants in the industry.

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