Today marks three years since the Grenfell Tower Fire and we cannot emphasize enough the tragedies the fire inflicted. Uncontrolled fires cause a kind of emotional and human losses that cannot be described. But as we remember the victims, we’ll also have to look into other aspects in the aftermath of the disaster.
After the incident, promises were made that this would never happen again. Inquiries were made and on 16 May 2018 Building a Safer Future, Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report was published. In the report Dame Hackitt suggests that; “…there is a need for a radical rethink of the whole system and how it works. This is most definitely not just a question of the specification of cladding systems, but of an industry that has not reflected and learned for itself, nor looked to other sectors.”
We have realized the way things are done traditionally is not good enough. Not only has it been found in the screening following Grenfell that 500 other buildings had similar kinds of risk facades with ACM-cladding but it also goes deeper. The Hackitt report shows that the system of fire protection is in itself insufficient and the way building standards are made is not enough. The way the industry is built is not enough.
We as an industry, as a society, need to improve the system together. The Grenfell fire was a painful reminder of this. We also owe it to those who live and act in our cities today. And when we say we, we mean all of us; engineers, designers, architects, construction and development companies, law-makers and legislators, BIM enthusiasts and tech luddites. It is our responsibility that 14th of June 2017 never happens again.