The scale of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower just over a year ago gave urgency to this review of the Building Standards for fire safety in Scotland and the Review Panel was established with commendable speed by Scottish Ministers. Our brief was to determine what, if anything, had to be changed, revised or improved in the building standards system and the specific guidance on fire safety in high rise domestic buildings.
In undertaking this work we have been very conscious that the Grenfell Inquiry itself was also beginning its painstaking work to establish exactly what happened on the night of the fire and why. As it is only in the last few weeks that the public hearings have begun, it is recognised that the conclusions in this report may need to be revised in due course. However, some of our recommendations are sufficiently important that they should be implemented as soon as possible.
The Review Panel brought together an extremely experienced group of fire safety engineers and specialists, along with representatives of the major construction bodies in Scotland and the various regulators. It was also greatly assisted by a small international group of fire safety regulators from other jurisdictions, who ensured that there was an appropriate degree of reflection and benchmarking after each meeting. I have been grateful not only for by the commitment of those involved, both from Scotland and further afield, but also for their determination to achieve a high degree of consensus on what needed to be done. I would wish to express my thanks to each of them. I have also benefited from the help and support of Scottish Government civil servants, especially those within the Building Standards Division.