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Letters / In defence of the Scottish Building Standards System

As a chartered construction professional (career spanning 40 years) and someone who has worked as a building control officer with many councils including SIC and until recently Stirling Council, I feel I have to stand up for the Scottish Building Standards System.

There is much being said about the Moorfield Hotel fire, the similarities with the Fair Isle fire, and whether the building standards system and building regulations are robust enough.

There seems to be a lack of understanding as to what the purpose of the building standards system and the building regulations are.

The building regulations are primarily concerned with the protection of people from the dangers inherent in buildings, rather than protecting the owners of buildings from any economic loss which might occur.

In both fires no one was hurt and all the occupants managed to escape before the building(s) started to collapse – I have seen one report [Moorfield Hotel] where the fire service said that “the building performed [during the fire] as expected”.

An investigation into the fire will follow but my initial thoughts are that the designers, building standards, the hotel management, and the fire service have all done fantastic work in ensuring no one was injured or died in these fires.

Stewart Douglas
Lerwick

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