All those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and others with an interest have been invited to help shape the work of the public Inquiry into the fire.
The Chair of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, has launched a consultation into its terms of reference which will set out what the Inquiry will cover. The RIBA has made a written submission to the consultation setting out its views on what the Inquiry should cover and the evidence it should obtain.
The Grenfell Tower Inquiry will need to undertake a comprehensive investigation into the origin and development of the fire, the reasons for the spread of the fire and the factors that led to the huge loss of life.
While the Inquiry must clearly consider the specific sequence of decisions, actions and occurrences that led directly to the events of 14 June 2017, the RIBA strongly believes that the terms of reference of the Inquiry must be very broadly based. In particular, the RIBA proposes that the Inquiry must have the broadest possible remit to examine the overall regulatory and procurement context for construction of buildings in the United Kingdom, to ensure that any systemic issues that may impact on the design, quality of construction and safety of buildings in respect of fire and which could have contributed to the Grenfell Tower fire are brought under appropriate scrutiny. It should also review the mechanisms by which the fire brigades are engaged in the development of Building Regulations and are able to provide input into the design of individual buildings, and by which operating procedures during building fire and rescue deployments are determined.
In taking expert evidence on the behaviour of fire in buildings and the regulatory framework for design and construction for fire safety, the Inquiry may wish to consider the need for independent input from experts not directly or indirectly involved in the development of UK Building Regulations, perhaps from a recognised authority from outside the UK.