Chairs announced for building and fire safety review groups

John Cole CBE
John Cole CBE

Housing minister Kevin Stewart has announced two leading experts as the chairs of the groups that will take forward a review of Scottish building standards in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Professor John Cole will chair the review of enforcement and compliance and Dr Paul Stollard will chair the review of fire safety in building standards.

An architect and retired Northern Ireland senior civil servant, Professor Cole has a 30 year career in public service specialising in seeking to improve the quality of design, procurement and construction of new buildings in the public sector. In so doing he has been responsible for the development, dissemination and implementation of a series of innovative and highly successful procurement models.

He was recently commissioned by the City of Edinburgh Council to prepare the ‘School Closures Report’ to consider the issues surrounding the collapse of a wall at Oxgangs Primary School and subsequent closure of 17 schools. The ‘Cole Report’ was published February 2017.

Dr Paul Stollard
Dr Paul Stollard

Between 1986 and 1990, Dr Stollard was on the staff of the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies of the University of York. In 1990 he was appointed as Visiting Professor at of Architecture at the Queen’s University of Belfast, and he continued to teach there in a part-time capacity while running an architectural practice in Northern Ireland. The practice specialised in the fire safety design of complex buildings (especially hospitals and shopping centres) and pioneered the fire risk assessment of existing buildings, being commissioned by various government departments to write advisory documents.

In 1997 Paul joined the civil service in Scotland to work on building regulations. He was responsible for the reform of the building standards system through Building (Scotland) Act 2003, and in 2004 became the chief executive of the Scottish Building Standards Agency established to run the new system.

In 2006 he received the annual Peter Stone Award from the Association of Building Engineers for his work in the fields of fire engineering and building regulations.

Between 2008 and 2012 was the Health and Safety Executive’s regional director for Scotland and Northern England.

The Ministerial Work Group on building and fire safety was set up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, with the primary aim of offering public reassurance.

Part of the group’s focus has been on a wider range of measures to enhance and strengthen building regulations enforcement and compliance as well as fire safety.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said:  “Today I have appointed two established leaders in their field of expertise to chair the two groups that will take forward the review of building standards. Professor John Cole will chair the review of enforcement and compliance and Dr Paul Stollard will chair the review of fire safety in building standards. I am delighted that we are so fortunate to have two chairs of such high calibre leading this work.”

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