The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Peter Hansford to lead review identifying key lessons for civil engineers after Grenfell Tower fire

19 July 2017

Professor Peter Hansford, Chair of Construction and Infrastructure Policy at CPM, has been asked to carry out an independent review following the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Professor Peter Hansford

Prof Hansford’s review aims to identify and address systemic issues in infrastructure assets and networks brought to light by the recent Grenfell Tower fire. The review, commissioned by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), seeks to identify the lessons civil engineers and other UK infrastructure professionals can learn from the recent tragedy. Findings may be used to inform recommendations for changes to policy and practice to reduce the risk of future infrastructure failures.

The scope of the review includes:

  • Responsibility and accountability for safety throughout the lifecycle of infrastructure assets
  • Competence and capability to manage complex systems at all levels within supply chains, including assessment and management of system-related risk
  • Creation, maintenance and implementation of regulations and standards, with an assessment of industry efforts to learn from disasters such as Grenfell

Professor Hansford said:

The risk presented by the failure of infrastructure systems has been sadly brought into focus by the Grenfell Tower tragedy. This is an opportunity for those of us working in infrastructure to reflect deeply on what could go wrong within our own sector. I am privileged to have been asked to carry out this review and expect the lessons learned from this event to have a profound impact on industry practices.

Prof Hansford was asked to carry out the review by President of ICE Tim Broyd, Professor of Civil Engineering at UCL. Prof Broyd said:

“The nation has been deeply shocked by the events at Grenfell Tower. ICE’s aim with this review is to establish what needs to be done to mitigate the risk of a similar tragedy resulting from the failure of infrastructure assets or networks.”

Professor Hansford, who joined CPM in July 2016, served as the government’s chief construction advisor from 2012 to 2015. He was President of ICE from 2010 to 2011. His extensive experience in the development and delivery of major UK infrastructure and building projects includes previous positions as executive director of Infrastructure at the Strategic Rail Authority, non-executive board director of Crossrail, and independent non-executive programme board member for the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

The review will not duplicate the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, and will not cover issues subject to the current criminal investigation. Prof Hansford will complete his review by the end of October 2017, with findings and recommendations to be published by ICE in due course.

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