In an article published by Construction Dive on November 4, Judah Lifschitz discusses the investigation into the fatal June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London. He notes those who design and build these structures always are in learning and discovery mode.
"I think the average person — the layman — thinks that design and engineering are black and white and perfect," Lifschitz states, "and then it takes small and large tragedies or failure to realize that, at the end of the day, we're still dealing with people. And, therefore, people make mistakes...in design, or there are still things we don't know or our experience hasn't taught us."
Lifschitz explains that in the U.S. there are multiple layers of requirements to avoid or contain a fire, such as fire-rated materials, fire dampers, fire doors, firesafing and fireproofing. However, human error means things can go wrong, conjuring up the inevitable lawsuits. In the case of the Grenfell Tower fire, survivors and families of the victims have sued U.S.-based manufacturers alleging that the products stoked the deadly fire and even released cyanide gas that killed some residents.
"If this were to happen here," Lifschitz continues, "[the likely defendants] would be virtually anybody involved in design and construction."
Read the full article here.