DG One build inquiry

An independent report into the Construction of the DG One Complex in Dumfries has been published.

The independent inquiry into the Construction of the DG One Complex was commissioned by Dumfries and Galloway Council in July 2017.  The Council commissioned the inquiry after the discovery of significant building safety concerns and construction failures following a protracted dispute with the building contractor.

The inquiry, led by respected construction and procurement industry expert, Professor John Cole, CBE, presented their report at a Full Council Committee meeting today.

The purpose and scope of the Inquiry contained 12 remits, which included:

  • the rationale for the Council entering into the original design and build contract for the facility
  • the contractual arrangements between Kier Northern and Dumfries and Galloway Council
  • the role of the Council, professional consultants appointed to act for the Council and Kier Northern and their supply chain in relation to the quality assurance of the construction of the original building including the inspection process
  • the Council's handling of the problems with the facility since 2009 including the process that led to the Council commencing proceedings against Kier Northern

Professor Cole and the inquiry team had full access to all available knowledge and information relevant to the remit of the enquiry.  This required the cooperation of a wide range of organisations, particularly those that had been directly involved in the original development of the DG One complex or in the subsequent investigations and remediation project.

The management of Kier Construction Scotland and North East (formerly Kier Northern) did not accept the invitation of the inquiry to send a representative and declined several requests to provide evidence.

Key findings from the report, which runs to over 350 pages, included:

  • the contractors failure to provide the required standard of construction
  • fundamental defects in the fire-proofing of the building
  • defects to the masonry walls, significantly the inadequate installation of wall ties
  • waterproofing the enclosing tanks and drainage connections of pools is a fundamental requirement when constructing a building with three internal swimming pools and a spa pool
  • multiple failures on the part of the contractor to adequately comply with the requirements of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003
  • inadequate arrangements made for the monitoring of the quality of works on site
  • adequately resourcing projects with relevant professional expertise and funding would enable the Council to act as an intelligent and informed customer

The Inquiry report also provides advice and recommendations on any specific or wider lessons that can be learned from this project for Dumfries and Galloway Council and other public bodies.

Commenting on the report, Council Leader Elaine Murray, said:

We fully acknowledge all the inquiry's findings and thank Professor Cole and his inquiry team. The findings of his Inquiry give a damning verdict in the quality of construction of DG One at the hands of Keir Northern.

Professor Cole's Inquiry contains a number of lessons and issues for the Council to reflect upon. There are also matters for the attention of Scottish and UK Governments.  Dumfries and Galloway Council will be acting upon these immediately but legislative changes must also come in response to this Inquiry.

I have previously referred DG One Leisure Complex to both the Health and Safety Executive and to Police Scotland. Police Scotland have previously indicated that if criminal activity is evident in the report they would be willing to take it further. Based on this, I will now refer the Inquiry Report to Police Scotland.

We will now focus on moving forward with the recommendations.

Commenting further, Depute Leader Rob Davidson, said:

The report highlights the fundamental failings in the construction of the DG One building were failings on the part of the design and build contractor. The Council had not unreasonably placed significant reliance on the size and experience of a major national contractor to deliver a building to the required standard.

Page last updated: 07/05/2019
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