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International Construction Law Review

CORRESPONDENT’S REPORT – THE NETHERLANDS COLLAPSING BUILDINGS AND THE NEW QUALITY ASSURANCE ACT IN THE NETHERLANDS DR E.M. BRUGGEMAN Senior research fellow, Institute of Construction Law of the Netherlands [email protected] ABSTRACT Construction safety and safety on and around construction sites have been an issue of concern in the Netherlands for more than a decade now. In this article the author discusses the recent accidents (Section 1) and the causes of those problems, as established by the independent Dutch Safety Board, and the recommendations made by this Board (Section 2). Finally, the recent measures undertaken by the government and stakeholders are discussed (Section 3) as well as a pending new law on quality assurance, the Quality Assurance Act in Construction (Wet Kwaliteitsborging voor het Bouwen) (Section 4). 1. INTRODUCTION In the last decade, The Netherlands has faced a number of accidents concerning both the construction safety of buildings as well as safety on and around construction sites. The Dutch have experienced not only collapsing balconies (Maastricht and Leeuwarden), but also stairs (Utrecht), rooftops (due to excessive snow fall), part of a football stadium (under construction) in Enschede, a supermarket exterior wall (Drachten), a parking lot (in Eindhoven) which was still under construction, and the recent collapse of another parking lot, already in use, in Wormerveer. 1 The actual collapse of buildings was not the only source of concern, as there were also numerous threats regarding construction safety, e.g. the recent evacuation of dozens of existing buildings because of suspected 1 See for an overview of the construction accidents investigated by the Dutch Safety Board (Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid) their English website https://www.onderzoeksraad.nl/en/sectoren/construction-and-service?filters%5Btype%5D=Afgeronde&s=A46A45EA2C8E917FC157CB50487B05F0258CA739 (last accessed 20 November 2018). Pt 1] Collapsing Buildings and the New Quality Assurance Act 121

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