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Tower Blocks UK co-founder Sam Webb awarded MBE

Sam Webb awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Years Honours List 2021, for services to architecture.

Sam Webb qualified as an architect in 1962 and has spent over 50 years championing tower block safety. He was instrumental to the discovery of serious fire and structural defects in the design of Large Panel System (LPS) high rise blocks and has campaigned vigorously for resident safety following the Ronan Point LPS tower block collapse in 1968.

He acted as an expert witness for the families of the deceased in the Lakanal House fire inquiry in 2009 and criticised the government for not implementing the coroners fire safety recommendations, stating that the subsequent Grenfell tragedy was ‘entirely predictable, sadly.’

Mr Webb, now retired, is a former member of the RIBA Council, a founder member of the RIBA Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety and a technical advisor to the All-Party Fire Safety & Rescue Group and continues to devote his time to advocating for residents and lobbying for improved safety standards. In 2018 he co-founded Tower Blocks UK; an information hub and online resource for high rise residents, and in 2020 was involved in the launch of - a project alongside mySociety which aims to empower and amplify the voices of tower block residents and inform them of their rights in law on matters ranging from fire and structural safety to disrepair.

Sam Webb’s courageous whistleblowing and lifelong pursuit of safety, justice and transparency in the building sector hasn’t always earned him favour - which makes the acknowledgement of his vast achievements by the British Honours system all the more significant.

Those of us who have the privilege of working alongside Mr Webb feel immensely proud to see his merits recognised and commended through the awarding of this well-deserved MBE.


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