Serious Topics Political and Economic Discussion Forums.. Javascript must be enabled to use this site.
Password ReminderLoginRegister  
Topics
Register
Login
Archives

British Political Economy

Do you have faith in Tony Blair? Do you believe the Conservatives are capable of beating New Labour? What can the Liberal Democrats offer?

Note that various articles on the housing markets of the UK, USA and Australia are recorded at House Price Crash Discussion Forums
Please register or login to post.
View Topic
Search text   Date  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  

PosterMessage
cynic 09
 22 Jun '17  12:14 : 0 recs : edited 3 times : last edit 22 Jun '17  12:20

Blame game now into overdrive.
“we will be informing the contractor that we will be taking urgent legal advice.”

Camden did a Kensington 5x over and managed to get away with it.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
ssaines
 21 Jun '17  22:44 : 0 recs : edited 1 time : last edit 21 Jun '17  22:54

Zorro: "Thank you vos and I can only say that I regret taking the Chancellor's word for it that the cladding was illegal in the UK."

It remains to be seen. I haven't had a chance to follow UK news last few days, but I suspect the *material* is legal within regulations. The question is 'was the application consistent with those regs?'

Edit to Add:
Just accessed Cynic's link, and indeed, nothing yet is definitive, I'm just about to visit UK Architects' Journal to see the latest there, but from the Grauniad:
Aluminium cladding of the type believed to have been used at Grenfell, with a polyethylene filler, is not compliant with building regulations on taller buildings in the UK. The Department of Communities and Local Government, which oversees building regulations, says: “Cladding using a composite aluminium panel with a polyethylene core would be non-compliant with current building regulations guidance. This material should not be used as cladding on buildings over 18m in height.”

It remains unclear when and how the more flammable material was substituted and the council declined to comment on what judgments its building inspectors made about the cladding during their site visits. The contractor Rydon has said it “met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards”.

I up the stakes!

The metal 'sandwich' drastically changed the incendiary nature of the core, just as a an enclosure an explosion. Those 'plates' would have turned a normally slower burning core into 'jets', and burning at a much higher and vastly more efficient way in terms of releasing heat and promoting the overall flammability and self-sustained reaction. The 'chimney effect' was multi-dimensional.

Absolutely chilling. I even question the safety at 18m.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
cynic 09
 21 Jun '17  20:02 : 0 recs : edited 1 time : last edit 21 Jun '17  20:05

It would seem that Kensington Council did issue a completion certificate for Grenfell Tower.
“The proposed plans and other details submitted were reviewed by RBKC [Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea] building control,” the council said in a statement. “While a formal decision notice was not issued for the plans, the plans submitted were fully vetted by building control with comments provided; these comments were then followed up by the site inspection regime. Site inspections began on the 29/08/2014 with 16 inspections undertaken with final completion issued on the 07/07/2016 and a completion certificate issued.”

Guardian
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
vos
 21 Jun '17  06:05 : 0 recs : edited 1 time : last edit 21 Jun '17  06:06

Just to clarify. The cladding itself was not illegal in the UK. With the certification that it carried, the UK could not ban it. However, it remains to be seen whether it, or the system of which it formed part, had passed the tests required for use above 18m. That is to say the guidance given in paragraphs 12.6 to 12.9 of Approved Document B Vol 2 or meet the performance criteria given in the BRE report 'Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi storey buildings (BR 135) for cladding systems using full scale test data from BS 8414-1:2002 or BS 8414-2:2005.'
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
vos
 21 Jun '17  05:57 : 0 recs

The cladding panels (Reynobond PE) consist of an aluminium skin with an low density polyethylene filling. Tests to BS476 give it a Class O rating for flame spread. This, in theory, makes it OK to use up to 18m. There is a further requirement for use above 18m and it is not clear whether this material met that requirement. The aluminium is supposed to protect the filling.

However these thin Reynobond PE panels are used to form a 'rain screen'. Behind it is a 50mm gap and then comes the main insulation. From published information this appears to be Celotex FR5000, a fire retarded polyisocyanurate foam with a foil face. This too has a Class O rating. Some people have said that they though Rockwool rather than FR5000 had been used - but that woul represent an improvement over FR5000 from the fire safety angle.

However, the test method specified in BS476 and the roughly equivalent EN standard specifically excludes the chimney effect. But at Grenfell Tower we have a cavity behind the Reynobond PE which appears to have caused a chimney effect which probably subjected the Reynobond panels and Celotex FR5000 to much higher temperatures than the BS476 and EN tests, caused the aluminium to break up and fed the fire with the polyethylene filling.

Building regulations require such cavities to have fire-proof barriers at each floor level but we don't know if they were present.

We also don't know at this stage how the main insulation performed during the fire.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
Lord Byron
 21 Jun '17  04:00 : 0 recs

Isis blew up the building
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
zorro
 20 Jun '17  20:14 : 0 recs

Thank you vos and I can only say that I regret taking the Chancellor's word for it that the cladding was illegal in the UK. Serve me right for, for once, not questioning an opinion of a politician. But really, mind boggles when you think that Hammond saw fit to make such statements on Andrew Marr show, while knowing full well that the whole country would scrutinise his every word as such a delicate time.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
MingToo
 20 Jun '17  14:45 : 0 recs

The other option is someone very smart with impeccable credentials outside of politics and who won't tolerate being silenced.

e.g. Richard Feynman in the NASA space shuttle inquiry
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
cynic 09
 20 Jun '17  14:01 : 0 recs : edited 2 times : last edit 20 Jun '17  14:33

They should really put a retired air accident investigator in charge of the inquiry.
Even better, MingToo, a serving air accident investigator.

Fortunately, many senior investigators are sadly idle at the mo, and any level beyond the reach of the tallest ground-based ladder (14?) is clearly well up in the air.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
ssaines
 20 Jun '17  13:49 : 0 recs

The UK Architect's Journal has been carrying many fine articles on the matter, and has since the day after the disaster.

There are creative ways of getting around the paywall:
https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/

Additives to stop many poly hydrocarbons from are common. But it means the occupants die from toxic fumes rather than incineration. Poly-foam materials are highly regulated in most nations for building purposes.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
MingToo
 20 Jun '17  13:23 : 0 recs

Same with the fridge. It apparently exploded and the only part of a fridge that I can see doing that is the refrigerant gas/liquid. CFC's were non-flammable but have been replaced. What was in this fridge ?

They should really put a retired air accident investigator in charge of the inquiry. They are great at digging out all of the issues, not just technical one but also cultural ones that contribute to them.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
prudence
 20 Jun '17  12:59 : 0 recs

Fair point .... with fatal consequences!......
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
MingToo
 20 Jun '17  12:51 : 0 recs

Why would anyone think of using cladding that is not fire retardant/resistant?

Maybe it is more energy efficient ?
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
prudence
 20 Jun '17  12:30 : 0 recs : edited 1 time : last edit 20 Jun '17  12:30

Vos ... thanks for your insight.

Why would anyone think of using cladding that is not fire retardant/resistant?

In fact what is the point of manufacturing it? Cost? ......
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
vos
 20 Jun '17  09:20 : 0 recs

I don't think there are many high-rise residential blocks with similar cladding. What there are, however, are many blocks, high and low rise, clad with expanded polystyrene and render. These also have the potential to burn in a horrendous manner as this 2012 German film demonstrates.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
vos
 20 Jun '17  09:14 : 1 rec : edited 3 times : last edit 20 Jun '17  09:37

The Reynobond PE panels were NOT prima-facie illegal in the UK. They had a Class O surface spread of flame rating under BS 476 and an equivalent rating under the corresponding EN rating. They also had an Agrément certificate. All this means that no EU member state could prevent them being marketed as suitable for use in a cladding system.

It has been asserted that this means that they complied with the English Building Regulations.
However Building Regulation Requirement B4(1) states, 'The external walls of the building shall adequately resist the spread of fire over the walls... ' The walls at Grenfell Tower clearly failed to meet this requirement.

A building design is more than an assembly of disparate components. Even if every individual component is certified as fit for use, it is still the responsibility of the designer and the building control authority to ensure that the building as a whole complies with the regulations.

Normally, this would be achieved by the designer submitting an application for 'Full Plans Approval' before work started and not starting work until approval had been given.

However, there is another route for obtaining approval which is intended for use in minor building work - kitchen extensions and the like. This involves submitting a building notice and proceeding with the work at your own risk. The submission of the notice should trigger a series of inspections of the work by building control.

If the RB Kensington and Chelsea website is correct, the only approval sought for the work at Grenfell Tower was a building notice. The current status of that notice is 'Completed Not approved' .
RB K and C Building Control

Current procurement methods have completely sidelined the architect who is the person that should be co-ordinating the design. In design-and-construct contracts the designer is the building company and the architect a mere sub-contractor.. Contractors go out to sub-contractors for design packages for different elements and there is no proper co-ordination of these elements.


Your point about interim and final payments is a good one if it really is the case that the works never received building control approval. However we don't know at this stage whether the contract was with K+C council or with the K+C TMO which is also an ALMO (Arm's Length Management Organisation).

Automatic alarms are a bit of a red herring. If they go off every time somebody burns a crumpet they will either cause a panic or be ignored. I had some experience with a block of flats where deficiencies in the fire-stopping had been discovered. The housing association, as a temporary measure whilst the defects were being remedied, installed an automatic alarm which is now regularly ignored.

The essential problem at Grenfell Tower is that the compartmentation system, which usually works well, failed - on the face of it because of the cladding. The stay put policy depends on compartmentation working.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
ssaines
 19 Jun '17  16:09 : 0 recs

Didn't realize the Grenfell discussion was ongoing here. I pause to put words to this: This, in many ways, does more to hurt Britannia than terrorism per se ever can.

This is incompetence, now self-perpetuating, on a massive scale. I agree with both Zorro and Cynic.

The real question isn't if it was criminal or not. The question is *how criminal*? And if one believes news reports, there's thousands more high-rises in the UK cladded the same, albeit the cladding wasn't the only issue.

Discussion to be continued...
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
cynic 09
 19 Jun '17  14:35 : 0 recs

Who cares ?
I do.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
cynic 09
 19 Jun '17  14:26 : 0 recs : edited 6 times : last edit 19 Jun '17  14:54

FACTS:

1. The cladding used in Grenfell Tower was illegal under British law.
2. The Kensington Council did NOT give permission to use it.
3. It was nevertheless used.

CONCLUSIONS:

1. If Kensington Council did not notice it delivered on site they were merely incompetent.
2. Interim payments for it to be erected were merely fraudulent conversions of council funds.
3. Final payment upon completion, however, would be a basis for a charge of manslaughter.

One can only hope, zorro, that they never did sign it off, pending all the necessary satisfactory reports from their own engineers, and that final payments have been withheld, in which case Kensington Council is probably in the clear.
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.
Lord Byron
 19 Jun '17  06:50 : 0 recs

Who cares ?
 You must either register or login to post to Serious Topics.



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
Showing posts 1 to 20 of 14346
 


© Copyright 2017