Glenfell contractors “should have known that cladding is flammable” | Grenfell Tower Inquiries

According to an independent expert witness in a public inquiry into the disaster, the builder who built the façade of the Glenfell Tower, which exploded in flames that killed 72 people, should have known that the materials used were flammable.

Jonathan Sakura, an experienced façade engineer working on 122 projects internationally, has had 20 serious cover fires worldwide in the years prior to the June 2017 disaster known to the industry. I mentioned it.

Includes seven fires in the United Arab Emirates tower, including a flame at a 63-story address hotel in Dubai where aluminum panels filled with plastic similar to those used in Glenfell fueled a huge flame. It was.

Sakura said the construction industry showed a “head of sandy landscape” and a “lack of imagination” because the fire did not lead to a “significant loss of life.”

He told the question: “In my opinion, the flammability of these panels has been well known in the industry, especially since the UAE ignited from 2012 to 2016.”

Regarding the foamed plastic insulation used behind Glenfell’s panels, he added: “In my experience, moderately competent coaters would have known that they were flammable.”

In its fourth year of research this month, builders and designers rely on certificates of performance for plastic materials obtained by operating test systems, believing that their use complies with building regulations. I heard that there is. ..

Sakura said the main reason for using the flammable plastic core cladding panels used in Glenfell is that they are cheaper and lighter than flame-retardant alternatives and therefore easier to install. I did.

Inquiries have previously heard that the savings from switching to cheaper flammable panels are just under £ 300,000 with a £ 10m refurbishment.

According to an annual report released last week, public investigations investigating the causes of disasters have already exceeded £ 117 million in publicly funded costs, including £ 50 million for lawyers.

“The UAE fire was reported at the time to be particularly exacerbated by the ACM. [aluminium composite material] Cladding, “said Sakura. “People in the cladding industry were aware, or at least aware of, the inherent dangers of using this type of cladding in skyscrapers.

“The general view is that manufacturers of related materials (clading and insulation) are more aware of these fires and their effects than their contracting contractors. Manufacturers expect the associated risks to draw the attention of their customers. “

For inquiries I heard before Arconic, the manufacturer of the cladding panel, learned in 2015 that the panel it sold for use at Glenfell was “dangerous to the façade and urgently needed to move everything to (FR) fire resistance.” Was there. However, it did not withdraw from sales in the UK.

Harley Façade, Glenfell’s cladding contractor, Made an inquiry I was shocked that Arconic wasn’t talking about risk, unaware of the cladding fire abroad. Its Managing Director, Ray Bailey, states that “price and aesthetics” is a key factor in choosing an Arconic panel. The investigation will continue.

Glenfell contractors “should have known that cladding is flammable” | Grenfell Tower Inquiries

Source link Glenfell contractors “should have known that cladding is flammable” | Grenfell Tower Inquiries

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