Err, whut?

The rapid spread of the Lacrosse building fire, which was sparked by a cigarette on an eighth-floor balcony and raced up 13 floors to the roof of the 21-storey building in 11 minutes, was blamed on flammable aluminium composite cladding that lined the exterior concrete walls.

The same type of cladding was installed on the Grenfell Tower in 2016, as part of a £10m renovation.

Aluminium composite panels have a polyethylene or plastic core and an aluminium coating. It is a cheap building material widely used worldwide to clad high-rise apartment buildings.

The local council is putting flammable plastic coatings on high rise buildings now?

28 comments on “Err, whut?

  1. Perfectly possible. When my former place took over the LA’s housing stock, we discovered that only c70% of it was compliant with landlord gas safety regs.

    Guess why?

    Yep- cos t enforcing body for the LGSR is (Drumroll)… the council.

    Also- this mob are a tenant management organisation: a sort of Housing assoc run by the occupants, but the homes themselves are owned by the council still. I imagine the refurb was managed by the TMO, and the council wasn’t involved.

  2. It’s Green! Shh!

    Several council blocks down the road had this done two years back. It’s going to rate along with the “gosh, all that incentivisation of diesel to reduce CO2 wasn’t a good idea, was it?”.

  3. No you don’t understand, it’s evil capitalist exploiters that are the problem. Even though this is almost exactly the sort of ownership/management structure that we’d get in a socialist utopia, it’s still evil capitalist exploiters!

  4. But the cladding makes the blocks look modern, and saves on the poor inhabitants heating bills. Well if you don’t have a flat you won’t have heating bills, job done!

  5. I watched the videos in amazement. I spent years ensuring the buildings in multiple occupation I worked on were compartmentalised. That any fire stayed in the room it started in. Door closers on every habitable room. Intumescent gaskets where services penetrated fire check partitions. The one fire I know about, in a building I worked, on stayed in the room it started in.
    WTF?

  6. We are taking drastic measures to save our grandchildren from a problem that is likely to be the equivalent of a stubbed toe, we have to expect some collateral damage.

  7. And there’s something I don’t understand about the cladding. If you leave an interconnected void behind it you’ll get a chimney effect. Warm air will rise & create an air current. It’ll act as the opposite of insulation. There’s actually a glazed conservatory extension on a house in N. London, I designed, uses exactly this effect to ventilate it.* Decorative glazed duct goes up the back of the building, to roof height. The more sunlight you get, the stronger the draft clears the unwanted hot air. No electricity or control system required.

    *Single occupancy buildings have different & less stringent fire requirements.

  8. According to Laurie Penny, the cladding was put on because rich people buying luxury properties next door didn’t want to look at poverty, so forced them to cover up using unsafe materials. People actually believe this.

    But yeah, the aluminium cladding is popular now, especially in Russia where you can make a tumbling-down building look quite new (for a while) by cladding it. The same stuff has also caught fire in Dubai, on several occasions.

  9. It’s all the result of austerity. I know this to be true, because I read it on Twitter.

  10. If you import the third world you import third world standards of behaviour, third world crime and most relevant here, third world corruption.

    Penny is one of the stupidest bitches ever to sit at a keyboard. Her precious (very likely) socialist council hacks took a pay-off from “the rich” to install cladding on a tower block? Spoiling the view from Primrose Hill was it? Did they pay extra to ensure the council pricks chose crook contractors to ensure a fire-trap job?

  11. My brother spent most the 10 years before retirement working as a subbie on refurbs of various bits of Cambridge Colleges. His employers put a huge amount of effort into compartmentalising rooms (especially accom) and floors of buildings built well before there were any fire regs. Wealthy parents really don’t like it when their Fionas and Ruperts get crisped in their beds.

    That designers clad and and local authorities allow compartmentalisation to be by-passed is beyond stupid. Cue Mr Ecks.

  12. If you import the third world you import third world standards of behaviour, third world crime and most relevant here, third world corruption.

    Yes.

    Penny is one of the stupidest bitches ever to sit at a keyboard. Her precious (very likely) socialist council hacks took a pay-off from “the rich” to install cladding on a tower block? Spoiling the view from Primrose Hill was it? Did they pay extra to ensure the council pricks chose crook contractors to ensure a fire-trap job?

    Yes.

  13. The block was only recently refurbished at a cost of nearly nine million quid, yet Corbyn’s spouting about how the fire and deaths were due to council cut-backs.

    The bodies are still warm, mate.

  14. @Mr Ecks:

    “If you import the third world you import third world standards of behaviour, third world crime and most relevant here, third world corruption.”

    It does have that whiff of potential corruption. I also noticed that in a report on the Beeb about the ‘community’ rallying round and donating stuff, it was all non third-worlders doing the donating.

  15. People actually believe this.

    Evil people believe this.

    Corbyn has realised that he can now say and do literally anything and we won’t be called out for it.

    Anyway, talking to an expert last night he said there were “fire breaks” between each floor to stop this. As the place went up in eleven minutes they obviously weren’t very good.

    Still, think of the Carbon saved over the past two years, which China just burned instead in the time it took to type this post.

    Forward with the Green Revolution, comrades!

  16. That £9M on 120 properties is £75k each … Does anyone know what the rents were?

    Not many of the accents sounded like they came from the UK.

    I know a building designed for less than 1000 occupants (college) extended multiple times to house over 5000, where the 4 sets of bronze double doors at the main entrance were replaced with a single sliding door and fixed panels, allegedly to stop draughts. Each fire drill, there were long queues of potential victims down the corridors. Allegedly, it passed the fire inspection. Mind you, come an alarm, drill or not, I was out like a shot.

    PS. The fire alarms never worked properly anyway.

  17. The block was only recently refurbished at a cost of nearly nine million quid, yet Corbyn’s spouting about how the fire and deaths were due to council cut-backs.

    How much of that £9m went on purchasing certified materials and paying qualified, experienced tradesmen and how much went on kickbacks, admin fees, consultancy, fees, and audits to ensure the all companies involved had diverse management teams and recycled properly?

  18. I also noticed that in a report on the Beeb about the ‘community’ rallying round and donating stuff, it was all non third-worlders doing the donating.

    I saw that: it struck me as less about generosity than a (valid) reason to get rid of a load of old clothes. Had I lived nearby, I’d have done the same. Seems better than giving it to Oxfam.

  19. ” Seems better than giving it to Oxfam.”

    Pretty much anything is better than donating to Oxfam.

  20. bloke in spain said: “And there’s something I don’t understand about the cladding. If you leave an interconnected void behind it you’ll get a chimney effect. Warm air will rise & create an air current. It’ll act as the opposite of insulation. ”

    There are pictures of fallen debris that looks like burnt foam. Perhaps there wasn’t a void but once the insulation started burning voids would open up and the cladding would being acting like a chimney.

  21. @Arthur Dent

    “If the plastic cladding had only used brominated flame retardants…”

    I’ve been reading about this pretty extensively. Flame retardants apparently make no difference with this sort of cladding.

  22. Can’t find the link ATM, but I read yesterday that the cladding had a void behind it to ventilate it to prevent moisture build-up.

  23. So seems common consensus is the cladding is worth looking at regarding the fire spreading.

    I can imagine the residents of every other tower block or workers in building with cladding currently planning long stays with friends and relatives – in safer places.
    The advice about staying in the flat would be good advice prior to this alteration to the building. This time the advice killed people.

  24. “Corbyn has realised that he can now say and do literally anything and he won’t be called out for it.”

    Indeed. It is a fucking disgrace. The idiot Labour supporting media are delivering this country into the hands of the hard left.

  25. Don’t forget folks …
    Even if the foam was fire retardant – aluminium itself is quite combustible once you get it hot enough as a few ship owners have found when they’ve had engine room fires (there’s usually a lot of aluminium in ships engine rooms as parts of the engines).

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