Hmm

The government’s building safety experts warned last year that the drive for greater energy efficiency meant more and more buildings are being wrapped in materials that could go up in flames.

In a report compiled before the Grenfell Tower disaster on Wednesday, the Building Research Establishment, which works for the Department of Communities and Local Government on fire investigations, said attempts to innovate with insulation were leading to an “increase in the volume of potentially combustible materials being applied” to buildings.

Don’t think that’s going to be part of the left’s general story about this, is it?

31 comments on “Hmm

  1. I believe Lilly Allen will be joining Richard Murphy on the board of inquiry. I therefor do not think the Building Research Establishment will be required in the process.

  2. The left will spin it to say ‘ look the evil Tories had a report but ignored it’
    Of course once Jez is in power this will never happen, and they’ll produce monthly stats to prove it.

  3. Jimmers – they’ll no doubt have a 5 year plan against which the stats will say they always delivered. The memory hole will be used to erase any record of incidents that might counter the stats of course.

  4. I’ve heard on radio there were non combustible cladding panel alternatives that were dearer. It was claimed this would have meant spending 5k more in total if used on Grenfell tower. They said the dearer ones were £2 but didn’t show their working so can’t check this claim. News journalists and maths and correct engineering cost estimates is a combination worthy of double checking but if it proves to be right (even right ball park) it would be a very good point, whether made Jeremy or Theresa.

  5. @HB, choosing to save £5000 on a £9m refurbishment seems HIGHLY unlikely to me, even for the most weasely of Mr Cheapskates.

    Pending further information, I think the “non-flammable substances are not environmentally friendly” is the more plausible explanation.

  6. I’ve heard on radio there were non combustible cladding panel alternatives that were dearer. It was claimed this would have meant spending 5k more in total if used on Grenfell tower.

    Nah. There is more expensive fireproof cladding – mineral wool – but £5k cheaper? Sorry, but £5k on a £9m refit is a rounding error, about the same price you’d pay for the perimeter fence and signage while the work is going on. No contractor is going to “save” money this way. It might be £5k more to buy the material – even then I doubt it – but it will cost a lot more than that to install. Whatever the reasons for using the flammable cladding, it wasn’t to save £5k.

  7. @Hallowed Be
    Fire retardant materials get their properties by emitting a flame inhibiting gas before they reach ignition temperature. In a situation where you have a force draught fire, the gas gets dissipated before it can have any effect.
    Try it. Chuck some of this stuff on a bonfire. Burns quite merrily, fire retardant or not.

  8. According to the Mail, the calculation is based on a “non-combustible” cladding costing 2GBP more/sq metre and there being 2,5000 sq metres of building.
    I think there’s some maths problems here. I have a lot of trouble believeing that the difference is only 2 quid, I mean why bother to produce the cheaper version if the difference is so marginal ?

    According to the spec, the claddig that the Mail reckons they used conformed to Euro, DIN and BS standards.

  9. TN- yes you’re right it can’t be just 5k, but that’s the spin or the laziness and sod it, it makes a good piece.

    BiS – interesting.. i suppose if the cladding was the source of the fire (like the melbourne cigarette from the balcony was) then this still could be crucial,, but still what they care about is the spread not so much the source.

    So true or not ,.. the new old labour line will be penny pinching and profiteering to blame.

  10. @BIS
    Can you spell out the consequences of what you’re saying? the way I’m reading it is that there are some types of fire where material will burn regardless of whether you have retardant or not material. In which case are you suggesting it could be the gap between the cladding and the inner boundary of the tower block creating a draught which caused the fire to spread so quickly.

    In which case the only thing to do is to clad the building in materials which only burn at very high temperatures i.e. asbestos, but which may not give the desired insulating effect, and is banned anyway. Or to not clad the bloody thing at all.

    One thing I find interesting is the way we’re all becoming experts on this. It reminds me of how a generation ago no-one knew what FGM, or the hijab/burqa were, but now we’re all experts.

  11. I see Corbyn is going to be on the stage at Glastonbury this year.

    Not a personality cult, no, not at all.

    The left have completely taken hold of the narrative of this disaster, it’s disgusting and people are buying it.

  12. “The left have completely taken hold of the narrative of this disaster, it’s disgusting and people are buying it.”

    “Never let a crisis go to waste.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals.

    The Left’s bible.

  13. I read somewhere that the slightly cheaper cladding was better at insulating. So my guess is they weren’t chosen because of price, they were chosen to help save the planet.

  14. According to the Mail, the calculation is based on a “non-combustible” cladding costing 2GBP more/sq metre and there being 2,5000 sq metres of building.

    I bet the installation costs differ, though. Concrete is a much cheaper material for high-rise construction than steel, for example. But you need much less manpower to install steel, so in places where labour costs are high the labour savings more than make up for the higher material price. In places like Dubai, where labour is cheap, they build in concrete.

    I guess journalists don’t know stuff like this.

  15. In which case the only thing to do is to clad the building in materials which only burn at very high temperatures i.e. asbestos, but which may not give the desired insulating effect

    Mineral wool would do the job. But there are cheaper options that are easier to install.

    Disclaimer: I was once General Manager of a branch of a company specialising in industrial insulation.

  16. “I guess journalists don’t know stuff like this.” Tighten up, Tim: “like this” is redundant.

  17. Why don’t we wrap our buildings in a few layers of para-aramid fibres like Kevlar?
    It’d be like putting a couple of jumpers on. Also that stuff is so un-flammable it goes out if you it on fire… It doesn’t produce enough energy on combustion to ignite the bit next to it.
    Would cost a fair bit though….

  18. I bet the installation costs differ, though

    From the datasheet, the fire retardant stuff has 37% higher density than the PE product. Maybe weight was an issue?In any case, I reckon the cladding is a red herring – there was polyisocyanate insulation installed behind the cladding which (in my opinion) is just as capable of spreading fires.

  19. Just saw leftist mob thing in Kensington.

    I’m going to Singapore next week. Asylum looks more inviting by the day.

  20. Protests on the streets. Hot weather coming up. Anyone want to be on a repeat of the 2011 riots. If I owned a trainers shop I’d be investing in shutters.

  21. If I owned a trainers shop I’d be investing in shutters.

    I’d be more inclined to invest in shooters.

  22. @John Square. You won’t get asylum here in Singapore. They are very careful about not letting too many freeloaders in. (Not that you are a freeloader, of course)

    Tempting to move here though. Sunny [skin cancer!). Warm [mosquitos and dengue]. Nice housing [expensive]. But so few scumbags you wouldn’t even know they are here.

    It is the people here, hard working and societal, with whom we are competing and we are loosing. Our “you need to support me” crowd are fatally damaging our country.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.