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Old 19th June 2017, 07:04 AM   #561
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Link to a Guardian story regarding the cladding:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...mnis-exteriors



If this story is accurate then Omnis Exteriors supplied the materials it was asked to. The Guardian story then goes on to a breathless expose (my words) of the fact that Omnis Exteriors is profitable. I'm not sure what blame could be attributed to Omnis Exteriors as long as they supplied the specified materials.

The Guardian goes on to say.....



So are Harley Facades to blame ? Who knows ? If they were also working to specification then it could hardly be their "fault".

Then again, according to the same Guardian story:
The Architect of Engineer designing a project will specify a product that meets their requirements. The project is then tendered to a builder, who is responsible for ordering and purchasing the product from the supplier. The supplier of the product may never actually see the written specifications.

In construction it is not uncommon for specified materials to be substituted with something else. This commonly involves the builder asking the specifying Architect or Engineer to review their proposed alternate to confirm that it complies with the original specifications. The Architect/Engineer then provides written acceptance or rejection of the proposed alternate.

Occasionally a less that honest builder will purchase/install an alternate product without obtaining approval.

It appears that we now know the panels that were installed on this building. We do not yet know if the panels met the project specifications.
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Old 19th June 2017, 07:23 AM   #562
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
A lot of words to just say that you do not know what was specified.
Your signature seems apt for what you responded to.
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Old 19th June 2017, 08:46 AM   #563
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Is this really what it's come to?

A 2nd cousin and a boy scout badge. Honest to god, you couldn't make this up.

You do realise that the Planning process has absolutely nothing whatever to do with the specification of the cladding or insulation, don't you? I mean, no-one with a boy scout badge and a 2nd cousin who is an architect could possible confuse the Planning Application with the Building Regulations application, could they.
I can't quite see that argument. If an architect submits a planning application for a high rise tower, or high rise hotel, with paraffin cladding just to make it look pretty then that's a criminal offence. As Darat has mentioned on this forum, the customer, or client, was the management company of Grenfell Tower, and not the tenants.

There is a bit about this municipal corruption business in a book called Everybody's Political What's What? by Bernard Shaw published in 1944:

Quote:
Competent municipal councillors must be taught and trained as well as born...But it is not among councillors that corruption is rife. It is the employees who have to be watched... When I was a child I heard my grandfather say no man, however highly placed, could refuse a five-pound note if you crackled it under his nose; and though this old-fashioned Irish figure needs considerable correction for richer countries and modern money values, I still regard my grandfather's generalization as sound enough to be a useful guide on business.

Judges no longer take presents from litigants as they used to do as a matter of course; but the bar is still venal, selling its services to the highest bidder with unfair advantage to the longest purse.
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Old 19th June 2017, 09:17 AM   #564
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Possibly relevant: An investigation into a similar -- but much less deadly -- 2009 high-rise fire found numerous deficiencies by contractors, inspectors and management. The "shelter in place" philosophy was also a factor:
Quote:
The death of six people in Britain's worst tower block fire was largely caused by botched and unsafe renovation work and a council's failure to inspect the building, as well as confusion and chaos during the firefighting operation, an inquest has concluded.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/...aths-prevented
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Old 19th June 2017, 09:20 AM   #565
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BBC News: Grenfell Tower fire - Moment firefighters first saw the blaze

Profanity pre-bleeped for the sensitive.
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Old 19th June 2017, 09:42 AM   #566
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Note the voice that keeps saying "How is that possible?" Good question.
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Old 19th June 2017, 10:31 AM   #567
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Apparently the fire brigade went into the kitchen were the fire started, put out the fire and started telling residents the danger was over, then their colleagues outside saw the flames on the outside. Seems pretty clear it was something to do with the exterior of the building.
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Old 19th June 2017, 11:03 AM   #568
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I can't quite see that argument. If an architect submits a planning application for a high rise tower, or high rise hotel, with paraffin cladding just to make it look pretty then that's a criminal offence...........
Henri, a planning application is nothing to do with the performance of the materials.......it is to do with the aesthetics. And it is NOT a criminal offence to put something on a planning application that isn't permissible under the Building Regs. A Planning Application is about the principles of the development......how big is it? What does it look like? How does it relate to its setting, its neighbours? How will it affect local traffic? What is its environmental impact going to be? But most of all, does it fit within the Local Authority planning policy?

Will you please educate yourself on this before you repeat your mistake. There is a world of difference between the Planning process (which is utterly irrelevant in this case), and the Building Regulations process.It is the latter which you think you are talking about, but you keep making the mistake of calling the latter the former, and in doing so, reveal that your 2nd cousin has baffled you.

Just to ram home the point further, the Planning Officers and Councillors who consider planning applications will have no notion whatever of whether or not the building they are looking at in any particular Planning Application will be compliant with the Building Regulations, nor would they have any reason to care. It isn't their business. Building Control, who look after the Building Regs side of the council's work, may well never have met a planner in their lives. They may work out of different buildings. They are an utterly separate entity. I have very often come across proposed buildings with Planning Permission that don't meet Building Regulations. Some of these were redeemable, some required another Planning Application (fire engine and bin lorry access are a biggie in this respect), and some just got binned.

So, do you understand now that if there was such a thing as a paraffin cladding system, it would be perfectly possible and legal to get Planning Permission for a high rise building clad in such a material? However, it would be impossible to get Building Regulations approval, and therefore the building wouldn't get built in that form.

Got it now?
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Old 19th June 2017, 11:11 AM   #569
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
......There is a bit about this municipal corruption business in a book called Everybody's Political What's What? by Bernard Shaw published in 1944:
You've appealed to the authority of your Blue Peter badge, and now you are referencing a book written in 1944. You're wasting our time.

Could you just let us know which year the Town and Countryside Planning Act was? (I mean, you know how that Act relates to Planning law, don't you?). You might also tell us what year the Building Act came into force, which set up the current Building Regulations regime. In the light of those two answers, you could then perhaps explain the relevance of a 1944 book.
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Old 19th June 2017, 11:37 AM   #570
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
That's chilling.
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Old 19th June 2017, 01:00 PM   #571
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
That's chilling.
It's an excerpt from tonight's Panorama, and frankly it's pretty damning for the authorities including the government. There's a whole sheaf of letters from a parliamentary committees chasing a review the government promised after a blaze in 2013 in which 6 people died in a fire at a block of flats. The most recent one actually says 'must we wait for another disaster?' Even now the government can't give a time frame for that review.
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Old 19th June 2017, 01:08 PM   #572
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Latest information about some of the victims. Looks like a pretty broad cross-section of humanity:
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40282153
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Old 19th June 2017, 02:11 PM   #573
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Henri, a planning application is nothing to do with the performance of the materials.......it is to do with the aesthetics. And it is NOT a criminal offence to put something on a planning application that isn't permissible under the Building Regs. A Planning Application is about the principles of the development......how big is it? What does it look like? How does it relate to its setting, its neighbours? How will it affect local traffic? What is its environmental impact going to be? But most of all, does it fit within the Local Authority planning policy?
To be specific, planning is more properly referred to as the land use planning system. The enabling legeslation focusses on the development of land generally and therefore encompasses, for example, change of uses together with extensions and alterations which might have an impact. It does not, and never has, concerned itself with the technical details of impelemntation inasmuch as these are controlled by separate legislation, specifically the various Building Acts across the UK, leading in turn to the Building Regulations and Technical Standards.

Applications for planning permission and, where applicable, listed building consent will typically be made at an early stage in the design process - what was previously referred to as RIBA plan of work stage D, but is now stage 2. Technical detail will not typically have been developed beyond basic concept at this point.

Building Warrant/Regulations appoval follows the securing of planning permission, on the basis that the additional technical detail required (and hence design cost) would not normally be incurred pending securing of consents. This would be RIA work stage E or, as it now is, 3.

There are exceptions, of course. EIA/EIS regulations may require advance technical information for certain aspects on larger projects, and there are interim steps which may come to bear such as outline planning permission/permission in principle. There are also issues around things like permitted development or simplified planning zones.

The point of telling you this is to make clear that there is no guarantee that what is shown on a planning drawing will make it through to warrant or, after that, the detailed site specification. The design develops or evolves. As a result sometimes planning permission requires later amendment.

In the case of cladding, all the planners will care about is what it looks like (inasmuch as this may have an impact on the character and amenity of the sourrounding area) and even then, outwith a conservation area, it is likely to garner relatively little attention.
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Old 19th June 2017, 02:17 PM   #574
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
The Architect of Engineer designing a project will specify a product that meets their requirements. The project is then tendered to a builder, who is responsible for ordering and purchasing the product from the supplier. The supplier of the product may never actually see the written specifications.

In construction it is not uncommon for specified materials to be substituted with something else. This commonly involves the builder asking the specifying Architect or Engineer to review their proposed alternate to confirm that it complies with the original specifications. The Architect/Engineer then provides written acceptance or rejection of the proposed alternate.

Occasionally a less that honest builder will purchase/install an alternate product without obtaining approval.

It appears that we now know the panels that were installed on this building. We do not yet know if the panels met the project specifications.
This is generally right, but not specifically so.

The first thing we need to consider is whether traditional procurement (where the architect specifies everything) or design and build (where the contractor does it based on a schedule of requirements) applies.

Secondly, we need to look at procurement rules which may actually prevent the identification of specific products within contract documents, instead preferring a performance or prescriptive description which would allow alternative matching products (notably from elsewhere in the EU) to be deployed by the contractor if he or she wishes to do so.

Even if option 2 does not apply, the design team may consider alternative materials proposed by the contractor where there advantages in terms of cost, lead-in periods, and so on.

The final point is an interesting one.

If the architect has not been retained for site inspection (NB not supervision, that's different) duties, and there is no clerk of works, then there is not going to be any "independent" (they work for the client, after all) eyes and ears on the job to look at compliance with the contract documents. It relies on the good intentions and QA systems of the contractors, together with such sundry visits might be undertaken by building control.

It's a recipe for disaster if you ask me, as the Edinburgh schools fiasco I've referred to shows.
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Old 19th June 2017, 02:22 PM   #575
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
It's an excerpt from tonight's Panorama, and frankly it's pretty damning for the authorities including the government. There's a whole sheaf of letters from a parliamentary committees chasing a review the government promised after a blaze in 2013 in which 6 people died in a fire at a block of flats. The most recent one actually says 'must we wait for another disaster?' Even now the government can't give a time frame for that review.
I think the inquiry will have to address why the regulatory regimes were updated in the early 2000s, following earlier fires and inquiries, but not th English Building Regulations (or at least to a sufficient degree).

My own view, based on practise in England, is that there are significant shortcomings historically in the approach to fire and life safety including (for example) number of independent escape routes.

I sit on the professional practice board of my institute. Some years ago the then head of the Scottish Building Standards Agency was presenting us with a summary of forthcoming changes and mentioned, in passing, that part of the intention was alignment across the UK regulatory system. I said that this was an excellent idea, and asked when our southern cousins were beefing up their regulations to match ours. He was completely baffled at such a suggestion. Fortunately he didn't last too much longer.

Now in a small country like Scotland or Ireland, change can be easier to effect. I suspect, perhaps unfairly, that vested interests in the English system combined with a historically more relaxed approach combined to create problems. But, to be honest, this could just as easily be material switch by contractor and hence the blame would lie elsewhere. I will therefore reserve opinion pending more information.
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Old 19th June 2017, 02:49 PM   #576
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
This is generally right, but not specifically so.

The first thing we need to consider is whether traditional procurement (where the architect specifies everything) or design and build (where the contractor does it based on a schedule of requirements) applies.

Secondly, we need to look at procurement rules which may actually prevent the identification of specific products within contract documents, instead preferring a performance or prescriptive description which would allow alternative matching products (notably from elsewhere in the EU) to be deployed by the contractor if he or she wishes to do so.

Even if option 2 does not apply, the design team may consider alternative materials proposed by the contractor where there advantages in terms of cost, lead-in periods, and so on.

The final point is an interesting one.

If the architect has not been retained for site inspection (NB not supervision, that's different) duties, and there is no clerk of works, then there is not going to be any "independent" (they work for the client, after all) eyes and ears on the job to look at compliance with the contract documents. It relies on the good intentions and QA systems of the contractors, together with such sundry visits might be undertaken by building control.

It's a recipe for disaster if you ask me, as the Edinburgh schools fiasco I've referred to shows.
I agree with all you say here. I know there are minor differences between methods in different jurisdictions - British Columbia, Canada is where I work - but the construction issues are similar, and much more complex than recognized by some posters here.
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Old 19th June 2017, 09:11 PM   #577
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
I agree about the confusion.

You seem to be confusing a smoke alarm, which is a gizmo mounted on the ceiling or high on a wall which may or may not be connected to some central alarm system with a central fire alarm system itself.

A pull station will always be connected to the central fire alarm system. It would do no good at all if it wasn't.
.....
As someone else advised me above, UK and US codes are different. In the US, it's routine for non-industrial buildings like high-rise apartments -- particularly older ones -- to have manually operated alarm boxes in common spaces. They activate bells or horns to evacuate the buildings. They are not connected to smoke detectors in individual units or anywhere else -- which means somebody burning toast won't set them off -- and they don't call the fire department either. In fact, they usually have signs on them that say something "Local Alarm Only. In Case of Fire Call 911." Of course, codes vary by state and city, and newer buildings might well have central control systems. But you won't find them everywhere. It sounds like UK regs might be smarter, if the more complex systems are inspected and maintained properly. The U.S. manual system seems to be pretty reliable.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manual...arm_activation

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Old 19th June 2017, 11:36 PM   #578
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Pretty damming summary below

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40330789

-------------------------Changing the subject -------


Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
As someone else advised me above, UK and US codes are different. In the US, it's routine for non-industrial buildings like high-rise apartments -- particularly older ones -- to have manually operated alarm boxes in common spaces. They activate bells or horns to evacuate the buildings. They are not connected to smoke detectors in individual units or anywhere else -- which means somebody burning toast won't set them off -- and they don't call the fire department either. In fact, they usually have signs on them that say something "Local Alarm Only. In Case of Fire Call 911." Of course, codes vary by state and city, and newer buildings might well have central control systems. But you won't find them everywhere. It sounds like UK regs might be smarter, if the more complex systems are inspected and maintained properly. The U.S. manual system seems to be pretty reliable.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manual...arm_activation
It might be worth pointing out that (20 years out of date) but Underwriters Laboratories and BS/EN standards for fire alarms and detectors were pretty comparable, with the same hardware able to be compliant with both sets of standards.
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Old 20th June 2017, 01:39 AM   #579
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
As someone else advised me above, UK and US codes are different. In the US, it's routine for non-industrial buildings like high-rise apartments -- particularly older ones -- to have manually operated alarm boxes in common spaces. They activate bells or horns to evacuate the buildings. They are not connected to smoke detectors in individual units or anywhere else -- which means somebody burning toast won't set them off -- and they don't call the fire department either. In fact, they usually have signs on them that say something "Local Alarm Only. In Case of Fire Call 911." Of course, codes vary by state and city, and newer buildings might well have central control systems. But you won't find them everywhere. It sounds like UK regs might be smarter, if the more complex systems are inspected and maintained properly. The U.S. manual system seems to be pretty reliable.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manual...arm_activation

Unless they only activate bells and horns right there at that one station then they are part of a central fire alarm system for that building.

Whether that central alarm system also contacts local fire response teams is a different matter, but I don't think you will find very many that don't these days.
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Old 20th June 2017, 01:49 AM   #580
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Jimbob

I think you would have to see the full text of the representations before deciding on their appropriateness and the accuracy of the representations made; Ronnie King, for example, who sits on the group - a former senior fire officer - now represents the sprinkler lobby, and hence has something of a vested interest.

In making this observation please bear in mind my previous comments regarding what I perceive to be the deficiency in the English Building Regulations (as I understand them) and need for appropriate revision regardless of the outcome of the current investigation.
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Old 20th June 2017, 01:52 AM   #581
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Unless they only activate bells and horns right there at that one station then they are part of a central fire alarm system for that building.

Whether that central alarm system also contacts local fire response teams is a different matter, but I don't think you will find very many that don't these days.
It depends upon the type of building, licensing requirements, insurer's requirements, and other things.
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Old 20th June 2017, 02:03 AM   #582
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
It depends upon the type of building, licensing requirements, insurer's requirements, and other things.

Yes.
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Old 20th June 2017, 02:19 AM   #583
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
You've appealed to the authority of your Blue Peter badge, and now you are referencing a book written in 1944. You're wasting our time.

Could you just let us know which year the Town and Countryside Planning Act was? (I mean, you know how that Act relates to Planning law, don't you?). You might also tell us what year the Building Act came into force, which set up the current Building Regulations regime. In the light of those two answers, you could then perhaps explain the relevance of a 1944 book.
These architects need to pull up their socks. If an architect submits a planning application which contravenes the building regulations, and fire regulations, then that's illegal. That seems to be what happens in Egypt where buildings are frequently reported as falling down. There is nothing necessarily wrong with flats as long as they have a good administrator who understands the fire regulations. There were some good workers flats in Austria before the second world war and there are good flats, or apartments, in places like Monaco now.

I don't know the history of building regulations. There are many centuries old buildings that have never had structural problems. There was the Town and Country Planning act of 1932 and 1944 which first introduced compulsory purchase, and restriction of ribbon development, and the permission for cutting down of trees. It was for preserving existing buildings or other objects of architectural, or historic or artistic interest and places of natural interest or beauty, and generally of protecting existing amenities, whether in urban or rural portions of the area.

The ineffectiveness of this is that the use of planning powers has been optional. Local Authorities have been under no obligation to use them and many have not done so. Planning authorities have been unable or unwilling to meet the compensation involved. Statutory authorities (gas, water electricity, and railway authorities) and agricultural buildings have been exempt from planning control.
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Old 20th June 2017, 02:51 AM   #584
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
These architects need to pull up their socks. If an architect submits a planning application which contravenes the building regulations, and fire regulations, then that's illegal.
And yet it appears that there is no requirement that the cladding for a tower block be fire resistant so as far as we know the architects, builders, subcontractors and so on have done nothing illegal - unless of course you have more pertinent information.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
That seems to be what happens in Egypt where buildings are frequently reported as falling down. There is nothing necessarily wrong with flats as long as they have a good administrator who understands the fire regulations. There were some good workers flats in Austria before the second world war and there are good flats, or apartments, in places like Monaco now.
Why on earth are you suddenly talking about Egypt, Austria and Monaco ?
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Old 20th June 2017, 02:53 AM   #585
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
These architects need to pull up their socks. If an architect submits a planning application which contravenes the building regulations, and fire regulations, then that's illegal.
No, it's not. The split between the two entirely seperate regulatory systems has already been explained to you twice.

Quote:
That seems to be what happens in Egypt where buildings are frequently reported as falling down. There is nothing necessarily wrong with flats as long as they have a good administrator who understands the fire regulations. There were some good workers flats in Austria before the second world war and there are good flats, or apartments, in places like Monaco now.
The perceived legislative position in the Middle East or availability of skilled operatives prior to 1945 is of no relevance to the matter at hand.

Quote:
I don't know the history of building regulations. There are many centuries old buildings that have never had structural problems. There was the Town and Country Planning act of 1932 and 1944 which first introduced compulsory purchase, and restriction of ribbon development, and the permission for cutting down of trees. It was for preserving existing buildings or other objects of architectural, or historic or artistic interest and places of natural interest or beauty, and generally of protecting existing amenities, whether in urban or rural portions of the area.
This is incorrect, even if we assume you are only talking about the English position.

Quote:
The ineffectiveness of this is that the use of planning powers has been optional. Local Authorities have been under no obligation to use them and many have not done so. Planning authorities have been unable or unwilling to meet the compensation involved. Statutory authorities (gas, water electricity, and railway authorities) and agricultural buildings have been exempt from planning control.
This is also incorrect.

Certain classes of utility providers have permitted development rights for certain aspects of their work, usually relating to the provision of services routes, streetlighting, and detailed design of plant facilities.

Large-scale railway works are usually enacted by Acts of Parliament and are entirely separate.

Agricultural buildings, within certain limits, have permitted development rights but not exemption from Warrant/Regulations Approval.


So what, as they say on a call in show, is your point caller?
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Old 20th June 2017, 03:42 AM   #586
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
These architects need to pull up their socks. If an architect submits a planning application which contravenes the building regulations, and fire regulations, then that's illegal..........
Did you bother to read this, or did you think I was lying?

Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
....... it is NOT a criminal offence to put something on a planning application that isn't permissible under the Building Regs. A Planning Application is about the principles of the development......how big is it? What does it look like? How does it relate to its setting, its neighbours? How will it affect local traffic? What is its environmental impact going to be? But most of all, does it fit within the Local Authority planning policy?

Will you please educate yourself on this before you repeat your mistake. There is a world of difference between the Planning process (which is utterly irrelevant in this case), and the Building Regulations process.It is the latter which you think you are talking about, but you keep making the mistake of calling the latter the former, and in doing so, reveal that your 2nd cousin has baffled you.......... I have very often come across proposed buildings with Planning Permission that don't meet Building Regulations. Some of these were redeemable, some required another Planning Application (fire engine and bin lorry access are a biggie in this respect), and some just got binned.

So, do you understand now that if there was such a thing as a paraffin cladding system, it would be perfectly possible and legal to get Planning Permission for a high rise building clad in such a material? However, it would be impossible to get Building Regulations approval, and therefore the building wouldn't get built in that form.

Got it now?
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Old 20th June 2017, 03:47 AM   #587
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
.....The ineffectiveness of this is that the use of planning powers has been optional. Local Authorities have been under no obligation to use them and many have not done so. Planning authorities have been unable or unwilling to meet the compensation involved. Statutory authorities (gas, water electricity, and railway authorities) and agricultural buildings have been exempt from planning control.
The more you write, the more you highlight your ignorance on this subject. There are two ways around this: stop writing, or educate yourself. I suggest you try the latter. You might start by carefully reading the responses to your posts in this thread.
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Old 20th June 2017, 04:49 AM   #588
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Thank you MikeG and Architect

I could give out a Scout fire safety badge* and I appreciate your efforts.



*appeal to unimpressive authority
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Old 20th June 2017, 06:29 AM   #589
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That's very kind of you, jimbob, but I was in the BBs and hence a Scouts badge would be a step in the wrong direction......
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Old 20th June 2017, 06:34 AM   #590
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Thanks anyway JB, but I'll have a Jim'll Fix It badge, if you've got one.
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Old 20th June 2017, 08:33 AM   #591
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
The more you write, the more you highlight your ignorance on this subject. There are two ways around this: stop writing, or educate yourself. I suggest you try the latter. You might start by carefully reading the responses to your posts in this thread.
I just think it defies logic and common sense for an architect to submit a planning application which contravenes the building regulations and planning laws and fire regulations, even though in theory it might be legal to build the building out of sand. There are planning problems with regard to flood plains now. That Grenfell Tower disaster was a cock-up by mediocre and negligent business leadership.

There have been problems with concrete cancer, and not just in this country. There were legal cases involving Lafarge Cement in France in the past. I expect most people on this forum have heard stories of friends who have had problems with houses in the past.

There is a bit about this matter from a structural engineering website:

Quote:
There are numerous ways in which a build could collapse; incorrect design processes, age and corrosion, environmental effects, overheavy loads and material deficiencies are just a few examples of the potential problems faced by engineers.

The main fear with any build would be the failure of the supporting structure and resulting collapse. The consequences of such an event are obvious; with potential for injuries and deaths should members of the public be within the build at the time. The reputation of those involved in the construction and manufacture would also be at a high risk, as well as any cost implications of such a catastrophic failure. It is therefore high in the priorities of any engineer involved in the construction sector to ensure that any and all methods to reduce the potential for failure are looked into.

An example of a structural failure during the construction was during the build of the Gerrards Cross Tunnel in 2005. A short section of the tunnel (30m) built for the construction of a supermarket collapsed mid-build, although the reasoning for this was not immediately clear. The initial investigation suggested that the backfilling operation on the tunnel was the main cause of the collapse, as engineers during this made specific comments on the difference in fill levels on the archway.
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:10 AM   #592
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I just think it defies logic and common sense for an architect to submit a planning application which contravenes the building regulations and planning laws and fire regulations, even though in theory it might be legal to build the building out of sand. ........
You still aren't reading before you type. Let's do an analogy.....

You are living at home with your mum and dad. You decide that you want to have a treehouse in the garden. So, you ask your mum if it is OK to have a treehouse, in that tree over there, where the trunk forks. She says yes, so long as you paint it green.

You then go into the shed and find a whole lot of garden canes, which your dad uses for training his broad beans up in the veggie patch. You grab them, and a ball of string, and head to the tree to start building your treehouse.......but your dad stops you on the way and says "what are you doing with that lot?"

"I'm going to build a treehouse".

"Not with that lot, you aren't. They're not strong enough to support your weight. Let's go and find some wood".

Your mum gave you Planning Permission (conditional: paint it green).

Your dad gave you Building Regulations approval, after rejecting your initial application.

Your mum wasn't in the least bit interested in what you made it out of. Your dad wasn't interested in whether you had permission to build it or not......he just wanted to make sure the building was safe.

Now, I'm going to charitably ignore the stupidity of your last post, suggest that you go away and think about it again, and then come back and frame your question in such a way as to demonstrate that you no longer confuse Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval.

Oh, and whilst you're about it, leave out all the guff about concrete cancer, flood plains, and "negligent business leadership". Focus on your point, and see if you can get anyone else to understand what exactly that point is.
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:31 AM   #593
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I just think it defies logic and common sense....... though in theory it might be legal to build the building out of sand......
What's wrong with building with sand? It is one of the major elements of the construction of most buildings, including the one you are in right now, Buckingham Palace, and Grenfell Tower.
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:42 AM   #594
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Can anyone comment as to whether non fire-proofing cladding was actually illegal? I know that it would not be allowed for new construction. However this wasn't a new building and those rules don't apply. Upthread Architect said that there's little regulation for modifying existing buildings other than that the modification should leave things better than how it started.

I can picture a group of officials, architects and/or contractors deciding that since the existing cladding didn't meet the current fire protection requirements, that the new stuff doesn't either. And since the new cladding is better in other respects, such as thermal, they can argue that the new cladding is better than what it was before. I've fought against people doing this kind of logic here in the USA and I don't think it's unique to us. People will try to lawyer their way out of life-safety requirements if they think they can manage it.
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:44 AM   #595
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
Can anyone comment as to whether non fire-proofing cladding was actually illegal? I know that it would not be allowed for new construction. However this wasn't a new building and those rules don't apply. Upthread Architect said that there's little regulation for modifying existing buildings other than that the modification should leave things better than how it started.

I can picture a group of officials, architects and/or contractors deciding that since the existing cladding didn't meet the current fire protection requirements, that the new stuff doesn't either. And since the new cladding is better in other respects, such as thermal, they can argue that the new cladding is better than what it was before. I've fought against people doing this kind of logic here in the USA and I don't think it's unique to us. People will try to lawyer their way out of life-safety requirements if they think they can manage it.
There was no "old cladding"

When built these buildings probably were pretty good from a fire resistance point of view.
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:50 AM   #596
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
There was no "old cladding"
I'm not sure if there's a problem with differing jargon definitions, but over here cladding is used as a generic term for the outside layer(s) on the exterior walls of a building. Non-load bearing brick on the exterior of a high-rise would be "cladding", for example.
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:55 AM   #597
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No, JB was right. There was no cladding originally. This was formerly a concrete tower block, showing concrete externally, possibly described as "brutalist" modernist architecture. I'll enter the caveat of not having seen pictures of the building when it was first built.
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Old 20th June 2017, 10:20 AM   #598
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
No, JB was right. There was no cladding originally. This was formerly a concrete tower block, showing concrete externally, possibly described as "brutalist" modernist architecture. I'll enter the caveat of not having seen pictures of the building when it was first built.
lol, wut?

Here's a google street-view from 2008. Looks like the concrete columns were exposed, but the spandrel pieces had something on them. That makes sense to me: the columns have enough axial load on them that it would impossible for cracks to open up and allow water infiltration. The spandrels, however, do crack.

I also found some plans online that show some of the new/old details.

ETA: maybe it's just the light playing tricks in that picture. How in the hell do you waterproof exposed concrete like that?
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Old 20th June 2017, 11:18 AM   #599
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I'm certainly not staking my reputation on it, but I am pretty sure I was right in the first place: this was a concrete framed building with concrete panels. Never mind keeping water out, how about keeping heat in? Such buildings must have been a nightmare of cold, mould, and condensation.
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Old 20th June 2017, 11:30 AM   #600
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
Can anyone comment as to whether non fire-proofing cladding was actually illegal? I know that it would not be allowed for new construction. However this wasn't a new building and those rules don't apply. Upthread Architect said that there's little regulation for modifying existing buildings other than that the modification should leave things better than how it started.

I can picture a group of officials, architects and/or contractors deciding that since the existing cladding didn't meet the current fire protection requirements, that the new stuff doesn't either. And since the new cladding is better in other respects, such as thermal, they can argue that the new cladding is better than what it was before. I've fought against people doing this kind of logic here in the USA and I don't think it's unique to us. People will try to lawyer their way out of life-safety requirements if they think they can manage it.

Do you know that the highlighted reference was actually the case, or are you just presenting it as a 'for example?

I haven't run into any discussion about the fire rating of the existing exterior. For some reason I thought it was concrete, which is why there was a thermal barrier issue.

Concrete, on its own, is pretty fire resistant.
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