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Old 14th June 2017, 10:47 AM   #81
William Parcher
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I read that it was built in 1974.
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Old 14th June 2017, 10:57 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
So flammable materials, no working fire alarm, no working sprinklers and no tested evacuation procedure. If this is proven then people need to charged with manslaughter and go to jail for a long time. Some of these property companies have no regard for anything but raking in the cash.
That is my first thought too.

Of course, the "people" who pay the penalty will be janitors and lowly ranked inspectors (acting in accordance with unwritten instructions). These buildings are owned by soulless corporations and you will never pierce the corporate veil to get at the people who are responsible for such a dangerous building.
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Old 14th June 2017, 11:01 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
It wasn't an old building that was freshly kitted out, renovation in this case seems to have only been cosmetic and update electrics, the building was never unoccupied.
I understand that, but even minor renovations should trigger fire safety upgrades of old buildings. Even adding something as minor as a new type of broadband access, satellite on the rooftop, cable connections, cell phone repeaters, etc, etc can trigger some limited fire updates of buildings with poor fire protection (like this one).
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Old 14th June 2017, 11:20 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It proves that persons living within this social housing were expected to put up with shoddy standards, in the middle of the UK's richest borough.


That's what struck me upon hearing about this. Terrible.
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Old 14th June 2017, 11:30 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
You seem awfully sure they weren't. Can you provide a link to the Building Warrant plans or alternative source?
I've been reading the Skyscrapercity forum thread linked here earlier. YMMV.
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Old 14th June 2017, 11:45 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
.........It proves that persons living within this social housing were expected to put up with shoddy standards, in the middle of the UK's richest borough.
It proves nothing of the sort. You have no expertise in the matter, and no-one with any expertise has determined that anything was shoddy or sub-standard. Therefore, this is simply your invention. I suspect there will be a public enquiry, and I'll wait until then to start discussing "shoddy standards" or any other such speculation.

I worked in commercial architecture for 6 or 8 years, including on a number of multi-storey blocks of flats.......so I have a great deal more expertise than you. However, I defer to Architect on this one. I don't think you'll find either of us deciding what the issues were in the throw-away manner you just have.
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Old 14th June 2017, 11:49 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
I understand that, but even minor renovations should trigger fire safety upgrades of old buildings. Even adding something as minor as a new type of broadband access, satellite on the rooftop, cable connections, cell phone repeaters, etc, etc can trigger some limited fire updates of buildings with poor fire protection (like this one).
My friend who's an architect said this:

"although a new heating system and the energy use of the building had been addressed in the recent refurbishment - fire standards were not upgraded. Escape and fire protection standards remained as was when the building was built quite a long time ago. This is acceptable under current regulations - you are not obligated to make improvements to an existing situation - which appears to be the problem in this case"
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Old 14th June 2017, 11:49 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
It's still early, so some of the problems I've read and heard on the news may end up being incorrect, but taken as a whole I'm disturbed. So far, these are the deficiencies I've heard of:
  • No sprinklers.
  • No fire alarm.
  • Stairwell lacked functioning smoke dampers and as a result the stairwells were extremely difficult to use and even spread smoke to otherwise unaffected portions of the building.
  • Exterior cladding was flammable.
  • Posted instructions in the building said to hunker down in place in case of fire rather than evacuate.
  • During recent renovation, the building only had one means of egress.
..........
That one is false. There were smoke detectors in every single flat.


Quote:
I honestly don't understand how a recently renovated building could be this bad.
You don't know that any of your list are true. You are in no position to decide that the standards were bad.
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Old 14th June 2017, 11:50 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I don't think you'll find either of us deciding what the issues were in the throw-away manner you just have.
Are you denying that there was a serious violation or lack of safety standards in this building?
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Old 14th June 2017, 12:12 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
That one is false. There were smoke detectors in every single flat.
A fire alarm and a smoke detector are different things. Fire alarms trigger evacuations of whole buildings. I've seen interviews with people that said the building was ENGULFED and they didn't know about it until someone banged on their door. Had fire alarm pulls been installed inside the building, a single person could have alerted all other residents to evacuate very early on.

Quote:
You don't know that any of your list are true. You are in no position to decide that the standards were bad.
Sure, I'm basing my complaints on early reports. Some of it is second hand and might not be true. But the fire alarm information comes from interviews of people that lived there and I've seen photos of the evacuation plans that told people to stay put.
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Old 14th June 2017, 12:15 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
My friend who's an architect said this:

"although a new heating system and the energy use of the building had been addressed in the recent refurbishment - fire standards were not upgraded. Escape and fire protection standards remained as was when the building was built quite a long time ago. This is acceptable under current regulations - you are not obligated to make improvements to an existing situation - which appears to be the problem in this case"
Yea, new energy and heating systems would probably hit some of the level 2 fire upgrades in the IEBC (most places in the USA use this or something more strict).
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Old 14th June 2017, 12:18 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
.....
I worked in commercial architecture for 6 or 8 years, including on a number of multi-storey blocks of flats.......so I have a great deal more expertise than you. However, I defer to Architect on this one. I don't think you'll find either of us deciding what the issues were in the throw-away manner you just have.
And how many buildings that you were associated with burned like this? I don't mean that as a snark; I mean that this kind of all-consuming conflagration is so rare that it has to mean that somebody did something terribly wrong. This doesn't happen in the normal course of events. Just judging from the pictures, it looks like that new cladding went up like tinder.
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Old 14th June 2017, 12:26 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
And how many buildings that you were associated with burned like this? I don't mean that as a snark; I mean that this kind of all-consuming conflagration is so rare that it has to mean that somebody did something terribly wrong. This doesn't happen in the normal course of events. Just judging from the pictures, it looks like that new cladding went up like tinder.
Yea, it does look like the exterior cladding was flammable. This is something of a world-wide phenomenon too.
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Old 14th June 2017, 12:28 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Are you denying that there was a serious violation or lack of safety standards in this building?
Mike G is in the building trade, and he wants to get all the facts before making any judgements. Something which would be wise for most of us to follow.
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Old 14th June 2017, 12:29 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
Yea, it does look like the exterior cladding was flammable. This is something of a world-wide phenomenon too.
Why do they use it? (Cladding in general and this specific type.)
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Old 14th June 2017, 12:51 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Mike G is in the building trade, and he wants to get all the facts before making any judgements. Something which would be wise for most of us to follow.
How many more facts are you waiting for?

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpres...ll-tower-fire/
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Old 14th June 2017, 01:05 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
What a dreadful time to propagate anti-Muslim propaganda.
Other opinions are also being expressed.
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Old 14th June 2017, 01:14 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Mike G is in the building trade, and he wants to get all the facts before making any judgements. Something which would be wise for most of us to follow.
Mike G's position appeared to be more defensive than neutral.

I agree that it is premature to bring out the hangman's noose. However, a building like that ought not be easily destroyed by an ordinary fire and serious questions need to be asked.
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Old 14th June 2017, 01:35 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Why do they use it? (Cladding in general and this specific type.)
If it's a frame building it has to be covered with something, no different from the siding or brick veneer on a house. There don't seem to be news reports on the cladding at this particular building, but other links here go to examples of cladding made from a sandwich of thin aluminum sheets and a plastic foam that burns easily. They use it because it's cheap, pretty, lightweight and weather-resistant.
http://www.alumco.ae/facade/metalcladding.html

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Old 14th June 2017, 01:40 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Are you denying that there was a serious violation or lack of safety standards in this building?
Depends how you look at it.

Apparently the building was constructed in the early 1970s. Safety standards were different then. If the building was built to those standards, then there was no serious violation or lack.

Similarly, it seems that current UK regulations don't require upgrading the existing provisions to modern standards, when making new provisions or doing other renovations.

I wouldn't deny that there was a lack of *modern* safety standards, but I think that given the above, it would be wrong to say at this time that there was a *serious violation*.
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Old 14th June 2017, 01:42 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
If it's a frame building it has to be covered with something, no different from the siding or brick veneer on a house. There don't seem to be news reports on the cladding at this particular building, but other links here go to examples of cladding made from a sandwich of thin aluminum sheets and a plastic foam that burns easily. They use it because it's cheap, pretty, lightweight and weather-resistant.
http://www.alumco.ae/facade/metalcladding.html
Thanks.
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Old 14th June 2017, 01:45 PM   #102
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More about the cladding:
Quote:
“It appears that the external cladding has significantly contributed to the spread of fire at Grenfell Tower,” said Angus Law, an expert with the Building Research Establishment Center for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.d0a9bbdcf0f8
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Old 14th June 2017, 01:48 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Depends how you look at it.

Apparently the building was constructed in the early 1970s. Safety standards were different then. If the building was built to those standards, then there was no serious violation or lack.
.....
The fact that fires like this are pretty rare in '70s-era buildings would tend to indicate that the building codes are not the problem. But if the contractor didn't comply with those codes, with the cladding, alarms or anything else, it certainly seems to be evidence of negligence.
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Old 14th June 2017, 01:52 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
It proves nothing of the sort. You have no expertise in the matter, and no-one with any expertise has determined that anything was shoddy or sub-standard. Therefore, this is simply your invention. I suspect there will be a public enquiry, and I'll wait until then to start discussing "shoddy standards" or any other such speculation.

I worked in commercial architecture for 6 or 8 years, including on a number of multi-storey blocks of flats.......so I have a great deal more expertise than you. However, I defer to Architect on this one. I don't think you'll find either of us deciding what the issues were in the throw-away manner you just have.
I have a question for you, Mike. A serious one, not one trying to point the blame anywhere.

It's looking like the cladding allowed the fire to spread up the building very quickly and it's been reported the cladding was newly applied.

How is it such materials are not required to meet certain fire regs?

Drywall has specifications, buildings are supposed to have firewalls, I understand how a building built in the 70s might not have proper fire escapes and firewalls.

But what I don't understand is how newly applied cladding can be on the market without meeting some kind of fire requirements.
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Old 14th June 2017, 01:54 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
The fact that fires like this are pretty rare in '70s-era buildings would tend to indicate that the building codes are not the problem. But if the contractor didn't comply with those codes, with the cladding, alarms or anything else, it certainly seems to be evidence of negligence.
From what I can tell so far, the original builder complied with the building codes of the time, and the current landlord complied with alarms/detectors and other things, but screwed the pooch on the cladding.
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:21 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I have a question for you, Mike. A serious one, not one trying to point the blame anywhere.

It's looking like the cladding allowed the fire to spread up the building very quickly and it's been reported the cladding was newly applied.

How is it such materials are not required to meet certain fire regs?

Drywall has specifications, buildings are supposed to have firewalls, I understand how a building built in the 70s might not have proper fire escapes and firewalls.

But what I don't understand is how newly applied cladding can be on the market without meeting some kind of fire requirements.
There is a functional fire performance standard in the English Building Regulations and the material would require to meet it. Clearly something has gone wrong. The question is what. My colleagues and I have our suspiscions but wouldn't like to know more before pointing figures.
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:23 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Depends how you look at it.

Apparently the building was constructed in the early 1970s. Safety standards were different then. If the building was built to those standards, then there was no serious violation or lack.

Similarly, it seems that current UK regulations don't require upgrading the existing provisions to modern standards, when making new provisions or doing other renovations.

I wouldn't deny that there was a lack of *modern* safety standards, but I think that given the above, it would be wrong to say at this time that there was a *serious violation*.
It is a general legal principle that laws cannot work retrospectively. The Building Regs are enacted through legislative instrument, ergo problem.

We are, however, in duty of care territory which is an altogether different kettle of fish.
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:26 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
There is a functional fire performance standard in the English Building Regulations and the material would require to meet it. Clearly something has gone wrong. The question is what. My colleagues and I have our suspiscions but wouldn't like to know more before pointing figures.
I had new siding put up on my house. One sales guy came by with samples of aluminum siding and I inquired about fire safety. He replied it was fire resistant. I put a match to the insulation and it flamed right up.

I chose cement fiber board.

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Old 14th June 2017, 02:29 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I had new siding put up on my house. One sales guy came by with samples of aluminum siding and I inquired about fire safety. He replied it was fire resistant. I put a match to the insulation and it flamed right up.

I chose cement fiber board.
Yes. And?
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:37 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
Yes. And?
'And' to which of those statements?

And there is something wrong when aluminum siding can be sold in this day and age that is that flammable.

It looks like the same thing may be true with whatever cladding was used in this remodel.
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:38 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Mike G's position appeared to be more defensive than neutral.

I agree that it is premature to bring out the hangman's noose. However, a building like that ought not be easily destroyed by an ordinary fire and serious questions need to be asked.
By definition this is nothing of the sort.

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Old 14th June 2017, 02:39 PM   #112
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Skeptic Ginger

I'm afraid that your analogy bears no resemblance to specification of materials in the UK construction sector.

As a matter of interest what do you mean by a "siding" and why would it have insulation incorporated?
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:41 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Literally nothing like this has happened to this type of building in the UK previously.
However problems with certain types of cladding panels are understood in the sector.
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:45 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I had new siding put up on my house. One sales guy came by with samples of aluminum siding and I inquired about fire safety. He replied it was fire resistant. I put a match to the insulation and it flamed right up.
....
Do you mean the fire spread even when you took the match away, like paper or cloth? Or did the insulation burn out when you took the match away? Sometimes fire-resistant means the material won't support a fire as a fuel source or burn on its own, not that it won't be affected by a direct flame.
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:49 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post

As a matter of interest what do you mean by a "siding" and why would it have insulation incorporated?
What do you call this stuff in the UK?
http://www.siding.com/
http://www.reverebuildingproducts.co...numSiding.aspx
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:50 PM   #116
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Which bit is the "siding" ? Do you mean the eaves, soffit, bargeboards, or the shiplap effect cladding in those photographs?
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Last edited by Architect; 14th June 2017 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:51 PM   #117
Matthew Best
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Why is it called siding when all those pictures are of the front? It should be called fronting!
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Old 14th June 2017, 03:05 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
Why is it called siding when all those pictures are of the front? It should be called fronting!
Well, it's used on the side too.
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Old 14th June 2017, 03:06 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
If it's a frame building it has to be covered with something, no different from the siding or brick veneer on a house. There don't seem to be news reports on the cladding at this particular building, but other links here go to examples of cladding made from a sandwich of thin aluminum sheets and a plastic foam that burns easily. They use it because it's cheap, pretty, lightweight and weather-resistant.
http://www.alumco.ae/facade/metalcladding.html
Someone high up (I forget who) said the cladding was put on to make the building look more attractive to outsiders (cosmetic).
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Old 14th June 2017, 03:07 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
Which bit is the "siding" ? Do you mean the eaves, soffit, bargeboards, or the shiplap effect cladding in those photographs?
It's the exterior finish of the vertical faces of walls. Typically doesn't have any insulative properties.
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