ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 6th November 2019, 09:20 PM   #2001
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Your ‘givens’ are not correct.
Poor phrasing. I realize some residents got out with the help of firefighters. But the operative phrase is "they got out." They evacuated. Are you claiming anybody survived the fire by sheltering in place?
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2019, 09:23 PM   #2002
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
According to a fireman who was at Grenfell, it would have needed 40 crews, in full breathing apparatus, to evacuate the block.

Linked to earlier by Wudang - https://www.independent.co.uk/voices...-a8397276.html
By "crew," does he mean one firefighter? Or a team of some unspecified number? Why would so many have been necessary if the evacuation had begun earlier, before the building was fully engulfed?
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2019, 09:32 PM   #2003
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Is there some reason it would be so extraordinarily difficult to retrofit them with additional stairwells that demolition and rebuilding from scratch is the only solution?
.....
I'm not an architect, but I could imagine building a second stairway outside the existing building, and giving up part of one unit on each floor to create access to it.

It wouldn't necessarily even need to be enclosed. Plenty of old buildings in big cities have steel frame fire escapes. I could also imagine installing an exterior lift to be used by firefighters. Both would have to cost a lot less than the 9+ million pounds they spent renovating Grenfell.
https://www.canstockphoto.com/search...se=fire+escape

Last edited by Bob001; 6th November 2019 at 09:34 PM.
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2019, 09:48 PM   #2004
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 24,377
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
I'm not an architect, but I could imagine building a second stairway outside the existing building, and giving up part of one unit on each floor to create access to it.

<snip>

Yeah, that's kinda what I had in mind, as well.

But apparently it couldn't be done for less than the cost of tearing down the entire building and starting from scratch.
__________________
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2019, 10:20 PM   #2005
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
A 2017 summary of what went wrong at Grenfell. In particular:
Quote:
A leading fire safety expert warned Government advisors three years ago that a tragedy like the Grenfell Tower inferno would happen unless they changed rules to ban cheap, flammable insulation used on the outside of buildings.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...mercy-inferno/

Plenty of notice of impending catastrophe.
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 12:56 AM   #2006
Planigale
Illuminator
 
Planigale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,245
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
What? No, it's too late to redesign the buildings. But a central alarm system could be retrofitted. I just note that false alarms resulting in kicked-in doors are pretty rare, if not unheard-of, in the U.S. For one thing, the alarm means that police and firefighters are on the scene in minutes. Criminals generally try not to call attention to themselves.

And how many firefighters would need to go up the stairs? Half a dozen? A dozen? It's hard to believe everybody couldn't make room for each other, even if they had to huddle a little closer than might be socially appropriate.
You may be right and some retro-fitting may be possible. But it is not an either or between cladding and changing the whole national policy on fire safety in high rise blocks.

Yes it may be possible to build an external staircase +/- emergency lift. It would need to go through someone's home so they would need to be evicted or bought out.

But this is not an either / or. For those who have not lived in this type of block. Ours was H shaped designed so that most flats were predominantly against an external wall. The wall is concrete with internal a plasterboard cover. The windows was metal framed and single glazed. Particularly in winter keeping the flat heated was difficult, condensation was a big problem. Especially given current environmental concerns insulating the blocks is important. Practically this needs to be with external cladding and new double glazed windows. So the external cladding would still be necessary.

So even if you had installed an external staircase +/- emergency lift at grenfell all that would have happened is you might have got people burnt to death whilst evacuating on the emergency staircase as the cladding around it catching fire.

The stay in place policy has been successful for decades for thousands of fires in hundreds of blocks. One really has to think carefully about changing national policy and it could not be done quickly if infrastructure is needed to support it. The error was having the building wrapped in flammable material. Since this was not known one could not have a selective policy for buildings wrapped in flammable material.
Planigale is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 01:08 AM   #2007
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Deputy Admin
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 43,797
Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Is there some reason it would be so extraordinarily difficult to retrofit them with additional stairwells that demolition and rebuilding from scratch is the only solution?



It would be a lot cheaper, in time and money, to simply ensure the buildings were not covered in combustible materials so the that the designed safety procedure was not compromised.
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
Ezekiel 23:20
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 03:04 AM   #2008
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Deputy Admin
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 43,797
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Poor phrasing. I realize some residents got out with the help of firefighters. But the operative phrase is "they got out." They evacuated. Are you claiming anybody survived the fire by sheltering in place?
Well, they had to leave at some point. And being evacuated by firefighters is not the same as making your own way out. The last person rescued was nearly 8 hours after the fire started.
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
Ezekiel 23:20
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 03:12 AM   #2009
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,382
Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Practically how do you do this? There is no general communication system within the flats. You would need to have installed some type of alarm system. Have an induction process for new entrants to the block. Alarm testing procedures. Have a register of those with mobility or special needs issues. Who would trigger the alarm and when? Having lived in this type of flat, the internal alarm would go off if you burnt the toast, or even had too many smokers in one room. So there would have to be an external trigger to general evacuation. Firefighters would need to be diverted to check every flat, and assist the disabled. Firefighters would be trying to go up a narrow staircase whilst the residents were going down.
IME of attending fires as a former police officer, a number of which were in flats (most stories was only 8) was that we and the firebrigade did go in and knock doors and alert neighbours, with neighbours also alerting each other. Doors were forced to check flats and assist those who were stuck.

Because some took longer to leave than others, there was never an issue on the stairwells.

I was never at a block that had an alarm system to warn residents.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 03:15 AM   #2010
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,382
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
There is no guarantee that this would save more lives than the stay in place policy, given the design of the buildings.
What with the stairwell being fireproof and the landings all having fire doors and the number who survived Grenfell by evacuating compared to staying put, I would say UK designed tower blocks are better evacuated when there is burning cladding spreading the fire from the outside.

Stay put applies when the fire is contained and the firebrigade can get to it and put it out. Stay put kills when the fire can spread.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 03:23 AM   #2011
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,382
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
It would be a lot cheaper, in time and money, to simply ensure the buildings were not covered in combustible materials so the that the designed safety procedure was not compromised.
That is the real issue, the fitting of flammable cladding. Where I work all the blocks (tallest 16 stories) were clad, but with insulation that does not burn that was then rendered with plaster to keep water (and so fire) from it. Every couple of years a drone is used to fly around the building checking the integrity of the work.

A lot of elderly people are housed in the flats. The stairwells are small, but an evacuation would be gradual since those who are more mobile could get out followed by others, followed by those who would need carrying. There would not be a huge influx of all residents into the stairwell at the same time.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 03:55 AM   #2012
Information Analyst
Philosopher
 
Information Analyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Besźel or Ul Qoma - not sure...
Posts: 9,930
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
And why is the staircase so narrow? If it's not wide enough for one line going up to pass another line going down, that's another severe design fail. The code minimum in the U.S. is 44".
It was built in 1974 as a firefighting stair, and while the 1971 standard at the time was 900mm (34.4-inches) from the wall to any opposite handrail, when measured after the fire it was 1040mm (40.9-inches). The current 2013 standard is 1100mm (43.3-inches).

https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org...ction%2016.pdf

Figure 16.8 on page 16-16 is a photo of the stair.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 7th November 2019 at 04:03 AM.
Information Analyst is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 04:15 AM   #2013
Information Analyst
Philosopher
 
Information Analyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Besźel or Ul Qoma - not sure...
Posts: 9,930
Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Is there some reason it would be so extraordinarily difficult to retrofit them with additional stairwells that demolition and rebuilding from scratch is the only solution?
Where?

.

Quote:
Yes. This is why none of the jurisdictions where fire alarm pull stations are mandated have ever worked as intended.

It's rather naïve to think they can be retrofitted in buildings where - as you have been told - antisocial behaviour and crime are by no means rare.
Information Analyst is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 04:23 AM   #2014
Information Analyst
Philosopher
 
Information Analyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Besźel or Ul Qoma - not sure...
Posts: 9,930
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
By "crew," does he mean one firefighter? Or a team of some unspecified number?
Crew of a fire appliance (truck).
Information Analyst is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 04:39 AM   #2015
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 48,178
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
In the U.S. building alarms have pull-down levers on the walls in the public spaces. Whoever first detects a fire goes out into the hall or wherever and pulls the alarm, and bells ring throughout the building. The systems do not generally rely on smoke detectors (although some probably might). Some are connected directly to emergency services, though not all. Every resident knows that when you hear the alarm you get out. It doesn't require much training. It is literally a crime to pull a false alarm, and it doesn't happen often. At Grenfell, the resident where the fire started would have stepped out of his unit and pulled the alarm as he was calling 999.

Here's an example:
https://www.homesecuritystore.com/firelite-bg-12lo

And why is the staircase so narrow? If it's not wide enough for one line going up to pass another line going down, that's another severe design fail. The code minimum in the U.S. is 44".
But they don't evacuate entire skyscrapers on one pull of the alarm.
__________________
Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody
"There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
ponderingturtle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 08:22 AM   #2016
Blue Mountain
Resident Skeptical Hobbit
 
Blue Mountain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Waging war on woo-woo in Winnipeg
Posts: 5,678
Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Looking at the picture, the only way I could see it being done is by fitting an outside stairwell to the building. As for access, look at the top of the picture. Starting from the left you have the first flat with "bed 1", "bed 2", "bed 3" and "bed 4." The next one to the right is also "bed 4", for the flat in the upper right. There's where you put the access corridor. There's a small washroom in the way, but it's is just a toilet and sink; the flat's main washroom is to the right of the entrance door. So you'd have to knock out the small washroom and that flat's 4th bedroom (you can expand the 3rd bedroom into the space left over between the exit corridor and what used to be the 4th bedroom.)

Repeat for every floor. Easy peasy (Yeah, right!)
__________________
The social illusion reigns to-day upon all the heaped-up ruins of the past, and to it belongs the future. The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Gustav Le Bon, The Crowd, 1895 (from the French)
Canadian or living in Canada? PM me if you want an entry on the list of Canadians on the forum.

Last edited by Blue Mountain; 7th November 2019 at 08:23 AM.
Blue Mountain is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 09:16 AM   #2017
Wudang
BOFH
 
Wudang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: People's Republic of South Yorkshire
Posts: 12,113
Except a lot of those flats are privately owned and persuading the owners/landlords to sacrifice their space for the common good may not bring forth the goodwill one would hope.
__________________
"Your deepest pools, like your deepest politicians and philosophers, often turn out more shallow than expected." Walter Scott.
Wudang is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 09:45 AM   #2018
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Except a lot of those flats are privately owned and persuading the owners/landlords to sacrifice their space for the common good may not bring forth the goodwill one would hope.
Owners would have to be compensated fairly, but there are legal mechanisms that could compel cooperation. Eminent domain might apply; banks could stop issuing mortgages for units in towers without a second staircase and insurance companies could stop writing policies on them; housing authorities could stop subsidizing rent in such buildings; etc.

As I think about it, it's surprising that the insurance companies didn't take an active interest in the Grenfell renovation project. It's hard to believe they would have knowingly approved the installation of flammable cladding in a building they were liable for.

Last edited by Bob001; 7th November 2019 at 09:46 AM.
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 10:04 AM   #2019
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 88,163
Or you know we could look at whether the containment and stay put policy actually does work in buildings that haven't been compromised by the use of flammable materials and architectural changes that breach the fire breaks. We've had these designs of tower blocks for going on 60 years, we must have enough data to make a call?
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 10:46 AM   #2020
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Or you know we could look at whether the containment and stay put policy actually does work in buildings that haven't been compromised by the use of flammable materials and architectural changes that breach the fire breaks. We've had these designs of tower blocks for going on 60 years, we must have enough data to make a call?
Sure. Of course, a lot of questions should have been asked and answered before they wrapped the building in kerosene.
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 11:19 AM   #2021
Information Analyst
Philosopher
 
Information Analyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Besźel or Ul Qoma - not sure...
Posts: 9,930
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Owners would have to be compensated fairly, but there are legal mechanisms that could compel cooperation. Eminent domain might apply; banks could stop issuing mortgages for units in towers without a second staircase and insurance companies could stop writing policies on them; housing authorities could stop subsidizing rent in such buildings; etc.
In other words, a huge amount of hassle and disruption that would make demolition and replacement even more attractive. Specifically, "housing authorities could stop subsidizing rent in such build" doesn't work when the "housing authorities" that are "subsidizing rent" also own the building.

Quote:
As I think about it, it's surprising that the insurance companies didn't take an active interest in the Grenfell renovation project. It's hard to believe they would have knowingly approved the installation of flammable cladding in a building they were liable for.
Which insurance companies?

Last edited by Information Analyst; 7th November 2019 at 11:27 AM.
Information Analyst is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 12:33 PM   #2022
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
In other words, a huge amount of hassle and disruption that would make demolition and replacement even more attractive.
.....
That's hard to believe. In fact, it's hard to believe it would be as disruptive as the 9-million-pound renovation that residents endured.

Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Which insurance companies?
In the U.S., unit owners take out insurance policies on their units and renters hold policies that cover their personal property. Lenders require owners to hold insurance to receive and maintain a mortgage. The owner of the building would hold insurance on the building itself that would cover common areas, liability, etc. I'm presuming that the UK has somewhat similar practices. Insurers don't issue policies, or charge very high premiums, on known fire hazards. Homeowners in California wildfire zones are finding themselves priced out of the market for fire insurance.

I would think any insurance company that issued any policy at Grenfell would have wanted to know how a major renovation might affect their risks.
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 01:32 PM   #2023
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 24,377
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
It would be a lot cheaper, in time and money, to simply ensure the buildings were not covered in combustible materials so the that the designed safety procedure was not compromised.

Yes. I certainly agree with that.

I was more considering the idea that there could be a realization that only having one stairwell in a high rise building presents problems aside from the flammability of the cladding, and was curious that it was assumed that the only way to deal with such a consideration would be to demolish the building and start from scratch.
__________________
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 01:43 PM   #2024
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 24,377
Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
That is the real issue, the fitting of flammable cladding. Where I work all the blocks (tallest 16 stories) were clad, but with insulation that does not burn that was then rendered with plaster to keep water (and so fire) from it. Every couple of years a drone is used to fly around the building checking the integrity of the work.

<snip>

The manufacturers of the panels used make other panels with identical surfaces, but insulation cores which are far less flammable or even completely non-flammable. The developers in charge of the renovation chose to use the most flammable panels made because it saved them a few percent of the cost of the renovation.
__________________
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 01:52 PM   #2025
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
The manufacturers of the panels used make other panels with identical surfaces, but insulation cores which are far less flammable or even completely non-flammable. The developers in charge of the renovation chose to use the most flammable panels made because it saved them a few percent of the cost of the renovation.

As posted before, residents originally specified the fire-resistant stuff, but it was downgraded to save around 300,000 pounds. It's never been explained who actually benefited from the savings.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...on-reports-say
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-a7815971.html
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 03:15 PM   #2026
Planigale
Illuminator
 
Planigale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,245
Probably the £300,000 not spent on that project meant a children's play area could be funded or new heating installed in an old peoples home, or christmas lights for the high street.

My guess is the person who made the decision had no idea of the consequences or significance of the decision. They just flipped through the Argus cladding catalogue and said why are we buying that cladding when we could have this cladding that will look just the same from the outside for £300,000 less then we can afford new furniture at the drop in centres.
Planigale is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th November 2019, 03:46 PM   #2027
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Probably the £300,000 not spent on that project meant a children's play area could be funded or new heating installed in an old peoples home, or christmas lights for the high street.

My guess is the person who made the decision had no idea of the consequences or significance of the decision. They just flipped through the Argus cladding catalogue and said why are we buying that cladding when we could have this cladding that will look just the same from the outside for £300,000 less then we can afford new furniture at the drop in centres.

That sounds like a way-too-innocent explanation. One of the links notes this:
Quote:
Other savings listed include the removal of all external landscaping works, saving £428,000, and changing window surrounds from birchwood to MDF or softwood in a further £117,000 cut.
So they didn't reallocate budgeted money. They made a lot of other cuts, including choosing more flammable window frames. And nobody knows where the money went.

It also includes this:
Quote:
Untangling responsibility for decisions on the project remains complex. The number of companies and organisations that Scotland Yard detectives investigating the disaster know so far to have played a role in the refurbishment is more than 60. The to “concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry”.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...on-reports-say

I suspect it's a lot more sinister than somebody flipping through a catalog.

Another analysis of the construction flaws. Plenty of blame to go around.
Quote:
The experts found instead that “deficiencies” in the construction of the new facade provided fuel for the fire to spread — and that it did so with such ferocity that if the original building had been built to less stringent modern standards of fire resistance, “it is likely the Tower would have collapsed, whether fully or partially”. The report identifies five significant breaches of building regulations that appear directly implicated in the loss of life:
...
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/lond...-a3814866.html
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 02:05 AM   #2028
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,382
After the pasting the LBF got, those involved in the refurbishment are in for a hell of time. Good.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 02:56 AM   #2029
Information Analyst
Philosopher
 
Information Analyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Besźel or Ul Qoma - not sure...
Posts: 9,930
Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Probably the £300,000 not spent on that project meant a children's play area could be funded or new heating installed in an old peoples home, or christmas lights for the high street.

My guess is the person who made the decision had no idea of the consequences or significance of the decision. They just flipped through the Argus cladding catalogue and said why are we buying that cladding when we could have this cladding that will look just the same from the outside for £300,000 less then we can afford new furniture at the drop in centres.
Absolutely. The decision can't be removed from the context of the ongoing squeeze on local government funding, or that there wasn't simply pressure to keep within the budget. It's getting a bit tiresome seeing all the nudge-nudge insinuations that somehow the money ended up in some councillor's back pocket.
Information Analyst is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 03:00 AM   #2030
Information Analyst
Philosopher
 
Information Analyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Besźel or Ul Qoma - not sure...
Posts: 9,930
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
So they didn't reallocate budgeted money. They made a lot of other cuts, including choosing more flammable window frames. And nobody knows where the money went.
Utter nonsense. If they can be precise enough to say what was saved in some areas, there will be equal precision in what was actually spent. If there was an accounting black hole, it would have been reported long ago.
Information Analyst is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 03:09 AM   #2031
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,382
They wanted to keep local tax as low as possible, as all the local millionaires needed financial assistance to manage living the millionaire lifestyle in London.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 09:42 AM   #2032
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Utter nonsense. If they can be precise enough to say what was saved in some areas, there will be equal precision in what was actually spent. If there was an accounting black hole, it would have been reported long ago.

According to this, the owners were sitting on buckets of cash that could have been used to buy the non-flammable cladding. Somebody decided not to spend it. Who benefited from that decision?

Quote:
Kensington and Chelsea council made £129 million from selling property in the years leading to the Grenfell fire tragedy - money that could have been spent on the tower’s renovation works which may have been fatally compromised by cost-cutting.

At the same time cuts were being made to the budget for refurbishing Grenfell tower - including saving £300,000 by using cheaper, more combustible cladding - the council had tens of millions of pounds in the bank which it could have spent, an investigation has revealed. The cladding was a key contributor to the speed with which the fire tore through the building on June 14, 2017, killing 72 people and leaving hundreds of families homeless.
https://www.thebureauinvestigates.co...wer-renovation
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 11:29 AM   #2033
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 88,163
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
According to this, the owners were sitting on buckets of cash that could have been used to buy the non-flammable cladding. Somebody decided not to spend it. Who benefited from that decision?





https://www.thebureauinvestigates.co...wer-renovation
Are you unaware that the "owners" were the local authority? The only people who benefit from reduced costs is the people in the borough*.

That report only shows that they tried to get the work done as cheaply as possible, not that they wanted fire standards to be reduced to bring the costs down. The two things are very different.

We are going to have to wait for the next part of the inquiry to complete before we can know if any one at the local authority either requested fire standards to be dropped to reduce costs or was informed that to meet the budget fire standards had to be reduced.


*In principle, yes I know politics!
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 12:17 PM   #2034
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Are you unaware that the "owners" were the local authority? The only people who benefit from reduced costs is the people in the borough*.

That report only shows that they tried to get the work done as cheaply as possible, not that they wanted fire standards to be reduced to bring the costs down. The two things are very different.
.....

Are they really different? If they chose cladding that was cheaper because it was less fire-resistant, isn't that two sides of the same coin?


Originally Posted by Darat View Post
.....

We are going to have to wait for the next part of the inquiry to complete before we can know if any one at the local authority either requested fire standards to be dropped to reduce costs or was informed that to meet the budget fire standards had to be reduced.

*In principle, yes I know politics!


It's already been reported that the plans originally specified the fire-resistant cladding, bids were originally put out on that basis, and then housing authority managers instead chose the cheaper stuff, apparently without a full review. I think everybody will agree that nobody wanted the building to burn, but it sounds like the decision -- made by specific, identifiable people -- didn't consider all the risks and ramifications and almost certainly didn't understand them.

As previously posted:
Quote:
Fire-resistant zinc cladding approved by residents of Grenfell Tower was replaced in the refurbishment contract with cheaper aluminium panels to save £293,368, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

A list of amendments to the £9.2m contract between Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) and Rydon, the builder for the refurbishment of the 24-storey tower, reveals that the saving was made after tender by fitting “cassette fix aluminium cladding in lieu of zinc cladding”.

In 2012, Studio E Architects proposed zinc cladding with a mineral-rich “fire-retardant polyethylene core”, a decision approved by residents, according to planning papers.

However, it was replaced in 2014 with cheaper aluminium cladding with a polyethylene core which has since proved combustible in government tests.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...on-reports-say
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 12:44 PM   #2035
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Another detailed report.

Of particular note:
Quote:
Prof Purser says there is a golden early period in a fire when people can make an easy escape. Fires tend to get worse at an exponential rate. So, if you delay escape you can get caught by rapidly deteriorating conditions. Half of the people between floor 6 and 11 had started to escape by 1:30 (36 minutes after the first 999 call). The rate of escape decreased rapidly thereafter.

Prof Purser said that if there had been a way to ask all residents to evacuate at the same time, they could have left within 7 minutes.
https://grenfellenquirer.blog/2019/0...-the-cladding/

So if there had been a central alarm system, and somebody had pulled the lever when the fire started, everybody might have gotten out.


A digression: Apparently units in the building were numbered consecutively. That means that it would be harder for firefighters to identify and locate any particular unit. In the U.S. the apartment number would typically include the floor: 608 would be unit 8 on the sixth floor; 1912 would be unit 12 on the 19th floor. It's hard to understand why anybody would do it differently. The fire apparently started in apartment 16. How would firefighters find it without a map?

And a breathtakingly chilling 999 recording o (and subsequent interview) of a guy trying to get his family out through the smoke:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06rbc8r

Last edited by Bob001; 8th November 2019 at 12:54 PM.
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 12:48 PM   #2036
Planigale
Illuminator
 
Planigale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,245
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Are they really different? If they chose cladding that was cheaper because it was less fire-resistant, isn't that two sides of the same coin?






It's already been reported that the plans originally specified the fire-resistant cladding, bids were originally put out on that basis, and then housing authority managers instead chose the cheaper stuff, apparently without a full review. I think everybody will agree that nobody wanted the building to burn, but it sounds like the decision -- made by specific, identifiable people -- didn't consider all the risks and ramifications and almost certainly didn't understand them.

As previously posted:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...on-reports-say
This goes back to my post above; my guess is the person who made this decision had no knowledge of the consequences of the decision or the significance of different types of cladding. Whether the architects had some legal or ethical responsibility to ensure that the project was carried forward safely I do not know. I certainly think the contractors who sold and installed the cladding did have some responsibility to ensure the cladding was being used safely and the work carried out was safe.
Planigale is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 01:06 PM   #2037
Steve
Philosopher
 
Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,893
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Are they really different? If they chose cladding that was cheaper because it was less fire-resistant, isn't that two sides of the same coin?






It's already been reported that the plans originally specified the fire-resistant cladding, bids were originally put out on that basis, and then housing authority managers instead chose the cheaper stuff, apparently without a full review. I think everybody will agree that nobody wanted the building to burn, but it sounds like the decision -- made by specific, identifiable people -- didn't consider all the risks and ramifications and almost certainly didn't understand them.

As previously posted:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...on-reports-say
In Canada it would work like this:

If the contract documents were issued for tender with the fire resistant cladding and the cladding specification were changed during the bidding process then a written Addendum would be issued to all bidders to ensure fairness in the bids. The written addendum would be signed by both the Architect of Record and the Owners designated representative. All affected parties will be provided with a copy of the Addendum.

If the bids were all submitted based on the fire resistant cladding and the specification was changed after award of the contract then a written Contemplated Change Order would be issued to the contractor. The contemplated hange order would be signed by the Architect of Record and the Owners designated representative
The contractor will respond with a written, signed document indicating the cost of the change and the impact on the schedule. Once the cost and schedule issues are agreed by all parties the Change Order that contains all details of the changes will be issued and signed by the Architect of Record, the Owners designated representative, and the contractor. This is the official authorization to proceed with the change. All relevant parties will be provided with a copy of this change order.

As multiple copies of these documents are issued to different parties, and they form a part of the legal contract, it should be a simple matter to follow the paper trail. Whoever’s signatures are on the documents are legally responsible for the decisions.

Another paper trail would be the purchase order for the panels. The manufacturer/supplier will not ship the panels without legitimate signed authorization. The supplier will have this PO in their financial records.

Parties responsible for the decisions can be easily identified from the authorization signatures on these documents. If any of these standard documents cannot be produced that would be highly indicative of fraud (and perhaps murder?)
__________________
Caption from and old New Yorker cartoon - Why am I shouting? Because I'm wrong!"
Steve is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2019, 01:25 PM   #2038
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 24,377
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
<snip>

As previously posted:
Quote:
<snip>

However, it was replaced in 2014 with cheaper aluminium cladding with a polyethylene core which has since proved combustible in government tests.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...on-reports-say

The part which I have highlighted is something of an obfuscation. Major countries and even the manufacturers had already determined that these particular panels were highly combustible and unsafe for use in applications such as Grenfell.

And not just through testing. There had been other high rise buildings around the world with fires every bit as horrendous.

Australia's testing was ordered to a halt when they decided that even the testing was unsafe.

The UK had used testing procedures which did not adequately reflect real world conditions. This is what got those panels the sort of green light they received in the UK. The experiences of everyone else who had determined that such panels were unsafe was blithely ignored. After Grenfell they modified their test procedures, figured out what everyone else already knew, and that is the testing described above.
__________________
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th November 2019, 10:06 AM   #2039
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,326
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Well, they had to leave at some point. And being evacuated by firefighters is not the same as making your own way out. The last person rescued was nearly 8 hours after the fire started.

That seemed implausible. But it's true. And it's a dramatic story.

Quote:
The blind pensioner was stuck in his flat for eight hours and admitted he contemplated jumping out the window or taking an overdose to avoid being burnt to death.
https://metro.co.uk/2019/01/06/blind...o-die-8314614/
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th November 2019, 11:51 AM   #2040
P.J. Denyer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,869
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
That seemed implausible. But it's true. And it's a dramatic story.


https://metro.co.uk/2019/01/06/blind...o-die-8314614/
Personally I'd have used the word 'horrifying' rather than dramatic to describe a blind man contemplating suicide over immolation, but thankfully it didn't end either of those ways.
__________________
"I know my brain cannot tell me what to think." - Scorpion

"Nebulous means Nebulous" - Adam Hills
P.J. Denyer is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:51 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.