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Jenny
1241684.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:55 am Reply with quote

PDR
1239655. Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:17 pm

Quote:
Jenny wrote:

Woodsman (architect) believes the collapse of the floors was because the clip angles holding the floors to the walls deformed due to the heat.



I wouldn't dispute that except in interpretation - could you ask him if he was meaning "The collapse of the first floor to fail [in each tower] was due to the thermal failure of the clips, but that floor then fell downwards and each subsequent floor collapsed essentially immediately under the impact of the floor(s) above as they fell."

PDR


barbados
1239659. Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:36 pm

I recall at the time FIL (structural engineer)suggested that the collapse was likely to be a design feature rather than flaw, in as much as the disaster planning would have it, in the event of coming down do so in the smallest possible footprint. I seem to also recall him talking of 100 year storms being the basis of the plans - he designed and built oil platforms - not sure if there is a dry land equivalant?


AlmondFacialBar
1239667. Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:46 am
Quote:
Jenny wrote:
PDR wrote:
Awitt wrote:

Not the same comparison, but the large number of deaths from the 9/11 attacks were caused by internal floors collapsing and people on the higher ones being trapped.


Not sure where you got that from, but I don't think it's true. AIUI even though the actual failure modes were slightluy different in the two buildings in both cases as soon as the first floor actually failed it triggered a chain of events that collapsed the entire building in a matter of seconds. People above the fire were certainly "trapped" in the sense of being unable to get past the fire, but I'm not aware of any being "trapped" by collapsed floors.

PDR


Quote:
Woodsman (architect) believes the collapse of the floors was because the clip angles holding the floors to the walls deformed due to the heat.

As for the dreadful fire at Grenfell Tower - cast your eyes on the blog written by a residents' action group in November of last year.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/




Apparently the residents asked for an independent fire safety assessment just last month and it was declined. :-/

This morning on the news they said that there might have been an air gap between the exterior cladding and the actual wall that functioned as a chimney and accelerated the spread of the fire. It'll be interesting to find out if that was shoddy work or a design flaw intended to improve the insulation.

Given that fire safety doesn't exactly seem to be a new issue in these tower blocks, memories of King's Cross come to mind.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


crissdee
1239668. Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:26 am

It's probably just coincidence, but there is a distinct smell of burning round here in East London (10-12 miles from fire). Apparently there are still "pockets of fire" 32hrs later!


PDR
1239669. Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:48 am

There are always "pockets of fire" for days afterwards in any major fire because it takes a long time to reduce the temperature of such a large mass or material - that's why after a fire the fire service stay in attendance for a long time doing "damping down". Heck, when I have a significant bonfire in the garden the original ~2 cubic metres is reduced to a half-metre-high cone of ashes in a couple of hours, but that cone remains warm for several days and kindling pushed into it will char or even flash into flame 2-3 days later - in fact I have baked spuds in such a 2-day-old ash pile before now!

By the end of the week this apparently fully-burned half-metre cone of ash has reduced to a cold layer 2-3cm-thick as the combustion finally completes.

PDR


Spike
1239672. Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:09 am

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
Quote:

This morning on the news they said that there might have been an air gap between the exterior cladding and the actual wall that functioned as a chimney and accelerated the spread of the fire. It'll be interesting to find out if that was shoddy work or a design flaw intended to improve the insulation.



In an article I read the other day they said that the air gap was to help keep the insulation dry.


Awitt
1239679. Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:03 am

Yeah, just not in the way intended. I'm not sure the building management/authorities had calculated for a fire like this one. If a fire does start in an apartment, it (and water from the hoses) usually damage surrounding ones, but those on the other side/end of the block should still be alright.



Dix
1239684. Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:22 am

I'd like to see every person involved in the decision-making of whatever caused or contributed to that awful fire being taken on a walk-through of the building, with every death explained in horrific detail.
Including but not limited to planners, those who selected the cladding material, council officials, those responsible for the fire alarms not working (if that indeed is true).

My only reservation is that someone will have to do the explaining, and it would be bloody hard on them.

Am I being very vindictive?

 
Jenny
1241685.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:57 am Reply with quote

'yorz
1239724. Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:29 pm

On the telly tonight, a woman (solicitor?) who had been involved in the Lakanal House fire case made a very clear distinction between the public inquiry Mrs May promised and a public inquest, and made no bones about the fact that the affected would be much better served with the latter. In a public inquiry, the public has no voice. With an inquest, a jury can hold parties to account and impose a fine on the guilty. With the former, the 'lessons will be learned' outcome/shite can be expected. The lady implored the community to pressure Mrs May to alter her inquire into an inquest.


barbados
1239729. Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:01 am

Quote:
swot wrote:
Quote:
barbados wrote:
Carolyn Harris - cheap political points scoring on Iain Dale this evening.

"The government promised a review after Lakanal House Fire - now there has been loss of life carrying out a review into the safety of tower blocks is closing the door after the horse has bolted."


Considering the fire is still smouldering - the modern labour party should be ashamed of those comments.


It's not cheap political point-scoring, it's holding the government to account.

When you compare it to the response from Clive Betts, it is political point scoring.

As Mr Betts pointed out, the details of the report being sat upon by tne government is the same now as it was pre Lakanal, when it was considered that the safety of the historic built tower blocks was not quite as good as expected.
So, successive governments have been guilty of not getting these changes through - possibly because this is a kind of perfect storm event, butbhe suspects that ir is more likely that the role that would be responsible for putting the changes suggested into action is a very junior one, and there is a naturally high turnover in the office.

But Betts is from an older, more considered period in politics.


barbados
1239730. Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:08 am

Quote:
'yorz wrote:
On the telly tonight, a woman (solicitor?) who had been involved in the Lakanal House fire case made a very clear distinction between the public inquiry Mrs May promised and a public inquest, and made no bones about the fact that the affected would be much better served with the latter. In a public inquiry, the public has no voice. With an inquest, a jury can hold parties to account and impose a fine on the guilty. With the former, the 'lessons will be learned' outcome/shite can be expected. The lady implored the community to pressure Mrs May to alter her inquire into an inquest.



The problem with holding parties to account is where the responsibilty actually lies.
Is it the company that manufactured the cladding, was it the company that fitted the cladding, was it the company that ordered the cladding, or was it the person who had the faulty appliance that caused the fire in the first place?

And what "say" do the "public" actually need in finding out how to prevent this from happening again? Considering the residents association were voicing their concerns over safety issues from day one, they will no doubt be involved with the other parties that played some part in the events. But what, exactly can Omar Alhajali bring to the proceedings other that grief?
Its a tough call, but surely the important thing moving forward is to prevent it happening again, and I would probably go along the lines of Sadiq Khan in this case - get it happening as quickly as possible, then act on the findings. AIUI he also suggested that inquiries allowed for more fluid reporting and they also allow for interim findings to be released. Something that I'm not sure is possible in the event of something more "legal" taking place (although I guess that kind of thing would be part of the inevitable HSE investigations.

 
Jenny
1241686.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:01 am Reply with quote

Jenny
1239794. Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:45 pm

Quote:
barbados wrote:


The problem with holding parties to account is where the responsibilty actually lies.
Is it the company that manufactured the cladding, was it the company that fitted the cladding, was it the company that ordered the cladding, or was it the person who had the faulty appliance that caused the fire in the first place?




On that specific issue - Woodsman (being an architect) looked into this. There are two types of cladding available of the type used. One is flammable, one is not. The non-flammable variety costs £2 per square metre less than the flammable variety. So I guess the blame for choosing that one rests with whoever controlled the budget and valued cost-saving over safety (given that the only fire precaution in the building was the fire stops between floors as no sprinkler system had ever been retrofitted at an estimated cost of approximately £300,000, which one might have thought would be findable out of a £10m renovation budget. Of course, the flammable panels allowed the fire to be readily conducted across the outside of the building, rendering the firestops practically useless.

The other issue was the installation of the cladding. Reports we read suggested that a 30mm gap had been left between the cladding and the walls of the building. This air gap acted like a chimney and helped to draw the flames upwards. I don't know if that was the recommended way of installing the material or if the installer bears some responsibility for this, but again it rendered such inadequate fire prevention as existed in the building fairly useless.



barbados
1239802. Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:26 pm

A short look around away from the sensationalist reporting suggests that the cladding used was from a manufacturer called Celotex, and it is the product they describe as RS5000. That is certified as having 12mm non combustible sheathing board that complies with BS 476 part 6 pass, and part 7 class 1.


Awitt
1239804. Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:32 pm

My newspaper report states this morning that fire resistant cladding could have been used for just an extra 8000 pounds.
The cladding used had an aluminum coating but plastic core and this has been banned in the USA.

And the resident whose fridge is thought to have started the fire rang emergency services as soon as the fire started, and he survived, is staying with friends and is distraught.



PDR
1239827. Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:55 am
Quote:

barbados wrote:
A short look around away from the sensationalist reporting suggests that the cladding used was from a manufacturer called Celotex, and it is the product they describe as RS5000. That is certified as having 12mm non combustible sheathing board that complies with BS 476 part 6 pass, and part 7 class 1.



According to this source the actual material used was a product called "Reynobond", which is available with two alternative core insulation materials - polyurethane (Reynobond PE) or fire-retardant mineral fibre (Reynobond FR). The claim is that the cladding used was the cheaper PE product.

According to this source the wall cladding was comprised of a "cassette" of Celonex FR5000 covered with a rain screen of Reynobond PE.

So it's not a matter of sensationalist reporting.

Incidently - in BS476 the best fire rating is Class 0, not Class 1.

PDR

 
Jenny
1241687.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:04 am Reply with quote

barbados
1239830. Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:30 am

According http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2017/06/16/20-london-high-rises-with-grenfell-cladding-system/ they don't know what the covering was yet, and how could they the investigation hasn't even begun?
However it does point towards the cladding suppliers who have confirmed the part they supplied does meet the safety standards.

The class system in BS 476 (part 7 which is the relevant part) is a little confusing isn't it? According to http://www.firete.com/en/standard/482.html the highest rating is 1 not 0, however it is handily explained on http://www.scomp.co.uk/fire-ratings/ apparently the 0 rating refers to the classification within building regs.

But when you have reporters from the daily's looking - rightly for answers, they are jumping the gun slightly when they suggest that a particular product is to blame, when - until the investigation team can get to the material and check it fully no-one can actually know. That is sensationalising the events, and quite frankly is doing no favours to anyone.
It's a bit like the inquest/inquiry question, the protesters yesterday were calling for an inquest - but I bet if you were to ask them why an inquest (as opposed to an inquiry) is needed, they wouldn't even be able to tell you the difference, but a solicitor has been on the tele to say it is what is needed and the government have offered the other, what has that solicitor actually brought to the table apart from cause confusion to people who quite frankly have better things to do wuth their time. Actually, without googling do you know the difference between the two? I didn't. But it appears, in this case, the solicitor is wrong.


PDR
1239832. Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:55 am

Quote:
barbados wrote:
According http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2017/06/16/20-london-high-rises-with-grenfell-cladding-system/ they don't know what the covering was yet,


Can you actually point me to the part of that article that says they don't know what raincladding was used? I can't see it.

Quote:
Quote:

...and how could they the investigation hasn't even begun?



Well one way would be by looking up the drawings in the planning office - these are public record. Another way might be by being physically present on the site and looking at the remaining undamaged pieces, because this stuff often has a trade-name label on it and even if it doesn't it's not that difficult to tell the difference between mineral fibre and foamed plastics.

Quote:
Quote:

However it does point towards the cladding suppliers who have confirmed the part they supplied does meet the safety standards.



They meet the safety standards for insulation board in general - whether it's safe in a specific application is down to how the architect actually configures it (as I'm sure Woody would confirm). To cite an extreme example - in my car* I have petrol which complies with all the required safety standards for petrol, but I really wouldn't recommend applying a lighted match to it because that's not a condfiguation considered by the safety standards.

Once a major fire is going then most of the materials that aren't explicitly "non-combustible" will burn and transmit fire anyway. This cladding had a 20thou aluminium external layer, and I would not be all all surprised if it is subsequently discovered that this aluminium actually burned (not just melted) in the fire. Whilst more resistant than (say) wood, it really doesn't take that much to get it to burn, especially in thin sections, and once it does ignite it does so rather fiercely (cf type 42 frigates in the Falklands War).

Quote:
Quote:

But when you have reporters from the daily's looking - rightly for answers, they are jumping the gun slightly when they suggest that a particular product is to blame, when - until the investigation team can get to the material and check it fully no-one can actually know.



It is possible to *know* what materials were used by looking at what was specified on the drawings and what is actually lying around the streets in charred piles.

PDR


PDR
1239833. Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:15 am

On another aspect. Many are seeing this as an example of skimping capitalists maximising profits. But they are overlooking the fact that this was council-owned, and so the refurbishment contract was subject to public contracts law. At the time this would have been the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, a piece of law which some then say is "EU procurement law" but whilst this may be true it was one of those cases where the EU simply adopted existing english law as "best practice". I studied this in some detail for my last Dissertation (which was around the conflicts between the procurement law environment and sound engineering on those contracts), and there are common threads.

PCR 2006 specifies how public bodies my contract - for contracts of this value they are required to issue a spec and then hold a tender competition using one of four procedures in accordance with a very strict set of rules. PCR2006 also says that the contract must then be awarded to the lowest technically-compliant bid. If one bid said "the price is £10,000,000 to meet the spec but for £10,009,000 we can do something that is much safer" PCR2006 actually PROHIBITS going for the safer option because it goes beyond the spec. PCR2006 also prohibits tenderers offering "costed options" in their bids, and any significant change to the spec after the winning bid has been selected requires that the while tendering competition is repeated.

I have sat in rooms BEGGING MoD commercial people to see that the "cheapest" option is abysmal value for money, and/or is only cheaper in initial rather than whole-life cost, and/or misses an opportunity for huge savings in areas outside the scope of the specific tender, but the commercial staff just say "no - next question?".

So if the materials used were both lower spec and meeting the spec issued by the council then the responsibility for the use of cheaper materials lies with the council and the treasury, not the contractor.

PDR


barbados
1239834. Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:18 am

That is all well and good, however the suggestion is that the "correct" cladding was suggested, then a decision was made to obtain a cheaper option, I don't know how true this is, as far as I am concerned, until the investigation has taken place it will not be confirmed.
The article linked suggests that the RS5000 was used, with no other information on the configuration given. From that, seeing as they can confirm part of the construction it is my interpretation that they do not know the remaining information (you might see it that they do know, they are just covering it up) otherwise why give half a story?

We know there are people carrying out investigations, we also know that until the structure is safe, the fire brigade will not allow anyone in - even their own men and until the firefighters were allowed in and the fire is completly out, no one else will be able to access the building to begin the investigations. Its also why the death toll is not being announced, contrary to some if the comments from the great unwashed who appear to have attempted to hijack things yesterday.


PDR
1239835. Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:30 am

Quote:
barbados wrote:
That is all well and good, however the suggestion is that the "correct" cladding was suggested, then a decision was made to obtain a cheaper option,



I haven't seen that suggestion anywhere - can you point me to it? As far as I have seen the reports are indicating that Reynobond PE was always the specified material.

Quote:
Quote:

The article linked suggests that the RS5000 was used, with no other information on the configuration given.



From the article you linked:
Quote:

Quote:
The cladding used is believed to have been sourced from US-based Reynobond.
[...]
Insulation supplier Celotex yesterday confirmed its product, known as RS5000, was purchased for use in refurbishing the building.



If you look up the products in question you will find that these are two completely different products, from different suppliers, neither of who supply the other's product. Celotex is a thick slab material used as the main element of an insulation system, where Reynobond is a surfacing material used as a rain barrier. The common usage would be a sandwich of Reynobond as a weather- protective and decorative layer over Celotex insulation. Those who have seen the drawings from the planning office have said this is what was called up on the drawings.

PDR


Dix
1239836. Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:04 am

Newspapers are not generally known to be accurate when it comes to technical details. So personally I don't see any merit in discussing what was precisely what was suggested or not suggested in any specific piece of writing.

If that tower block was approved as "safe" according to regulations, and there was no mistake in the approval, the regulations needs to be revised. And I'd like to see the top tier of officialdom held accountable.

If that tower block was approved as "safe" but it wasn't actually up to the requirements, and it was due to missing / shoddy inspection, someone in the inspection department needs to be held accountable.

If that tower block was approved as "safe" but it wasn't actually up to the requirements, and it was due to "wrong" materials or "mistakes" in fitting (i.e. physical reality not matching the submitted plans), then it's the contractor that needs to be held accountable.

I suspect it will be an unpleasant mix of "all of the above".
Plus probably some compounding factors that are not directly to do with the building and the cladding.

Whoever (or whatever accident) started the fire shares some blame, but there is no way a normal-sized domestic accident should be able to torch up a reasonably fire-safe tower so quickly.



barbados
1239841. Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:38 am

Quote:
Dix wrote:
Newspapers are not generally known to be accurate when it comes to technical details. So personally I don't see any merit in discussing what was precisely what was suggested or not suggested in any specific piece of writing.


Precisely, although I would suggest that a trade publication would be more reliable than The Guardian or the Mail.
Quote:
Quote:
The cladding used is believed to have been sourced from US-based Reynobond.
[...]
Insulation supplier Celotex yesterday confirmed its product, known as RS5000, was purchased for use in refurbishing the building.



My bold.

 
Jenny
1241688.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:06 am Reply with quote

PDR
1240145. Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:51 am

I've been digging into the inspection regime for the Grenfell Tower refurbishment project, and the findings are not good. As people may know, building control approval (the process of inspecting the design and construction of building works to ensure compliance with building regulations) has two inspection and approval routes in Englan:.

1. (for major projects) the normal route is what is often called a "full plans application". This involves the plans for the work being submitted to a building inspection body (which may be a private company employed by the construction firm) and that inspection body will then examines the plans, checks that the design meets the building regulations and then gives the go-ahead.They should then undertake a number of inspections during construction to ensure that it is built to the aapproved design.

2. (for minor projects like small extensions where there may not be fully detailed design drawings) the second inspection and approval route is the Building Notice procedure. In this procedure, the work is inspected at regular intervals and the approval of the whole job against the building regulations is based on these inspections, not any detailed plans.

Two rather damning things I've just found out:

Incredibly, the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower (a ~£10m project) was carried out under the Building Notice procedure, so NO ONE in the building inspection organisation would have seen any actual design drawings or specifications at all. The work would have been inspected for compliance with general good practice with no glaring errors, solely in the opinion of visiting inspectors who almost certainly would never have ventured out on to the external working platforms used to fit the insulation and cladding (even if ythey knew what to look for, which would be unlikley).

But even MORE incredibly - the work on the building has yet to be signed off. It's listed on the local Building Control register as being "Completed, Not Approved".

To say this is unacceptable would be like referring to Kim Yong Un's governmental style as "slightly assertive".

PDR


Awitt
1240146. Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:57 am

Even Australia's tower blocks that have used the same cladding don't have to be inspected during or after construction, due to a loophole. So said a newspaper article in the last week.


barbados
1240150. Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:11 am

Quote:
PDR wrote:
Stuff about the process [......]
But even MORE incredibly - the work on the building has yet to be signed off. It's listed on the local Building Control register as being "Completed, Not Approved".

To say this is unacceptable would be like referring to Kim Yong Un's governmental style as "slightly assertive".



One thing I had heard - again it is only speculation at the moment as there has been no real investigation yet but, one of the potential reasons for the failing in the normal standard (a fire will remain isolated for a given amount of time) is that the pipes that were added and that breached the firebreak. What is even more scary (if that is the correct word under the circumstances)is those pipes were for the provision of mains gas to the units, which could have fed the fire and compromised the cladding which would have, under a normal event, been fit for purpose.

PDR

 
Jenny
1241689.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:08 am Reply with quote

Jenny
1240220. Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:46 pm

Quote:
barbados wrote:

the cladding which would have, under a normal event, been fit for purpose.



I don't know anything about the pipes, but the cladding was not fit for purpose. Woodsman looked into this. There are two varieties of this cladding - the non-flammable one and the flammable one. The flammable one is £2 a square metre cheaper. The architect specified the non-flammable variety, but the builder installed the flammable variety. The architect was not retained under a contract that enabled him to supervise the installation - this was supposed to be taken care of by the building inspectors.


Woodsman
1240224. Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:59 pm

Re the Grenville fire, being a licensed architect in one of the US states, I have taken a special interest in the causes of this disaster. Firstly, I have virtually no clue as to how building construction regulations work (or don't) in the UK, so I probably shouldn't be saying anything. However .... it is more often than not that there will be several contributing factors in a major disaster, and several appearing here distress me.

I am disheartened about several features of this tower block which may or may not be present in other buildings. I start with the lack of sprinklers in a building where no fire apparatus can reach, and I was astounded to hear that they were not required. I realize that current regulation apparently requires them over a certain height. But it is certain that there should have been a retrofit clause as well. While it is more or less difficult to retrofit sprinklers based on construction type, it can be done. There is the objection to cost, but in this country at least, the cost of sprinklers can be clawed back through lower insurance rates. It might take a while to recoup those costs, but it is surely less costly than the results of this fire.

In my way of thinking, the next failure was the lack of two remote exit stairwells. This may or may not have contributed to the loss of life in this particular episode, but it can have very bad results in some cases. It may be that one shaft is allowed because of the assumption that residents should stay in place until rescued. I don't think that that can be defended. Under ordinary fire circumstances (not this case), smoke can kill before a fire ever gets to an occupant. If one stairwell is compromised for whatever reason, individual units can be as well.

That raises another question. In the present case, it was reported (unconfirmed) that the tenant of the initially affected flat left his door open for some time. Did all doors have automatic closers, and were they connected to a central fire alarm system? Were there smoke detectors in every flat and hallway and were they interconnected to a central alarm? I raise these questions as there also was a complaint before the fire (unconfirmed) that the alarm system wasn't working. Time is of the essence in a fire and compartmentalization must happen immediately to control the spread of smoke.

Ultimately, I was astounded to see the videos of the torch that the tower had become. There was something obviously wrong beyond the actual fact of a fire. I don't understand how the apparent encasing of the entire tower block with zero rated assemblies could have happen. The material apparently used was developed only for low rise buildings where it is possible to make curved facade surfaces. Labeled boxes of it must have been laying around on the construction site, or pieces even removed from the boxes for all to see before installation.

Process is very important here, but there must be regulations and inspection to back that up. There are ways to achieve what we would call 'code compliant' construction. But simply put, if the architect (as reported) required fire resistive materials, then the owner and contractor were on notice to contract for and supply those materials. One would hope that the architect's construction documents were used as a basis for contracting the work. If the architect was not contracted to review construction, then he is (unfortunately) out of the loop. It is then up to the owner and contractor to see that all elements of the contract are complied with. Hopefully, the owner didn't directly contract with individual subcontractors which would foul things up even more.

Lastly, to say that a project is 'completed, not approved', is quite a contradiction in terms. I have never worked on a project that was completed unless it was finally approved by the authorities having jurisdiction.

I could go on, but this is all too depressing as it actually could have been avoided.


Efros
1240226. Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:08 pm

I believe the original design of these buildings meant that a fire in one unit could not spread to another unit hence the requirement to stay in place. The addition of the cladding appears to have completely short circuited this essential design feature by not only providing a convenient chimney but also a flammable material to feed the fire.


Woodsman
1240234. Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:15 pm

'Could not spread' is a dream. All one needs is for one tenant to prop his door open at the wrong time. There are other elements that are potentially dodgy. It is reported (not confirmed yet) that boilers were installed in the corridors during the refurbishment, and that 'piping' -gas?- punctured exterior elements of the cladding (also not yet confirmed). It took a while before the fire service was able, at great risk, to shut off the gas service.


barbados
1240235. Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:09 pm

The "could not spread" element is based around the construction of the block. Each flat is basically a seperate concrete cube with a fire door. This is the reason for the advice to reamain indoors, unless you open your door and invite the fire in then you will be rescued before the fire could break through.

One survivor from the 11th floor, said that the problem was smoke in the common parts rather than flame. That would suggest to me that the fire breaks actually did their job, and the disaster element was really a perfect storm.



PDR
1240244. Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:40 am

All good points, Woodsman. As I said previously, the "fire safety concept" of this building was that any fire would be limited to one flat, and so others could stay in their flats and seal doors against smoke with wet towels. In fairness, before the days of cladding this approach has demonstrably worked, but the cladding provided the "fire conductor" which completely negated it.

Here's another thing that will depress you:

The building was owned by the council and managed by a management company which the council also owned, and whose board included members and officials of the same council. The responsibility for scrutinising and approving building work also lay with the council. The council vested this authority in committees and departments which included those people who sat on the board of the management company.

So the scrutiny and governance process included people who were marking their own homework. Not so much a conflict of interests and a set of interests which have declared thermonuclear war on eachother.

That bit made me even angrier.

PDR

 
Jenny
1241690.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:12 am Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar
1240250. Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:05 am

In other news, apparently the survivors will be rehoused in a brand spanking new luxury block near Baron's Court.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/21/grenfell-tower-families-to-be-given-68-flats-in-luxury-apartment-complex

I call that good news.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


barbados
1240255. Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:19 am

Quote:
PDR wrote:
All good points, Woodsman. As I said previously, the "fire safety concept" of this building was that any fire would be limited to one flat, and so others could stay in their flats and seal doors against smoke with wet towels. In fairness, before the days of cladding this approach has demonstrably worked, but the cladding provided the "fire conductor" which completely negated it.



You dont think the gas pipes that were run up the side of the building could have had an impact on a blaze that engulfed a 24 storey building in such a short period of time?
AIUI the fire brigade were there in 6 minutes (one of the fears raised was of access to the building following the construction of a sports / community centre) and the fire was alredy burning out of control).
Those pipes were not there for their aesthetic value, they were added as part of the refurb to provide mains gas to the flats.


PDR
1240259. Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:12 am

Quote:
barbados wrote:

You dont think the gas pipes that were run up the side of the building could have had an impact on a blaze that engulfed a 24 storey building in such a short period of time?



No, not significantly. At worst they would have caused localised fires. If at any point a pipe became "open to the air" the flow-limitting valves between the building an the main supply would have triggered and cut the supply anyway. The video clearly shows the movement of the fire was on the outside, not internally.

PDR


PDR
1240260. Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:17 am

Quote:
AlmondFacialBar wrote:
In other news, apparently the survivors will be rehoused in a brand spanking new luxury block near Baron's Court.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/21/grenfell-tower-families-to-be-given-68-flats-in-luxury-apartment-complex

I call that good news.



I gather the developer has sold them to the council at or below cost as a gesture, in return for which they have been granted a significant exemption from "affordable homes obligations" in future developments - essentially it will be deemed that they have already fulfilled that obligation by this act. The developer will probably still see a loss (from the cashflow reduction if nothing else) but it sounds like an very pragmatic solution - mucho qudos to them.

I'm stunned at how quickly it has been achieved. Someone deserved a big pat on the back for seeing the opportunity and turning it around so quickly.

PDR


barbados
1240262. Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:36 am

Where there is a will, there is a way.
It is possible to transfer ownership of property very quickly, we just don't do it, because it costs more.


PDR
1240263. Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:50 am

It's not the property transfer - it's the funding and authorising of the money. This won't have been in anyone's CDEL, so it must have been a direct grant from the Treasury. There are procedures to be followed to do that, and someone must have walked it round and thumped ttables to get through them this quickly.

PDR


barbados
1240264. Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:00 am

Just read the peice, and three words jumped out at me. Corporation, of, and London. As an organisation, they are in pretty good shape - yes I understand it is a "council" but they have a history of moving things quickly as with everything about London, they are a law unto themselves, and the builder can do a lot worse than currying good favour with them.


swot
1240299. Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:52 am

Quote:
AlmondFacialBar wrote:
In other news, apparently the survivors will be rehoused in a brand spanking new luxury block near Baron's Court.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/21/grenfell-tower-families-to-be-given-68-flats-in-luxury-apartment-complex

I call that good news.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar



Some of their new neighbours are complaining about having to live near poor people.



swot
1240303. Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:24 am

http://newsthump.com/2017/06/22/what-about-our-house-prices-ask-perspective-free-wankers-of-kensington/


barbados
1240304. Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:27 am

AIUI the question is over the use of the facilities that the leaseholders pay a substantial amount for. Which is fair enough isn't it?



cnb
1240308. Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:52 am

Quote:
barbados wrote:
AIUI the question is over the use of the facilities that the leaseholders pay a substantial amount for. Which is fair enough isn't it?



The flats which will be used for the Grenfell Tower survivors were always intended to be social housing and are in different buildings to the 'luxury flats'. This is a common arrangement in large developments across the country, and in none of those developments do the social housing tenants have access to any of the facilities paid for by the higher service charges on the private owners. Why would anyone who's already bought/leased a private flat be asking the question now?

 
Jenny
1241691.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:15 am Reply with quote

Woodsman
1240344. Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:57 pm

Were the flats in question designated as reserved for lower income persons?

Efros
1240349. Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:09 pm

I believe they were council flats Woodsman, this means they are owned and let by the local council to people of low to medium incomes. No real equivalent in the US.


suze
1240351. Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:26 pm

Local authorities in Britain have the power to impose "planning obligations" as part of the conditions under which they grant planning permission for new developments.

That can cover a number of things. Sometimes the developer is required to pay for a new road junction if the local authority considers that the development needs one. Where the development is out-of-town, the developer is sometimes required to fund a bus service to it.

Husband knows far too much about one such case. Planning permission for a medical centre in a non-residential area - to replace an outdated facility in the town centre which was then redeveloped as fancy apartments - was granted on condition that a bus service be provided to it. The developer completely failed to meet this obligation and was allowed to get away with it, and when the the medical centre opened it was all but inaccessible to people without cars. Eventually one of the major supermarket chains funded a free minibus service (as a genuine charitable act, not on this occasion as a devious way to sell even more baked beans), although husband thinks no longer.

Coming back to the point, one common planning obligation is that some proportion of the development must consist of affordable housing (for sale to people with modest incomes), or social housing for rent (comparable to public housing in North America; this may be out of style in the US but there's still a lot of it in Toronto). Developers don't always like having such conditions imposed on them, and do sometimes resort to dirty tricks like having the social housing component accessed via a different entrance than the expensive housing.


barbados
1240358. Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:34 pm

The development looks like this
https://www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/showMedia.cfm?iMediaID=21567&sMediaSubType=image1

The bone of contention for some is the bit on Kensington High Stree where the leisure facilities are - this includes a gym, pool, cinema, that is open to residents only - at a cost (part of the £15,000 odd per year they pay) the bit where the grenfell residents will likely be located (it hasn't been completed yet, due in around a month) is on the Warwick road.


Awitt
1240367. Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:57 am

This Guardian article was referenced by my Australian cathedral's weekly email.

In it, it states that there were suspicions that 'The nicest thing I heard about the royal borough from local people was that it had outsourced its care for the poor as a cost efficiency. The worst, that it was deliberately running down its stock of social housing so that they could eventually bring in the developers.' (direct quote from article)

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2017/jun/22/after-the-grenfell-fire-the-church-got-it-right-where-the-council-failed?CMP=share_btn_link

 
Jenny
1241692.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:17 am Reply with quote

Woodsman
1240431. Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:08 pm

From a Guardian article:

Quote:
Quote:
The Royal Institute of British Architects on Thursday night said it had repeatedly raised warnings about delays to the government’s review of fire regulations and the “highly complicated” regulatory framework for British standards.

In a statement it complained of “the introduction of a regime of fire risk self-assessment and the repeal of fire certificate legislation with oversight by the local fire authority”, and said that too often architects were no longer responsible for the specification of materials, such decisions being left to contractors and sub-contractors.

RIBA also highlighted “the virtual disappearance of the role of the clerk of works or site architect and the loss of independent oversight of construction and workmanship on behalf of the client”.



This is crazy.


barbados
1240442. Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:32 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-40389148

This reinforces my thoughts that the key factor in this was not the cladding, and it was more to do with shoddy / poor workmanship.

 
Jenny
1241693.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:22 am Reply with quote

PDR
1241543. Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:27 am

Returning to the Grenfell Tower affair:

I have previously posted my views that people definitely did things that they shouldn't have, and there will need to be some rolling heads at some stage. So I am very sympathetic to the surviving victims. But what I am hearing now is changing that, and it's a serious shame.

I'm talking about the re-housing and the increasingly vocal screams that they aren't getting enough. Firstly let's just look at what these people are getting AS A MINIMUM:

1. An initial tax free grant of £20,000 will be given to the families of each person who has died or is declared missing presumed dead.

2. A £10,000 grant is available for immediate distribution to each person seriously injured and requiring hospital treatment.

3. A £10,000 grant will also be given to every family from Grenfell as a "fresh start" grant as they move into new permanent accommodation.

4. All temporary or permanent accommodation provided will be rent free for the first 12 months.

5. All permanent accommodation will be suitable for the family size, moving them above others in the current waiting list for >2bed accomodation regardless of need.

6. All rents for their new homes will be set at the lowest possible band for the size of home. Yes, if the home is 3 bedroom or larger, it will be more than they currently pay for a 2 bedroom, as it should, but if anyone cannot afford the higher rent, a benefit scheme is being put in place to ensure it is affordable.

But people are demanding detached houses or luxury flats IN KENSINGTON. There was a chap on the radio this morning saying that it was OUTRAGEOUS that he was being offered a 3-bed flat that was a 10 minute walk from Grenfell because3 it was "in Westminster, not in my borough".

I am reminded of a remark made by Claire Short (a woman who on almost all matters I despise) when she was trying to arrange the resettlement of people from Monsurat due to a volcano nearly making the island uninhabitable - whatever she arranged they wanted more, and at want point in extreme exasperation she said "I give up - they want golden elephants with everything". I think we are seeing the same here.

Now it's true that the loudest voices we are going to hear via the media are probably those who have this very strong view that they are "entitled" to be given what they want. It will only be a few, I'm sure, but if you talk to people living on benefits you will always find a few who have the view that they have a right to demand anything they want, and that the state should provide it.

The Grenfell survivors seem to have been taken over by a few who are using this as an opportunity to make a point, be that political or just because they've felt hard done by for years, and now is an opportunity to get themselves seen and heard by the media.

I wouldn't mind betting that the majority of the Grenfell survivors are decent people, but they are in a position where they can be easily manipulated. They've been through a traumatic event, suffered a pretty dire response from authority and are, perhaps, more likely to agree with a few activists that are deliberately using this tragedy for their own ends.

And now they don't like the choice of chairman for the inquiry, but have no alternative suggestion to make. The latest I hear is that they are demanding arrests. Of whom? The owner of the fridge that started the blaze, the MD of Hotpoint who made the fridge, the board of the cladding manufacturer? Perhaps they expect they should all be interned without trial. we don't live in a country like that, and I'm sure were the boot on the other foot, the vocal residents and supports groups wouldn't want to either.

Whatever the rights and wrong of the fire, and <deity of preference> knows there appear to have been some wrongs, the government and council now has one heck of a job to sort out the mess. And the demands I am hearing are just unreasonable and disproportionate.

The residents will lose the support of the public at large pretty quickly unless they shut up and start working with, rather than against the authorities.

Actually it's too late - they've just lost my sympathy. I now propose whe should park them all in a disused army camp in (say) dartmoor for ten years while the tower is rebuilt.

PDR

barbados
1241549. Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:19 am

Re the Grenfell thing I'm in total agreement, this - almost immediately- became a political point scoring exercise, and as it has progressed it has moved into an area where it is more and more moving away from the important matter at hand and into the area where people with agendas seem to be sat.

Yes there have been mistakes, but they have been across parliaments dating back a number of years, it isn't the fault of any politicians - it was the result of a perfect storm scenario.

Today is the three week target set by the government to have everyone rehoused - so far only around twenty have been rehoused, and twenty or so haven't had an offer yet - the rest have declined for whatever reason. It isn't the fault of the task force.


Dix
1241565. Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:48 am

Quote:
barbados wrote:
Re the Grenfell thing I'm in total agreement, this - almost immediately- became a political point scoring exercise, and as it has progressed it has moved into an area where it is more and more moving away from the important matter at hand and into the area where people with agendas seem to be sat.


Well said.
The (public) discussion is drifting away from contributing causes to the fire spread and I see signs of "getting away with it" by procrastination and general waffle.

I still hope to see some facts about:
1) fire safety rating of the materials (testing methods has been cast into doubt)
2) Problems with the construction - not only the materials seen singly, but the way things were put together.
3) building fire safety standards. Why is combustible insulation material even allowed in high-rise buildings? In other countries it is banned for buildings over a certain height.
(perhaps some decision makers need to have the difference between flame retardant and non-combustible explained?)
4) actual enforcement of (3)
5) Fire alarms, fire doors, sprinklers (oh no, there weren't any). The company responsible for the maintenance was reported to have, erm, known problems in yesterday's newspaper.
6) Not listening to prior warnings from residents
7) Not listening to prior warnings from qualified persons

Feel free to add.

I really hope this won't drag on for years. But it probably will.


'yorz
1241571. Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:17 am

None of those burned out of their homes has been offered one of these luxurious apartment, as far as I know. And quite a few were put in high rise buildings, which isn't a great idea. And lots of the offered hotel accommodation is not suitable, either. I can well understand that many refuse to accept temporary housing. Giving everybody a proper roof over their head and access to a decent amount of the promised/already collected moneys, should be priority A. Investigating the hows and whys can wait.




crissdee
1241577. Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:02 am

While I appreciate the awful trauma these people have suffered, the burning down of the tower does not magically make an equivalent amout of empty housing suddenly appear in the next street. If crissdee towers were to suddenly become uninhabitable, I could bleat all I liked about wanting to be rehoused in the same street, but I would be out of luck. All the other houses are being used by other people, as are most of the other houses in all the surrounding streets. Yes, of course they deserve to be rehomed at the earliest possible opportunity, but they have to accept that what is available might not match what they want.


PDR
1241580. Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:46 am

Quote:
barbados wrote:
There is a good reason why people haven't been offered the luxury accommodation.



Would that be the inconvenient detail that it's not yet actually finished and ready for occupation?

Why should a council tenant get "luxury accomodation" anyway?

I'm sure a quick wave of 'yorz magic wand would change that...

PDR




PDR
1241582. Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:02 am

Quote:
'yorz wrote:
And quite a few were put in high rise buildings, which isn't a great idea.


Why not? it's like-for-like and close to what they are used to. In 1982 I was trapped in an upstairs room in a house fire (as I have mentioned before) and yes, it gave me psychological problems* for a year afterwards. But no one ever said that it gave me some god-given-right to have free bungalow accomodation for ever after.

Quote:
Quote:

And lots of the offered hotel accommodation is not suitable, either.



As temporary accomodation, because even your magic wand can't produce an instant estate of nice vacant 5-bed houses within 10 seconds of Grenfell Towers (if you listen to the complaints the main one is that a 15 minute walk is intolerably far from their "normal home".

Quote:
Quote:

I can well understand that many refuse to accept temporary housing.



What else do they expect? How on earth can non-temporary housing for than number of people be suddenly magic'd into existance in the middle of one of the most densely populated parts of the country? Get real FFS!

Quote:
Quote:

Giving everybody a proper roof over their head and access to a decent amount of the promised/already collected moneys, should be priority A.



Indeed. Show me that it isn't? As far as I can see the only people form whom it ISN'T priority A are those of the vitims who are r4efusing toi live in anything less than twenty-million-pound penthouse palaces [I exaggerate for effect].

Quote:
Quote:
Investigating the hows and whys can wait.



Well it seems the vociferous victims don't want anything investigated AT ALL. they just want nominated people arrested and jailed without any evidence.


* I woke up first, found the house on fire and raised the alarm. It was 6 months before I was able to sleep normally because I was convinced that he slightest sound was the crackle of another fire. It was a wet summer, and the dripping of light rain on trees sounded just like the fire in my house. So even after six months I would only get a couple of hours sleep, before waking up and needing to walk the house and gardens to be certain that there was no fire.

PDR

 
tetsabb
1241708.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:11 pm Reply with quote

Well done Jen!

 
'yorz
1242319.  Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:13 am Reply with quote

The latest nightmarish news is that a young girl is now being treated for hydrogen cyanide gas poisening.

Quote:
Celotex RS5000 insulation was used during the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower and placed behind the cladding panels. The material is made from polyisocyanurate (PIR), which is combustible and produces toxic fumes, notably hydrogen cyanide, when it burns.


And an utterly sad, related, fact:

Quote:
Luana’s mother and sister were treated for possible cyanide poisoning, according to the report. They were put into medically induced comas and given a cyanide antidote.

[...]

Luana’s mother, Andreia Gomes, who was seven months pregnant at the time of the fire and lost her baby, told Newsnight: “You just killed my son. If it was in a normal situation, I could have gone out. And he was seven months. He could have survived. But because of the conditions, he passed away.”

 
'yorz
1242324.  Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:30 am Reply with quote

Here's a very apt article on the hijacking of tragedy by (non-related) parties.
Quote:
Public debate on highly contentious issues is now careering out of control. Tragedy is being hijacked by political agitators. Facts are being junked for ignorance, misrepresentation and misleading hearsay. A culture of hyperventilating emotion and licensed resentment means that those trying to articulate dispassionate judgment, justice and compassion are being vilified as unfeeling brutes.


An example - re Charlie Gard:
Quote:
Most appallingly US Vice-President Pence said Charlie’s case showed how unfair government-run healthcare can be “because the government has decided that the prospects of [his] life are such that they no longer warrant an investment in health services.”

This is untrue and grossly unfair. Whether or not the hospital is right, it has undoubtedly acted not out of economic considerations but what it believes are the best interests of this child.

Both the Grenfell inquiry and the Charlie Gard case have been turned into a circus.

 
barbados
1242359.  Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:41 pm Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
The latest nightmarish news is that a young girl is now being treated for hydrogen cyanide gas poisening.

Quote:
Celotex RS5000 insulation was used during the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower and placed behind the cladding panels. The material is made from polyisocyanurate (PIR), which is combustible and produces toxic fumes, notably hydrogen cyanide, when it burns.


And an utterly sad, related, fact:

Quote:
Luana’s mother and sister were treated for possible cyanide poisoning, according to the report. They were put into medically induced comas and given a cyanide antidote.

[...]

Luana’s mother, Andreia Gomes, who was seven months pregnant at the time of the fire and lost her baby, told Newsnight: “You just killed my son. If it was in a normal situation, I could have gone out. And he was seven months. He could have survived. But because of the conditions, he passed away.”

I read that on Auntie dot com, and I have a feeling that there is something in you later circus comment. The thing to do now really is to let the authorities to work through what they need to do to find out the facts.

The biggest thing that struck me was that the report (on the beeb) seemed to direct towards the source if the cyanide being the cladding - although one known source of cyanide is the smoke from plastic - what the windows were made of, yet the appeared to be discounted as the source.
Surely if the source was the cladding then ther woukd have been more than one confirmed and two suspected cases?
Yes its a shame that the lady's baby died but people (as in reporters) need to get a grip,

 
suze
1243478.  Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:15 am Reply with quote

Here will do, since the only other thread I could find on this matter has been dormant for six years and that would seem horribly necrophilic.

As you may have heard, the government has lost a court case on the fees charged to access the Employment Tribunal. The Supreme Court has ruled that these fees are unlawful for no fewer than four different reasons (including Magna Carta, according to the fellow from UNISON who was on the wireless!).

It's not often that I praise the present government, but I shall now do so. It has not said "Then we will change the law so that it is lawful" nor yet "Then we will abolish the Supreme Court because it has dared to overrule us". Rather it has announced that these fees will cease with immediate effect.

The only thing is, that effect might not be quite immediate, because - and contrary to what the Ministry of Justice said this morning - the right hand appears not to have told the left hand.

 

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