Cladding firms risk fitting poor ACM in post-Grenfell confusion

Aaron Morby 4 months ago Vivalda Group plc
Share

The UK’s largest distributor of high performance cladding systems has called for greater clarity on rain-screen standards in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

Vivalda chief Ben Jayes fears contractors could make unintentional spec errors amid confusion caused by ambiguous performance claims

Birmingham-based Vivalda Group, which operates from eight locations in the UK, said it would no longer stock aluminium composite materials for use on high-rise applications that fail to reach A2 standard.

Ben Jayes, managing director of Vivalda, warned that given the complexity of the UK’s current safety standards, he was now concerned  that contractors could inadvertently make unintentional specification errors.

While the initial report on the likely causes of the Grenfell fire is not expected until spring 2018, shortcomings in the current ‘approved inspector’ regime have created a confusing landscape for contractors, he said.

This scenario has been made worse by the widespread adoption of complex laboratory tests used by manufacturers to gain approval for so-called safe systems which are impossible to replicate on site.

Jayes added: “The issue of fire safety is at the very top of the agenda for contractors right now, but many within the industry are not helping to build confidence in the supply chain.

“We know of one manufacturer of ACM that put out ambiguous claims relating to how their standard material performs at a high level.

“But that’s not the whole story. It’s worth remembering that behind every panel lies a complex web of subframes, fixings and fire barriers, none of which this manufacturer is prepared to detail as part of a system.

“The poor contractor is on the hook should there be failure in even one minor component, so confidence in the complete system’s performance is vital. Besides, setting up a rig for a lab test is one thing, replicating it on site,18 metres in the air, is quite another.

“We’ve looked closely into this and decided in the best interest of clarity, to promote only ACM products that meet or exceed the gold standard of A2. Despite their best endeavours, many customers could be installing systems that may turn out not to be safe. Thus, we’ve moved to make the task of A2-standard aluminium rain-screen cladding simple – by offering only fully approved claddings and associated fixings.”

Latest suppliers & buyers news

Esh awards soil nailing deal to Aarsleff

Package on Gosforth highways site is latest collaboration between firms

Rilmac lands two year scaffolding deal on student site

Latest award from Kier at University of Warwick site
5 days ago
Rilmac Group

Aston Villa shift training ground to make way for HS2

O'Brien appointed to pave way for construction of new pitches

J S Wright lands pair of £8m tower M&E packages

Specialist bags deals from Galliard Homes at Harbour Central site
1 week ago

Whites Concrete at work on massive pet food factory

Specialist has long-term deal with GA Pet Food Partners
1 week ago
Whites Concrete

Mick George lands McCarthy and Stone demolition deal

Latest package win for specialist in Suffolk
2 weeks ago
Mick George Ltd

Software specialist Eque2 acquires rival JNC

Latest deal in construction software market
3 weeks ago
Eque2 Limited

Hirer L Lynch open new plant “Super Centre”

Larger HQ will help hirer accommodate growth plans
2 weeks ago

Bellway awards civils package to M.Lambe

Specialist to pave way for construction of 85 new homes in Oxfordshire

Fixmart decking guide can save subcontractors time and money

New online guide can end the problem of getting the wrong fixing
3 weeks ago
Fixmart Limited

“Digitise or Die” warns construction software giant Viewpoint

Contractors can stay in control of projects using latest software

Prater lands cladding package at 100 Liverpool Street

Specialist working with Sir Robert McAlpine on designs
3 weeks ago

Mobile Mini invests £1.4m in super safe truck fleet

Scania vehicles designed to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe
3 weeks ago
Mobile Mini

Aarsleff lands piling package on housing job

Specialist to sink piles for retaining wall on Manchester site

City Law School turns to Waterscan for rain recycling

Sustainable water system at heart of new university building
4 weeks ago

JCT launches raft of contract training courses

Learn direct from the experts
4 weeks ago

First 50 customers sign-up to order cement by smartphone

Construction companies adopting Ocado-style ordering and delivery service
1 month ago

Environmental training up for grabs in Gloucester

Construction Skills People has 200 places up for grabs

M.Lambe wins foundations deal from Miller and Redrow

Specialist to also provide infrastructure on 243-home Derby development

Labourers can now take skills card tests online

Safe2Site course means labourers can now take CSCS tests on their laptops
1 month ago

Scaffold body highlights safe procurement

NASC breakfast briefing covers safety and procurement: Register now
1 month ago
NASC

Fixmart offers custom length channels for M&E contractors

New service saves contractors time and money
1 month ago
Fixmart Limited

New look for fast growing crane hire specialist Bennetts

Major rebranding follows three years of expansion

Proline lands £3.7m M&E deal on Manchester tower

Package on X1 The Gateway scheme is latest high profile win in the city
2 months ago
Proline

Mick George bags earthworks deal on student site

Latest win from Clegg Construction on £38m Birmingham project
2 months ago
Mick George Ltd

FLI Group acquire Carlow Precast

Latest deal in precast sector
2 months ago

Mansell Finishes wins £1.2m care home package from Seddon

Drylining and plastering deal is second at the site for specialist

First packages awarded on £28m Milton Keynes office job

Galliford Try gets going on eight-storey complex
2 months ago

Firm Quick Find

Join Now

Sorry, there was a problem with the details you have entered. Please review the highlighted fields.

Sorry, this email address has already been registered.

Top searches

Contractor services