Five key safety breaches identified at Grenfell

Aaron Morby 1 week ago
Share

Deficiencies in the windows, cavity barriers and the cladding system allowed Grenfell tower to be rapidly engulfed in the blaze that saw 71 people lose their lives.

A leaked interim report for the Metropolitan Police offers the most detailed assessment yet of the failures in the refurbishment of the building.

It concludes that the fire would not have spread beyond flat 16 on the fourth floor and would not have claimed even a single life if the original facade of the building had not been over-clad between 2014 and 2016.

Parts of the building were also close to collapse at the height of the blaze, but thicker than presently required floor slabs and columns appeared to have saved the building.

According to the London Evening Standard, which has seen a leaked copy of the draft report produced by experts at BRE Global, the refurbishment of the building failed to meet fire safety standards on several counts.

There were gaps of 15cm between the window frames and concrete columns. These were plugged with a rubberised membrane, rigid foam insulation and uPVC lightweight plastic panels, the paper reported.

These materials provided a fuel that allowed the fire originally to spread to the facade and later penetrate other flats as it spread up the exterior of the building.

Cavity barriers failed to seal the void between the original concrete building fabric and the external aluminium composite material cladding during the fire. These fire blocks were often too small, or incorrectly installed found investigators.

This allowed fire to spread rapidly through a chimney effect, particularly up exterior column lines.

The BRE report also finds insulation fitted to the outside of the building was combustible, allowing fire to spread up and across sections of the facade.

ACM cladding panels had flammable polyethylene or plastic cores this allowed fire to spread upwards and across the building ,with burning droplets of polyethylene also falling and igniting combustible materials below.

Taken together the failings in the cladding system proved of greater significance taken together than in isolation.

The report also identifies a lack on door closers which meant that as tenants fled many were left open allowing smoke and fire to spread through corridors, impacting on residents escape down the single stairwell.

It also says that Grenfell should have been fitted with a wet riser main to aid firefighting rather than a dry riser and only enough room around the building for single fire engine to get close to supply water.

The report has not explicitly concluded whether the design or installation was at fault and whether works were approved or inspected.

Latest news

Egis takes on M40 upkeep role from Carillion

French giant saves 95 jobs at crashed contractor
6 hours ago

Robertson bolsters north west arm with O’Rourke hires

Peter Grieve joins as north west operations director
10 hours ago

Science Museum seeks builder for vast storage building

Firm to be picked in October for 300,000 sq ft warehouse near Swindon
10 hours ago

Boost your online presence – join the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
2 weeks ago

Insurers slam fire test regime for building materials

"More realistic" lab tests demanded for cladding systems post Grenfell
14 hours ago

£80m twin hotel plan for Manchester Airport

Ibis and Holiday Inn kick-start new £180m Airport City hotel district
15 hours ago

Worker in plunge removing fall arrest bags from school site

Court hears edge protection was not up to industry safety standards
15 hours ago

Mace to start £120m Crossrail office scheme

PLP Architecture reveals latest images of Farringdon scheme
1 day ago

Green light for Liverpool Monarchs Quay scheme

Next phase of King's Dock mixed-use scheme approved
14 hours ago

Accident rates hit record lows for NASC scaffolders

Contractors representing 16,000 scaffolding operatives continue to reduce accidents
14 hours ago

First packages awarded on £28m Milton Keynes office job

Galliford Try gets going on eight-storey complex
1 day ago

Network Rail to build £46m Wigan train depot

Preparation works are getting underway for Ince-in-Makerfield depot
1 day ago

Specialist trade bodies petition No 10 for payment reform

Unprecedented coalition of trade associations urge Prime Minister to act
2 days ago

Construction boss and developer jailed for contracts bribery

Skansen Interiors MD and and DTZ project manager sentenced
2 days ago

Murphy wins Wessex Water Trym Tunnel relief sewer

North Bristol tunnel scheme to start next year
2 days ago

Graphene concrete game-changer for industry

Exeter Uni scientists produce concrete with twice the strength and four times water resistance
2 days ago

Kier lands lead role in £19.4m Glasgow theatre revamp

Work to start in September revamping the Citizens Theatre
2 days ago

Hill boasts record year as partnerships margin hits 3%

Partnership housing drives growth at Hill as pre-tax profit hits £47m
2 days ago

CMS wins £10m glazing deal on BAM’s Atlantic Square job

Major package win on £100m scheme
2 days ago

Contractors fold before £2m site death fines

Judge hands out huge fines but firms are no longer in business
3 days ago

Green light for £350m Leeds South Bank scheme

Preparation works can now start with construction planned to start next year
3 days ago

Mace go-ahead for London £150m Hanover Square scheme

Great Portland Estates JV secures pre-let to start building work on Mayfair scheme
3 days ago

Growth to rebound to 2.7% next year after flat 2018

30% fall in office activity over two years offset by surge in infrastructure
3 days ago

Crystal Palace to start £100m main stand next summer

Iconic main stand plan to go to London mayor to rubber stamp
3 days ago

Builder murdered by colleague on central London site

Murder hunt under way after construction worker bludgeoned by colleague on Hatton Garden roof
5 days ago

Barratt to pay for post Grenfell cladding upgrade on Croydon block

Government urges more house builders to pay for safety work rather than leaseholders
5 days ago

Carillion’s Midlands Pf2 hospital to cost extra £125m

Skanska confirmed for Midlands Metropolitan Hospital as trust waits for Government go-ahead
6 days ago

BAM Nuttall fined £900,000 after painter tears ligament

Court hears how worker plunged through station waiting room roof
6 days ago

Builders told to wait over a year for brick orders

Smaller builders warn of rising materials prices and lead times
6 days ago

14-storey Milton Keynes ‘sun hotel’ approved

Hotel La Tour gets nod for tallest building in Milton Keynes city centre
6 days ago

Contractor services