Five key safety breaches identified at Grenfell

Aaron Morby 6 years 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

Crest Nicholson rejects £650m Bellway bid

Bellway confirms recent bid for rival
2 hours ago

Hill submits £800m East London estate rebuild plan

Over 1,900 homes to be built in five phase at Teviot Estate in Poplar
13 hours ago

Statom starts on £25m Bristol Airport precast car park

Major work package on transport upgrade being overseen by Griffiths Farrans JV
11 hours ago

Build problems plunge Crest Nicholson to a £31m loss

House builder unearths more defects on completed sites
16 hours ago

Rebooted Amey lifts contract win rate to 1 in 3 bids

Amey chief says firm exceeded expectations in first year under new owners
16 hours ago

BAM Nuttall fined £2.3m after worker drowned

Court hears how series of safety failures led to tragedy
1 day ago

OCU buys Scottish civils contractor RJ McLeod

Deal takes multi-utility infrastructure specialist revenue to over £800m
2 days ago

£220m plan to restore secret wartime tunnels approved

Tunnels under High Holborn to become cultural exhibition space
2 days ago

Galliford Try wins £69m Scottish school job

Deal sealed on Paisley Grammar School project in Renfrewshire
17 hours ago

Balfour wins design for £690m Skye transmission job

Main work contract for 137km power line to be awarded later this year
2 days ago

Student and resi developer Fortis goes under

Cheshire based developer follows construction arm into liquidation
2 days ago

Construction output falls for third month running

Heavy rain and strong winds blamed for sharp fall in activity in April
2 days ago

Plan in for Leeds 27-storey block of flats

390 flats planned at former Morgan Sindall office site
2 days ago

Firms readied for £1.5bn Parliament estate upkeep deal

Invitation to tender due to go out next month
2 days ago

Amey switches kit supplier

Deal with HSS was worth £24.5m a year to rental specialist
2 days ago

Track workers scatter to avoid runaway rail trolley

Track trolley careers 1km towards work site
2 days ago

Direct delivery model pays off as Murphy profit soars to £67m

Group operating margin jumps from 3% to 5% in record year
3 days ago

Ex-Galliard boss to lead Battersea next building phase

Don O’Sullivan joins as plans advance to start phase 3C of power station redevelopment
3 days ago

£100m Digbeth 33-storey flats job out to bid

483 flats will be delivered for Clarion housing association
3 days ago

Van Elle fined £233,000 after piling rig kills driver

Court hears how tragedy was caused by poorly maintained plant
3 days ago

Renew buys utilities contractor Excalon

Infrastructure giant expand into electricity transmission market with £26m deal
3 days ago

Planning for new homes plunges to record low

Home builders call for urgent action from incoming government
3 days ago

JTRE starts £400m 21-floor London tower scheme

Office block and 64 affordable homes to be built at 220 Blackfriars Road site
4 days ago

R G Carter construction profits up despite 24% revenue fall

Selective client choice help profit jump to £6m from £1m previously
4 days ago

Refurbs power London office work to record high

London Office Crane Survey office work starts exceed 4m sq ft for record third quarter
4 days ago

Knight Build owed money for work on UK’s poshest street

Contractor takes legal action over unpaid bills on new luxury flats complex
4 days ago

Winvic ranks top of May contracts league

Large residential scheme in Leeds caps strong haul of orders
4 days ago

Bid race starts for up £95m repairs to PFI hospital

Roseberry Park Hospital in Middlesbrough hit by serious defects
4 days ago

Building Safety changes slow down construction recovery

Confused market contains paradox of falling workload and contractors claiming they are too busy
4 days ago

Wates rejigs businesses as veteran leader retires

Wates Construction Group MD Paul Chandler to retire at end of year
1 week ago

Contractor services