A few links that I've just seen on the London Flats fire.

Discussion in 'Bulletin Board' started by Hemsworth Tyke, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. There has to be more to the tower fire than a faulty fridge and major fire spread via the external cladding. I would think it doesn't work like that, a concrete frame building should contain the fire within the room and burn itself out, it could only spread up through stairwells, lift shafts, service risers and internal drainpipe penetrators, all these should be fully fire stopped to prevent fire spread. External cladding should also have fire breaks at each level and again with a concrete building could only get back in through the vent grills or windows it just doesn't make sense. With it being refurbished recently I can't see these failings getting passed building control, fire officers etc there has to be something else maybe a gas explosion. The footage was some of the most heartbreaking I've seen, when the truth comes out a lot of people will go to prison for a long time and the knock on affect to the construction industry and living in high rise buildings will be immense.

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  2. Isn't that exactly what they suspect has happened though? The flat contained the fire within it exactly as it should do BUT once the fire had exited the window to the outside of the building (there will have been a lot of open windows due to the warm weather) the cladding caught fire.
    As we've all seen from simply lighting a match and holding it with the lit end downwards the flames grow much taller when there is a fuel source (cladding) above it and so the fire shot straight up the outside of the building entering through windows again and again.

    The flats may be designed to contain a house fire but no flat is designed to keep out an inferno like that.

    I don't really see how anything is actually that mysterious about what happened. The cladding is known to work as a chimney, it has done in fires throughout the world. The top and bottom of it is that we just never cared before because it wasn't English people dying and that apathy towards other countries led to us continuing to use a method of cladding which we knew or should have known to be a fire risk.

    There was a gas main ruptured by the fire too, that undoubtedly didn't help
  3. Maybe it is just as you say but the speed of the fire spread when these types of buildings should be designed with and checked that all fire breaks and fire compartments are in place that places some doubt with me. I would imagine now due to the amount of this type of building that construction improvements and maintenance regimes are made everywhere at a cost of multi millions. That's if landlords / councils have the money to do it but what happened shouldn't have happened or will it be swept under the carpet because who will pay, it inevitably will be pass back down in rent, taxes etc but some construction companies will make a lot of money out of it but all that is a different discussion.

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  4. It now looks as though the gas network had relatively recently been renewed with risers going up the outside of the building, instead of up the staircases. These pipes had been replaced because residents complained of the smell of gas from the original sysystem to KCTMO. This body, which runs the block of flats is made up of 8 tenants, 4 councillors and 3 independent members. Emma Coad, the sitting Labour MP sat on this board.

    The decision to create an ALMO organisation such as KCTMO was made under the Right to Manage legislation passed in 2002 as part of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act. This was put in place to give tenants a greater say and an ability to self manage, which has clearly proved a disaster. Which government was in charge? Labour.
  5. The new gas pipes were on the inside of the building. Emma Ciad wasn't on the board when this redevelopment took place. What an utterly pointless comment to make to try to score political points. It is like blaming Lars lees for us conceding a goal last season because 'he once played in goal'.

    Are you going to acknowledge you were wrong about the kegworth air disaster yet?
  6. Can anyone explain how building regulations are determined?
  7. These are my thoughts too. I've listened to a lot of experts talking about this over the last few days, people with infinitely more knowledge on this subject than some on here and nothing adds up. There are a lot of questions to be answered and in time the public inquiry will provide the answers.

    If this leads to corporate manslaughter charges then I hope those responsible get long prison sentences.

    If there is any good to come out of this tragedy then it will be that that this is a transitional point for social housing. There can never be any excuse for putting profit above life. I'm not saying this was the case, but if it the inquiry does find evidence that any party - the council, the housing association, the building company, ignored safety to maximise profit then the book should be thrown at them and the key thrown away.

    I refuse to try and make a political point at this stage because there are still so few facts to give us answers. The time for retribution is when all the facts are known.
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  8. Design consultants architect and structural engineers develop the design in line with the clients budget and requirements and building regulations. The main contractor build team monitor and advise on the cost, build ability, programme sequence of the design.The client appoints a consultant to oversee the process and has access to comment on the design and during construction the clients representative or clerk of works monitors the installation. A building control officer is also appointed and makes frequent visits during construction and has the final sign off when issuing a building control certificate. The main design responsibility is the lead designer who is generally the architect. Hope that makes sense and answers in part your question.

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  9. There should be only one outcome and that is corporate manslaughter but this will be multiple people or groups not one person.
    If it is investigated properly then there will be thousands of properties, houses or high rise buildings for residential or commercial use that will need to be refurbished and be brought up to standard. A cost of multi millions so the outcome of the investigation will never be truly revealed as the money men will keep it covered up and the poor put at risk irrespective of who is in government.

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  10. I understand this as a process, but who, and how are materials and methods used determined to be acceptable and safe?
  11. Corporate manslaughter should and will be the outcome if there is sufficient evidence to prove that safety was ignored and decisions were made negligently.

    Personally I think there will be some charged but some of the details I've heard from equally qualified people contradict each other. It's going to be a very detailed and complex inquiry but it must get to the truth, regardless of how uncomfortable it is going to be for some individuals / groups.

    Because of this I'm not so sure that, given the scale of this tragedy, there will be any attempt to either cover up any facts, dilute them or suppress any part of the inquiry. Who and how changes are paid for is another discussion but I have no doubt that changes will be made.
  12. It's part of the lead designers responsibility to specify products and materials to be used that are compliant to building regulations and suitable for environment that they are used in. This is done by studying all the guidance, literature available and all materials have manufactures installation guides and technical performance information readily available. All products have to go through stringent testing to comply and be certified. Basically no one would buy a cheap cladding system from China and install it on a high rise building . It seems that someone had specified the wrong cladding for the tower or if the cladding was compliant with current building regulations then that is the government and parliaments fault as they set our building regs. If someone ignored the specification and installed a none equal or not approved system then them and the building control officer who signed it off have a lot to answer to. Sorry that's as far as my knowledge goes and I'm sure the processes are far more in depth than that.

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  13. I hope so as I've seen many times how commercial mattrs are the main driver for clients, developers and big construction companies in the 30 years ive been involved in construction management.

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  14. As an outsider it appears that building regs tell you what you can't do rather than what can. So new materials would need to be explicitly banned rather than explicitly approved.
  15. Not really building regs don't specify materials an architect does to comply with building regulation guidance. Building regs are set in parliament by the government. 2010 I think was the last set of regs

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  16. Thanks for such a detailed reply.
  17. The panels used on the flats contain Combustible polyethylene (PE).
    The US manufacturer Arconic recommend that they should only be used on buildings
    up to 10 metres high.

    Above that and up to a height of 30 metres they recommend the use of fire retardant panels (FR).
    The reason for the height limit is that's how high US fire fighting ladders will extend to.

    Above that height Arconic recommend the use of (A2) panels which are made using totally non
    combustible materials.

    I don't think there is anything in U.K. Building Regs to say you can't fit panels containing PE
    although they are outlawed in the States.

    The motivation for fitting PE from the Contractors point of view is that they would have saved around
    £2 per panel. In total that would equate to " cost avoidance " of around six and a half thousand pounds.

    Reading reports from firefighters who were at the scene it would appear the hoses and ladders at their disposal wouldn't
    reach the upper floors to the point that because of the effect of the heat on their suits their rescue efforts were confined
    up to a maximum of the 10th floor.

    The Tower is 67 metres high (220 feet) and one firefighter has said as far as he was concerned "it was like
    a burning candle with its wick on the outside."

    The owners of the Company Harley Facades Ray and Belinda Bailey were paid £2.6 million to fit the panels
    were not available at their property in East Sussex when reporters called to speak to them.

    They are keen skiers and enjoy long haul holidays and as their vehicles have not been seen at their property since
    Wednesday there is speculation that they may have gone on holiday or they could be holed up in their home.

    There is apparently a statement on the Company website but no spokesperson has yet come forward to make any
    comment regarding the disaster.
  18. Thanks for that I haven't read that. For me as I have said if that product was specified by the architect then it was the wrong product for that eviromrment, the cladding specialist had a duty of care not to use it for this building as without doubt he would have known, the main contractor and building control officer didn't follow out their due dillegence procedures and the government have a glaring gap in their building regs. A lot of contributing factors causing loss of innocent lives. I believe the gas network must also have had a big impact in the disaster. A lot of cells to find.

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  19. We don't yet know who did what. In my experience Architects are not motivated by price.
    They tend to specify what looks best and will recommend a product if they like it and it complies with Building Regulations.
    KCTMO who managed the property has local citizens and politicians on its board.

    I've seen something that says they collectively agreed on the PE cladding when the Contractor put
    if forward with other panels for them to make a final selection.

    His recommendation was apparently made on the grounds of aesthetics in that the Contractor thought
    it would look better and fit in with other buildings in the immediate locality.

    There are many other high rise buildings in the U.K. fitted with the same material one such building being
    a students Hall of residence at Newcastle University.
  20. http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/areyou/principal-designer.htm

    Copy the link above, it's the principle designers generally the architect that is appointed to ensure the specifications / design is correct, it's nobody else's decision if his design is ignored then that is serious negligence.

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