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Thread: Cladding

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Xlucine View Post
    Interesting conspiracy theory, but try and get a passing relationship to facts before posting next time. Focussing on your claim that "they brought 2.3 M from one small African country that only has double that as a population"
    Well everything I wrote has been researched or is based on in depth searches, particularly by investigative journalists. Is based on government papers, talking to MPs and those who were in direct contact with the EU in terms of Social fund spending. Other information came from talking to immigrants that were approached in their home countries. The point is most of those families(and the EU asked for young couples mostly), are still living in the blocks or too small housing(some are lucky and housing has been proritized towards them, a Yemini Woman I know has just got a new three bedroomed house). Their children are now of an age that they leaving home and moving into social housing, and will no doubt soon be having children of their own, and more houses will be required.

    I know it's a boring forum trope, try to throw doubt on one piece of info, and thereby dismiss the whole point. These numbers indicate movement over the last twenty years. But I'd be dubious of some numbers(I lived on one of the most dangerous streets in the UK, in terms of murders, serious violence, but when I checked the police stats, no recorded crime in that area. That country was an Italian colony and they have to register there, many then lived in other European countries and after getting status, moved here.

    The point is (and immigrants have actually asked me about this) if you intend to open the UK to mass immigration, you should build houses in advance. They have been desperately building new schools and health centres and they are just about keeping up with demand after twenty years. But housing numbers are so way behind what's required now, I can't see how they will ever catch up.

    I can't imagine what it would be like to raise a large family on the 22nd floor of one of those blocks, but it must be a nightmare getting them and elderly relatives down a narrow smoke filled stairwell. It's almost like Tony Blair was there with a box of matches and a blow torch.

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Asbestos was safe, once upon a time.
    Things change.
    Yes and when they do we change the rules to assimilate that new knowledge, your point is? There still wouldn't be people living on the streets because we know, based on current knowledge what is safe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    It also wasn't prohibitively expensive back then.
    These days, with all the regulation on who can make bricks and how they must be made, tested, proven safe and up to standard, not everyone can afford to make them in a field like they used to... now it is the domain of companies who can afford all that, so the market is restricted, which means the price goes up, which means the price of housing goes up.
    So either people go homeless because they can't afford to buy, or you find more economical ways of making a house that is affordable to those people, which starts with finding ways to use lower quantities of fewer materials that cost less.
    I'm not sure what not being prohibitively expensive has to do with the discussion, if you're trying to say doing the right thing is to expensive then isn't that a circular argument as I've already said the reason we adopted the precautionary principle is because human life is meant to be more important than innovation and/or money.

    If I'm paraphrasing correctly and you believe all this red-tape increases cost and raises the bar for entry into an industry then fair enough, there's certainly a strong argument that it does, but that raises the question of how much red-tape is to much. Should we be living and working in buildings more akin to some third-world countries?

    Don't get me wrong I'm not naive enough to believe you can't put a price on a human life, i used to work for the old British Rail so i know large organizations do indeed put a value, all be it not officially, on a human life. Having said that it's also disingenuous of the establishment (government, politicians) to pretend that's not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Things like standing on the desk to reach the ceiling are generally safe, though... until the one time someone falls off it, and suddenly it's branded unsafe stupidity and banned.
    That's just how it goes.
    We're not talking about what's general safe or unsafe or personal responsibility, we're talking about why the media and people in general are calling to ban something instead of prescribing how it should be used and anything outside of those prescribed uses being consider dangerous.
    Last edited by Corky34; 21-05-2018 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Sppeling arrows

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    You don't think building inspectors would have a MASSIVE hissy fit if I got some bricks made up by my local mate Joseph and built myself a house with it, then?
    Not if they are CE marked and hae a document trail proving that they are fit for purpose! And the construction of the walls is to a standard acceptable to the inspectors!

    (That said, 'I' built part of an extension on a house using reclaimed bricks (from the same house) so they matched without any problems. (by I i mean I had built ))
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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    Can I just flag that one of the conclusions in BRE's expert witness report was that the building stood up precisely because it was an older design.
    If you take a look at the before and after refurbishment pictures. You can see why the building was covered up in aluminium gentrification. They were scheduled to be knocked down decades ago and the councils are embarrassed by them. The internal steel that keeps the integrity of the concrete intact has corroded. The concrete crystalline structure has degraded over time. I doubt the hidden inner frame is still able to support the weight, as when they were built.

    These blocks were always about 'warehousing' people, waiting for decent accommodation. They should have been pulled down, not tarted up. It's the chronic housing shortage, especially for families that is the problem here(and that's for another thread, because that's also complicated. Should houses be seen as homes, or financial investment?)

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    Yes and when they do we change the rules to assimilate that knew knowledge, your point is? There still wouldn't be people living on the streets because we know, based on current knowledge what is safe.
    You're absolutely right. My bad. We know absolutely everything that is safe... until it suddenly fails and gets banned. We should therefore test all things in all combinations, before using them, for that one occasion when a specific set of circumstances just happen in concert with each other to cause a somewhat unlikely failure....

    People use whatever they can bake a profit with. This is risk management, based on likelihood of failure versus cost of failure versus cost of implementation. Pure and simple. We do it all the time, because it's cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    I've already said the reason we adopted the precautionary principle is because human life is meant to be more important than innovation and/or money.
    Again, you're absolutely right. My bad.
    Hold my beer, while I go raise the issue with my managers, of how we're not fixing our infrastructure on the ridiculous premise of such a thing being too expensive, while instead we fund large innovation and marketing departments..... Oh look, I have no job. Meanwhile, you're still stuck in traffic caused by flooding and road repairs. The company that contracts us recently got fined a shedload of money for allowing several of it's known-defective assets fail, to the detriment of thousands of customers and the environment... because it was (and still is) cheaper to pay the fine than to fix the asset.

    Oh, and regarding human life being important - Not according to my consultant, when I worked in the NHS. Plenty of NICE-approved drugs we denied our pateints on the basis of cost alone... The whole point of the anti-TNFα meds was to eliminate the need for mostly useless NSAIDs and actually repair some of the rheumatic damage caused by tumor necrosis factors, particularly in young patients. But they cost money, so we put them through years of the cheap crud first in order to 'justify' the expense of the high-end stuff to the bean counters!

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    that raises the question of how much red-tape is to much. Should we be living and working in buildings more akin to some third-world countries?
    If it eats into your profits, it's too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    Having said that it's also disingenuous of the establishment (government, politicians) to pretend that's not the case.
    Well they can't exactly say that, though, can they?
    That'd be like saying we're sending your kids off to die, rather than how we're saving the world with our military activities...


    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    We're not talking about what's general safe or unsafe or personal responsibility, we're talking about why the media and people in general are calling to ban something instead of prescribing how it should be used and anything outside of those prescribed uses being consider dangerous.
    What, like handguns?
    Like it or not, that is how people generally work. Figuring out how to best use something takes FAR more time, money and effort than just outright banning something.

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Not if they are CE marked and hae a document trail proving that they are fit for purpose! And the construction of the walls is to a standard acceptable to the inspectors!
    Exactly, though - Standards require inspections and enforcement, which means companies can make money from doing that... which means regulators, internal audits, external audits, document control, random sampling, transportation of random samples, staff, administrators, more and more and more people employed just to make a brick... and the more hoops you have to jump through the more the product/service costs... all of which gets passed on to the end user, who is now the captive market, because he can no longer just get Joe the local brickwright to knock you some up Edwardian Farm style...

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Not bricks specifically, but material costs are one of many factors (which you've already covered in excellent detail), the testing and certification of which still takes time and money, as do all those other factors, hence the seeming need for putting money and profit over and above peoples' lives in reference to Corky's post... So on the one hand, yes, of course they would put profit first, but on the other it's still cheaper and quicker to just identify faults and discard something, than to rigourously test and prove it in numerous ever-so-slightly-different applications over and over again.
    That's the nub of it IMO, money and profit over peoples' lives...

    I'd say the government (those who set the rules) should have their decisions heavily weighted in favor of people lives, they represent us after all and not the companies that only exist because of us in the first place, unfortunately it seems people in certain demographics have more or less value than others.

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    That's the nub of it IMO, money and profit over peoples' lives...

    I'd say the government (those who set the rules) should have their decisions heavily weighted in favor of people lives, they represent us after all and not the companies that only exist because of us in the first place, unfortunately it seems people in certain demographics have more or less value than others.
    They are - generally. That is the whole point of building regulations and building control. It is why the gas safe registration scheme exists and why part P of the building regulations were introduced. And it is why the inquiry into the Grenfell fire is being conducted.
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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    You're absolutely right. My bad. We know absolutely everything that is safe... until it suddenly fails and gets banned. We should therefore test all things in all combinations, before using them, for that one occasion when a specific set of circumstances just happen in concert with each other to cause a somewhat unlikely failure....
    That's not how prescription based safety works, we define what is safe and unless your product meets those requirements it's deemed unsafe.

    Take your earlier example of bricks, we say a brick must withstand X amount of compressive force (as an example because IDK the exact rules) and if your bricks can't withstand that then they don't get to use the CE mark, it's a similar thing with fire retardant clothing in that we say it must perform to clearly defined rules before it can be sold to people and carry a fire retardant label.

    There's not a country in the world that test everything, at least i don't think there is, but the testing or lack thereof sort of misses the point as it's not about the testing it's about saying something is safe in certain situations when it's not, take something like a fire-door, it's not called a fire-door because it burns a certain percentage slower than a standard door, it's called a fire-door because it can withstand fire for X amount of time, prescription based rules don't require every door to be tested but if you want to sell your door as a fire-door then you have to be able to demonstrate that it meets the prescribed test.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Well they can't exactly say that, though, can they?
    That'd be like saying we're sending your kids off to die, rather than how we're saving the world with our military activities...
    True but I'd argue that's why prescription based rules versus banning this and that is the preferred option as with prescription based rules we set a minimum standard that applies to everyone regardless of socioeconomic status, going down the route of anything goes until someone proves it's dangerous and then adding it to a list of banned products seems disadvantageous to those on the bottom as typically they'll be forced to use cheaper products that may only be cheaper because the manufacture has cut less obvious corners.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    They are - generally. That is the whole point of building regulations and building control. It is why the gas safe registration scheme exists and why part P of the building regulations were introduced. And it is why the inquiry into the Grenfell fire is being conducted.
    True and from watching last nights panorama it seems there's lots of questions that need answering.
    Last edited by Corky34; 22-05-2018 at 07:39 AM.

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post

    There's not a country in the world that test everything, at least i don't think there is, but the testing or lack thereof sort of misses the point as it's not about the testing it's about saying something is safe in certain situations when it's not, take something like a fire-door, it's not called a fire-door because it burns a certain percentage slower than a standard door, it's called a fire-door because it can withstand fire for X amount of time, prescription based rules don't require every door to be tested but if you want to sell your door as a fire-door then you have to be able to demonstrate that it meets the prescribed test.
    Yes, but install a fire door in a wall made of 3mm plywood and without a proper frame (with intumescent strips) and it is useless as a fire door! It needs to be installed correctly as part of a system.

    Building safety depends on many factors, design, specification of materials, construction standards etc.

    The knee jerk reaction to the 3mm situation would be to ban 3mm ply for walls, but it could be used quite safely if it was part of a wall that had appropriate fire retardent properties built in (for example say a layer of plasterboard).

    The same principle applies to the call for cladding to be banned. Its understandable, but its a knee jerk 'something must be done now' reaction - where the correct approach is to examine all the circumstances and then come to the correct solution. And the ban is something the popular media has jumped on, urged on by and urging on the Grenfell Survivors Group.

    IIRC one of the contributory factors at Grenfell was the lack of fire blocks/baffles between the cladding and the building's skin, so the gap acted as a chimney, not only spreading the fire, but increasing the temperatures through the updraft.
    Last edited by peterb; 22-05-2018 at 01:59 PM. Reason: Clarity
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    Re: Cladding

    Just because a modest sized brick manufacturer is a susidiary of larger corporation doesn't mean they are not still manufacturing bricks using traditional hand-thrown moulds and stacked furnaces. Methods the Victorians would be well familiar with.

    CE marking is not a safety standard or fit for purpose claim. It is a mark that says the product, and its production processes, have been assessed and found to comply with the European Standards for supply of construction materials. The material performance is summarised within other standards, and those standards are normally stated so you know what you're ordering. CE marking is also only required for products where there is a harmonised european standard (that all member states have agreed to). Where a harmonised standard does not exist for custom products then the route is to supply products to any relevant national standards, and to obtain either the relevant BS kitemark or better ETAg approvals (which can therefore be sold in all EU nations). But those products do not need to carry CE marking. In short, it is the ETA/ETAg that is the equivalent to the BS kitemark, not the CE mark which is something different. (ETA = European technical approval)

    For bricks the tests are for compressive strength, frost resistance, absorptivity and sometimes abrasion resistance etc etc. Structural masonry units are often also tested in panels to confirm wider engineering properties, but most of these can be linked back to compressive strength of the unit and properties of the mortar used.

    Let's take a look at a DoP certificate (declaration of performance - the legal paperwork to accompany construction materials)
    https://www.mbhplc.co.uk/wp-content/...L65FABR17a.pdf
    You can see that all the categories (bar 1) are to the harmonised standard BS EN 771. Since there is a harmonised standard bricks have to be CE marked and supplied to that standard.

    Note that EN 771 does not say all bricks shall be the same, it says that the way the data about those bricks is provided, and the categories used to describe them, and the test methods used to derive the values, must be the same. Therefore anyone anywhere in Europe can pick up the form and make a like-for-like comparison between different products, and use those products in their design to the relevant EN design codes. That is a good thing, and actually enables europe-wide trade and the economies of scale that brings. Previously it was a real hassle to import goods unless they had been specifically tested and accredited to the national standards (in our case British Standards). So a plant wanting to supply all of Europe would have had to pay to get them tested and approved in each nation (with the variation in requirements and methods that would need). Contrary to the earlier claims that CE marking is a burden on businesses - it actually benefits them. 28x £100k for each country approval or 1x£100k to get ETA ratings. I know which I'd pick.
    Last edited by ik9000; 22-05-2018 at 11:28 AM.

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    If you take a look at the before and after refurbishment pictures. You can see why the building was covered up in aluminium gentrification. They were scheduled to be knocked down decades ago and the councils are embarrassed by them.
    Really? Can you confirm when the decision was made to knock them down? Source please.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    The internal steel that keeps the integrity of the concrete intact has corroded.
    probably, but clearly not enough to be an issue. In fact the thick concrete cover that enabled the building to withstand the fire will also have provided better protection to the steels than a building would often be assumed to have, so the main bars are probably not that bad nick.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    The concrete crystalline structure has degraded over time.
    Can you elaborate on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    I doubt the hidden inner frame is still able to support the weight, as when they were built.
    The evidence suggests otherwise. The building stood up under an extreme fire case when everything would be spalling and losing strength. It dealt with it magnificently. Which would tend to validate the decision to keep the frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    These blocks were always about 'warehousing' people, waiting for decent accommodation.
    No they weren't. Have you not read the articles describing the people who lived there? Several of the flats were privately owned, and fitted to a high standard. The people living in those flats loved them for the view and internal space, together with the low road noise levels you get at that height. That is all publicly reported, with photos to back it up. The complaints were regarding the TMO managing the building and crappy staircase and lift to access the flats. The properties themselves people liked.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    They should have been pulled down, not tarted up. It's the chronic housing shortage, especially for families that is the problem here(and that's for another thread, because that's also complicated. Should houses be seen as homes, or financial investment?)
    So pulling down good homes helps the housing crises how? The TMO was not a financial investment company. For all its faults it was a housing management company, and run to provide housing to people. It was not SFAIK a private investment business listed on the stock exchange and paying dividends to shareholders. Nor would it make financial sense to demolish a well-built structural frame when it could be enhanced for greater efficiency. The tragedy here is that what should have been an improvement both to energy efficiency, and also to make it look nicer - i.e. more like what people like yourself clearly want a building to look like (given you are so disparaging of the original appearance) - actually led to its failure and the awful deaths of so many residents that the official reports clearly state would not have occurred if the original building had been left alone.

    No-one so far at any point has blamed in any way the original construction quality or form. The only negative thing you could say about it are 1) the staircase is slightly narrower than modern regulations require (but compliant for its time), and 2) there is only one staircase - having an alternative means of escape is generally preferred, and I think a requirement for modern buildings (though not when it was built). Other than that, the professional bodies are full of praise for the original structure, and its ability to perform better than expected.

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    That's not how prescription based safety works, we define what is safe
    The definition of which requires lots of testing and certification, to prove compliance, which is expensive... But in addition, it's seriously restrictive.
    We're an asset management crew that delivers an risk-based asset plan, which is assessed on performance-based safety, but which is governed by prescription-based safety regulation....!!
    We currently run most of our works in accordance with prescriptive regulations from our contracting company. This restricts who we can use, what we can use, where we can use it...

    That's another element - being restricted on supplier. This exposes us to risks associated with relying on a monopolistic supplier, including extortions in price and quality of products and services provided. Their own innovation department regularly comes up with several alternative engineering options (using customer's bill money), but none of them are ever permitted because prescription based safety prohibits it. We have to use whatever they prescribe, usually at a higher cost (more customer's bill money), despite there being far better solutions available.
    We even had to send Mines Rescue home because they weren't on the company's prescribed list of safety rescue entities and hadn't done the special in-house safety course on how to put your Hi-Viz and hard hat on... That's like sending the SAS home from a paintball game, because they hadn't done the 'how to shoot' training!!

    The biggest kicker, though, is how their prescription limits them to contractors who can only handle up to 600mm pipes. They have to waive their own regs in order to get anything done!!

    CitiPower in Aus put it nicely - "Prescription-based approaches to regulation stifle innovation and increase costs to consumers. Risk-based asset management approaches should be more widely adopted to enable more quantitative comparison of the trade-off between safety risk and affordability".

    It's not just construction and CivEng this applies to, but aviation has been advocating performance-based management since the 1990s.
    "The challenge in safety management is the reality that prescriptive regulation may not address all the specific hazards that are likely to exist in different aviation organizations and contexts. Prescriptive regulations may
    also not have effective control measures against all the specific hazards and its attendant risks in aviation organizations (Dekker, 2011; Reason, 1997; Stolzer, Halford & Goglia, 2008)"

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    Take your earlier example of bricks, we say a brick must withstand X amount of compressive force (as an example because IDK the exact rules) and if your bricks can't withstand that then they don't get to use the CE mark.
    But what if the brick isn't being compressed, or isn't subject to that amount of force?
    What if we don't even use brick, but something else like solid steel? That still has to go through the same set of tests to prove it is as strong as a brick, even if it's blatantly so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    There's not a country in the world that test everything, at least i don't think there is, but the testing or lack thereof sort of misses the point as it's not about the testing it's about saying something is safe in certain situations when it's not
    How do you know it's not, unless you test it?
    We have loads of concrete sewers. They are PERFECTLY safe to use in all situations.... except downstream of rising mains near housing estates that have not been properly occupied, as the low flows and high turbidity result in the build-up of hydrogen sulphide, which corrodes the concrete and collapses the sewer, taking down whatever is above it.
    Technically that situation shouldn't ever exist and certainly didn't when these sewers were designed, built and prescribed as safe... but different people build different things and stuff happens that you cannot predict or plan for.
    Incidentally, the Germans are pretty hot on testing all their sewer tech in as many situations and combinations as possible, though that's more showing off than anything prescritive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    but if you want to sell your door as a fire-door then you have to be able to demonstrate that it meets the prescribed test.
    You couldn't just use a material that is known to be 100% fire-proof....

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    seems disadvantageous to those on the bottom as typically they'll be forced to use cheaper products that may only be cheaper because the manufacture has cut less obvious corners.
    That's how the world works, though. You cut corners right to the limit of acceptable risk.
    People do this all the time, from speeding in a car to leaning on a ladder, even though there are signs telling you the max safe speed round a corner, or lines saying how far you can lean. It's all risk and likelihood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    unfortunately it seems people in certain demographics have more or less value than others.
    Of course they do. They're valued at whatever value they can afford to buy for themselves. THAT is why they're not all homeless - Things are priced accordingly. If safety were the number one priority, we'd all be able to afford Volvo XC90s... But that's £50,000 more than my current car cost, and more thand ouble my gross annual salary, so I have to make do with a clapped out 15-year-old thing, whose airbags probably won't even deploy nowadays...!

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    Just because a modest sized brick manufacturer is a susidiary of larger corporation doesn't mean they are not still manufacturing bricks using traditional hand-thrown moulds and stacked furnaces. Methods the Victorians would be well familiar with.
    But it does mean they won't be cheap....!
    In fact, they probably cost a bomb, being so niche market - Mass production as a means to drive down cost while increasing volume has seen to that, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    Contrary to the earlier claims that CE marking is a burden on businesses - it actually benefits them. 28x £100k for each country approval or 1x£100k to get ETA ratings. I know which I'd pick.
    Big businesses, no... but smaller businesses wouldn't even get to enter the market, let alone compete.
    Same for many other industries, which is why I gave the vape market as an example. There's a rumour that a lot of the TPD and expensive testing regs were brought about by Big Tobacco interference (since they're the most likely to afford it and were strangely the only ones consulted about such things), but that's still awaiting definitive proof.

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    Re: Cladding

    ik9000 > Those blocks are unsuitable for families. I talk to people; everyone from council housing officers, council surveyors, to people who live in these type of blocks with families. So everything I say is based on talking to real people who know what they are talking about. Not statistics or anything else that can be spun.

    This country needs a million new houses now. All this stuff about cladding is just distraction. The problem with the Labour party is their poorly thought out ideology, and lack of planning. You don't invite millions of people here from Non Commonwealth countries and warehouse them in out of date blocks for twenty years(as I said their children have grown up in these blocks and are now moving into social housing of their own). If you do, this is the inevitable consequence.

    I've lived all over England, most recently in an inner city area. The change since Blair opened the UK to mass immigration, has massively changed the demographic of our inner cities, and that has had a backlash of it's own. You probably wouldn't believe some of the stories I could tell you about what's been happening, but that's because they happened to real people. I think most seem to rely on BBC and Guardian spin.

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    The definition of which requires lots of testing and certification, to prove compliance, which is expensive... But in addition, it's seriously restrictive.
    We're an asset management crew that delivers an risk-based asset plan, which is assessed on performance-based safety, but which is governed by prescription-based safety regulation....!!
    We currently run most of our works in accordance with prescriptive regulations from our contracting company. This restricts who we can use, what we can use, where we can use it...

    That's another element - being restricted on supplier. This exposes us to risks associated with relying on a monopolistic supplier, including extortions in price and quality of products and services provided. Their own innovation department regularly comes up with several alternative engineering options (using customer's bill money), but none of them are ever permitted because prescription based safety prohibits it. We have to use whatever they prescribe, usually at a higher cost (more customer's bill money), despite there being far better solutions available.
    We even had to send Mines Rescue home because they weren't on the company's prescribed list of safety rescue entities and hadn't done the special in-house safety course on how to put your Hi-Viz and hard hat on... That's like sending the SAS home from a paintball game, because they hadn't done the 'how to shoot' training!!

    The biggest kicker, though, is how their prescription limits them to contractors who can only handle up to 600mm pipes. They have to waive their own regs in order to get anything done!!

    CitiPower in Aus put it nicely - "Prescription-based approaches to regulation stifle innovation and increase costs to consumers. Risk-based asset management approaches should be more widely adopted to enable more quantitative comparison of the trade-off between safety risk and affordability".

    It's not just construction and CivEng this applies to, but aviation has been advocating performance-based management since the 1990s.
    "The challenge in safety management is the reality that prescriptive regulation may not address all the specific hazards that are likely to exist in different aviation organizations and contexts. Prescriptive regulations may
    also not have effective control measures against all the specific hazards and its attendant risks in aviation organizations (Dekker, 2011; Reason, 1997; Stolzer, Halford & Goglia, 2008)"
    And yet Grenfell stands as an example of what can happen when we leave safety to organisations motivated by profit, so what solution would you propose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    But what if the brick isn't being compressed, or isn't subject to that amount of force?
    What if we don't even use brick, but something else like solid steel? That still has to go through the same set of tests to prove it is as strong as a brick, even if it's blatantly so.
    I was using that as an example because IDK what the specific test for bricks are.

    I'm not saying a prescriptive safety management system is perfect but given the alternatives i can't think of a better model because like i said above we've seen what happens when we depend on companies to manage their own safety system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    How do you know it's not, unless you test it?
    We have loads of concrete sewers. They are PERFECTLY safe to use in all situations.... except downstream of rising mains near housing estates that have not been properly occupied, as the low flows and high turbidity result in the build-up of hydrogen sulphide, which corrodes the concrete and collapses the sewer, taking down whatever is above it.
    Technically that situation shouldn't ever exist and certainly didn't when these sewers were designed, built and prescribed as safe... but different people build different things and stuff happens that you cannot predict or plan for.
    Incidentally, the Germans are pretty hot on testing all their sewer tech in as many situations and combinations as possible, though that's more showing off than anything prescritive.

    You couldn't just use a material that is known to be 100% fire-proof....

    That's how the world works, though. You cut corners right to the limit of acceptable risk.
    People do this all the time, from speeding in a car to leaning on a ladder, even though there are signs telling you the max safe speed round a corner, or lines saying how far you can lean. It's all risk and likelihood.
    I won't go into every point you raised as i think i get the drift and i can't disagree with the points you've raised however i keep coming back to asking the question of what's the alternative as we've seen what happens when we leave safety management in the hands of people motivated by profits and money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Of course they do. They're valued at whatever value they can afford to buy for themselves. THAT is why they're not all homeless - Things are priced accordingly. If safety were the number one priority, we'd all be able to afford Volvo XC90s... But that's £50,000 more than my current car cost, and more thand ouble my gross annual salary, so I have to make do with a clapped out 15-year-old thing, whose airbags probably won't even deploy nowadays...!
    That doesn't mean it was unsafe when you bought though, shouldn't we be defining a minimum safety standard?

    Yes a Volvo XC90 maybe safer than your run of the mill car that cost half as less but they both meet a minimum safety standard imposed upon them by a governing body.

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    This country needs a million new houses now.
    Why?
    What's wrong with using all the ones that have stood empty since they were built in the 1980s? Same for all the unused office blocks that are just wasting away....

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    And yet Grenfell stands as an example of what can happen when we leave safety to organisations motivated by profit, so what solution would you propose?
    Motivated by profit, but restricted by prescription-based safety. You're telling them what standards they must adhere to and then challenging them to do it as cheap as possible.
    Let them innovate and find newer, better ways of being even safer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    I was using that as an example because IDK what the specific test for bricks are.
    It has to be safe. That's all. If you can do that without even having to use brick in the first place, the specific brick test does not apply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    we've seen what happens when we depend on companies to manage their own safety system.
    And the reason the Germans are leading our industry in innovation is because, rather than trying to decide what is safe, safer, safest, and prove it all... they're finding newer ways to achieve things that eliminate the need for human presence, never mind actual exposure to danger in the first place. They're able to make it even safer, and consequently far more profitable than anything prescribed because, through simple reasoning, it is blatantly safer than anything else around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    i keep coming back to asking the question of what's the alternative as we've seen what happens when we leave safety management in the hands of people motivated by profits and money.
    Whatever you do, people will find ways to make money from it. If they couldn't, most of them wouldn't be in the game. The goal is to find ways to make safety affordable and profitable for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    That doesn't mean it was unsafe when you bought though, shouldn't we be defining a minimum safety standard?
    I've only had it 2 years.
    When it was new, I'm sure it worked... but by today's measures, it scores a mere 2 out of 5.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    Yes a Volvo XC90 maybe safer than your run of the mill car that cost half as less but they both meet a minimum safety standard imposed upon them by a governing body.
    Standards change, though, which is part of the problem.
    For example - My own house is no longer compliant on the electrics (RCD or summat) and an electrician will not sign off on any work done without putting in a whole load of new fuseboxes. I can do what I want, but it's at my own risk.

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