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Thread: Cladding

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Cladding

    Lo people

    I know this is a tough subject, and there's a mammoth debate, but I think there's a few issues being ...."skirted about".

    After the horrific loss of life, and the horrors of the blaze..... the local authority and then the police started taking broadsides.

    I've been shocked by some of it, and utterly bemused by other parts. Today's revelations about cladding being purchased on cost and not fire retardancy looks like it might possibly be more media click bate. The required specs seem to have been adhered too: therefore the specs and the tests themselves seem to be at fault.

    I saw the Police being blamed for a cover up, and I don't understand that. What would they cover up? They didn't fit or choose the cladding.

    There was an issue with the speed of identifying potential loss of life.. but the building is utterly destroyed and I imagine it's immensely dangerous.... moreover, the days after that fire were the hottest days of the year. I cant imagine wearing full breathing apparatus and protective clothing, in 30C + temperatures while climbing through wreckage. I cant imagine you can see much when the sweat is pouring off you inside a helmet, risking your life.

    It's times like this when what we really need is clarity of journalism, crystal clear factual facts.

    I'm surprised by my own reaction to this. I saw the scenes unfolding and the terror that everyone felt. The emergency services, already battered from Terrorism attacks on a near weekly basis, did the most awesome job and I cant see why they deserved any grief at all.

    your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Zak33; 30-06-2017 at 10:22 AM. Reason: edits

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Re: Cladding

    Aluminium in a 'fire retardant' role should have been banned soon after the Falklands issue was settled.

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: Cladding

    It's not just the Alu issue.. it's what it's backed onto. And the fire tests are many and varied. playing a flame across the alu for a few seconds is different to having a flame directly below it when it's held vertical in place on a building, with the flame accessing what it's bonded too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Admin Team peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Cladding

    There were some reports this morning that the tests on the cladding are unrealistic - the component parts are being tested, not the composite structure (bit like testing carbon fibres and the resin for strength independently, rather than the composite material). There are also reports that the insulation between the building and the cladding is not being tested.

    There have also been reports that the gap between the cladding and the building wall acted as a chimney or flu, spreading the fire outside the building - which raises the question of why weren't fire breaks installed, or if they were, were they adequate or had they been breached?

    There seems to be a typical knee jerk reaction by all involved to be seen to be doing something - stirred by the inevitable media interest.

    It isn't my field of expertise, but it seems to me that fire protection needs to be designed into a building as a system and that bolting on cladding may have been done without regard to the wider implications, even though the materials passed the applicable fire tests.

    Aluminium is fire retardant provided it is kept cool by boundary cooling with water, so perhaps one of the outcomes of the fire will be a step change in the design of fire protection. (For a simple example look at an aluminium kettle!)
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    Re: Cladding

    According to all the reports I have seen the cladding was swapped out on cost and colour. And both versions appear to have been certified for use on high rise buildings, if they were both allowed under building regs for use on high rise then the architect, builders have done nothing wrong.

    Quote from the BBC
    There is no suggestion a deliberate decision was made to cut fire safety.

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Flibb View Post
    According to all the reports I have seen the cladding was swapped out on cost and colour. And both versions appear to have been certified for use on high rise buildings, if they were both allowed under building regs for use on high rise then the architect, builders have done nothing wrong.

    Quote from the BBC
    There is no suggestion a deliberate decision was made to cut fire safety.
    that BBC quote is actually very important.. but it's not the headlines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Re: Cladding

    Why are the Police even being dragged into this?

    Ah... I see now... If the Police had been armed, with maybe a number of residents also having concealed carry licences, it would all have been over far sooner... I wonder what the waiting time is when buying a concealed SuperSoaker?

    But seriously - Surely it's a matter of prosecution by the Building Standards Regulator, or similar? No cops needed.

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    Admin Team peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Cladding

    The police are involved where there may be criminal charges - they will be working with the fire investigators.
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    Re: Cladding

    I work with aluminium profiles and aluminium composite panels, and have done for 13 years. Aluminium isn't combustible (edit: unless in fine particulate form). The issue is with the PE or PU core, which is flammable. I suspect Aluminium Composite Panels were used in replacement for zinc plated steel panels. This is resistant to degradation and corrosion, lighter, easier to manipulate (drill / cut / fold) etc.

    Aluminium has a much lower melting point than steel too. The core will have melted causing the bonding agent to fail and the whole panel to fall apart, exposing the core to more oxygen and allowing it to burn more easily, I suspect.

    Given flames and heat rise it didn't take a lot of time for the flames to spread at an ever increasing rate as the effect was multiplied.

    More info here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich_panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    I understand why they're so good.. but it's the WOOD I need

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: Cladding

    here are the things winding me up

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40453054 "Grenfell Tower: Cladding 'changed to cheaper version'"
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...told-6qrhmwzxv ditto

    So where does it say that the cost saving actually made it less fire retardent. Surely Alu or Zinc is irrelevent... it's the material behind it that caught fire surely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Re: Cladding

    I'm guessing the blowback on the police is a reflection of an increasing mistrust in TPTB, from Hillsborough, Rochdale and alleged child abuse coverups we've seen how people in authority have a propensity to cover their own backsides no matter the cost or morals of doing so.

    Regarding the cladding itself and fire regulations i would guess it's a similar situation as most other regulations in the UK, they're probably so convoluted that there both difficult to follow and difficult to enforce due to ambiguity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    So where does it say that the cost saving actually made it less fire retardent. Surely Alu or Zinc is irrelevent... it's the material behind it that caught fire surely?
    If I've understood correctly it's not the metal part of the cladding that's of concern, it's the materiel used between the two metal boned layers, that and what's behind the cladding.
    Last edited by Corky34; 30-06-2017 at 01:53 PM.

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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    I'm guessing the blowback on the police is a reflection of an increasing mistrust in TPTB, from Hillsborough, Rochdale and alleged child abuse coverups we've seen how people in authority have a propensity to cover their own backsides no matter the cost or morals of doing so.

    Regarding the cladding itself and fire regulations i would guess it's a similar situation as most other regulations in the UK, they're probably so convoluted that there both difficult to follow and difficult to enforce due to ambiguity.



    If I've understood correctly it's not the metal part of the cladding that's of concern, it's the materiel used between the two metal boned layers, that and what's behind the cladding.
    yes that's right, but it's the same behind the zinc I think

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    He is one of those people that remind me of the classic Twain quote A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    Re: Cladding

    I think a large part of the problem is that while we have thousands of people still living in what looks to be similarly-clad blocks, it's hard to take a slow, calm, fact-based analytical approach .... especially if it's your ass that might get burned alive.

    What we need is that fact-based abalysis, butcwe needcit right flipping now. And that can't happen.

    As I understand it, cladding panels ALONE keep failing tests, but that isn't the standard used in spec'ing buildings, which is a complex permutation of the guidance given on interpreting building and fire regs, which (as Peter said) look at a system, not at isolated components. So component A (insulation) and component B (cladding) might both be below the minimum A2 standard, on their own, but when installed as part of a system including not only those components but the installation methodology which perhaps includes firebreaks, passes as a system.

    Fact is, we don't yet know if the cladding is the primary fault, or if it's other things. For instance, this "stay out" policy works well IF building design successly compartmentalises a fire outbreak. One danger is if building refurbs compromised that. For instance, it's all very well putting in new boilers (as was done) but even in a standalone house (here) building regs have changed and despite having a purpose-built boiler cupboard, I'm not allowed to put a new boiler (several years ago) in it. That meant redoing gas pipes because the boiler had to be moved to the other side of the house, which meant making holes where they weren't previously to run the pipes. It's not hard to see such pipework in a highrise compromising the cellular isolation and allowing fire to spread rapidly through those holes.

    I certainly heard one report saying the emergency staircase rapidly became unusable because it had been used to rjn the new gas pipes. DUHHHH!!!!!

    So what we need is to not scapegoat cladding just because of video visuals on the night, UNLESS that turns out to be a primary or major cause. Because if it isn't, if the cladding burned because of some other primary factor, like compromised fire isolation cells, then it's giving residents elsewhere false reassurance by ripping of cladding,


    However, that won't much reassure anyone living in such buildings.


    I'm reminded of the old adage ....

    When you're up to your ass in alligators, it's difficult to remember that the original objective was to drain the swamp.
    Trouble is, in an effort to fend off alligators, the furore over cladding, and prematurely blaming someone, anyone it seems, it is in danger of entirely forgetting about the swamp, which is what actually caused the catastrophe. Maybe it was cladding, maybe it wasn't. But if not, we need to know what it was.

    Residents, and family, have a right to be really, truly, deeply angry .... but it needs to be directed at those truly responsible, and only time will tell us.
    Noli nothis permittere te terere.


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    Re: Cladding

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    yes that's right, but it's the same behind the zinc I think
    Wouldn't that be between the zinc? i thought cladding used on buildings had metal on both sides with a core made up of some other materiel.

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