Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Report this comment to a moderator

Please fill in the form below if you think a comment is unsuitable. Your comments will be sent to our moderator for review.
By submitting your information you agree to our Privacy & Cookie Policy.

Report comment to moderator

Required fields.


Fire expert: Grenfell Tower tragedy 'entirely predictable'


Following on from John Chately's comment- I don't know the construction of the facade refurbishment in this instance, but from the Fire Officers' surprise at the speed the fire moved up the outside of the building, I would first be looking at the chimney-effect of the air-gap behind the rainscreen. As JC says, the fire-breaks in the void have to be in place -they should stop the fire spreading, but the rainscreen outer skin and support framing will fail under heat at some point quite early least. I would almost want the outer skin to fail early early and remove the chimney (you need the void to allow the air pressures to equalise and not drive rain into your construction) We would use mineral fibre for the external insulation giving you a chance to keep it in place, rather than the foamed boards. In the concrete frame of the building you would expect there to be effective floor to floor separation, but this fire seems to have managed to get into each apartment very easily -and get more fuel. The slab-edge detail is likely to be very important. There also will be questions about the lobbies, the service risers, and the escape stair. I fear the loss of life will be much higher than what we were initially told, and for such an inferno, we should be very grateful. That will be no comfort to either the families, the specifiers, or the building authorities. The knee-jerk reaction is to say no building should be built taller than the fire equipment capable of protecting it's occupants; who is to say that does not make perfect sense.

Posted date

15 June, 2017

Posted time

12:24 pm