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Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 18.06.17 16:24

I read on twitter that they only saved just over £6.5k on that cladding.
Wish I'd saved the post now.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by BlueBag on 18.06.17 16:36

@Claire25 wrote:
@BlueBag wrote:
@Claire25 wrote:
@BlueBag wrote:
@Claire25 wrote: If the council chose to spend 10 MILLION on the wrong things for that building... 
Do you have a list of the wrong things they spent money on?
Funnily enough I don't, but common sense would lead you to the conclusion that spending 2.5 mil on cladding to make the building more aesthetically pleasing to the outside, would have been better spent on an external fire escape.
I think the cladding was a form of water-proofing as well.

Damp is a massive problem in old tower blocks.

I don't think it was purely aesthetic.

The council went for the cheapest dirtiest fix.

That's partly due to austerity.
If you say so, my husband quickly priced it up and worked it out at 1/3 of the cost.  Having run these buildings, I know how I'd prioritise spending.  Rarely do they suffer from damp, even more so above the ground floor.  Usually it's condensation.  Anyway, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.
I do say so.

Plastic cladding is a "cheap" way of damp-proofing and thermal insulation.

It wasn't just for looks.

It was cheaper than traditional methods (which don't work long term).

Anyway because your quickly husband priced it up you know that austerity had nothing to do with it.

We'll have to disagree then.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by Claire25 on 18.06.17 16:44

@BlueBag wrote:
@Claire25 wrote:
@BlueBag wrote:
@Claire25 wrote:
@BlueBag wrote:
Do you have a list of the wrong things they spent money on?
Funnily enough I don't, but common sense would lead you to the conclusion that spending 2.5 mil on cladding to make the building more aesthetically pleasing to the outside, would have been better spent on an external fire escape.
I think the cladding was a form of water-proofing as well.

Damp is a massive problem in old tower blocks.

I don't think it was purely aesthetic.

The council went for the cheapest dirtiest fix.

That's partly due to austerity.
If you say so, my husband quickly priced it up and worked it out at 1/3 of the cost.  Having run these buildings, I know how I'd prioritise spending.  Rarely do they suffer from damp, even more so above the ground floor.  Usually it's condensation.  Anyway, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.
I do say so.

Plastic cladding is a "cheap" way of damp-proofing and thermal insulation.

It wasn't just for looks.

It was cheaper than traditional methods (which don't work long term).

Anyway because your quickly husband priced it up you know that austerity had nothing to do with it.

We'll have to disagree then.
Not once in any damp report was external cladding ever recommended to me.  Like I said, paying well over the odds for unnecessary works.

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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by plebgate on 18.06.17 19:03

roses Let's hope that "lessons are learned" from this terrible tradegy and nothing like this ever happens again.

I did hear on the news last night that it will be years before any findings from any enquiry are made known.

I hope not and that those who are responsible for this disaster are held to account.

No more cover ups in this country.    The gen. public are absolutely sick of being mugged off at every turn.

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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by BlueBag on 18.06.17 21:04

@Claire25 wrote:
@BlueBag wrote:
@Claire25 wrote:
@BlueBag wrote:
@Claire25 wrote:
Funnily enough I don't, but common sense would lead you to the conclusion that spending 2.5 mil on cladding to make the building more aesthetically pleasing to the outside, would have been better spent on an external fire escape.
I think the cladding was a form of water-proofing as well.

Damp is a massive problem in old tower blocks.

I don't think it was purely aesthetic.

The council went for the cheapest dirtiest fix.

That's partly due to austerity.
If you say so, my husband quickly priced it up and worked it out at 1/3 of the cost.  Having run these buildings, I know how I'd prioritise spending.  Rarely do they suffer from damp, even more so above the ground floor.  Usually it's condensation.  Anyway, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.
I do say so.

Plastic cladding is a "cheap" way of damp-proofing and thermal insulation.

It wasn't just for looks.

It was cheaper than traditional methods (which don't work long term).

Anyway because your quickly husband priced it up you know that austerity had nothing to do with it.

We'll have to disagree then.
Not once in any damp report was external cladding ever recommended to me.  Like I said, paying well over the odds for unnecessary works.
Did you ever have a £10 million budget to renovate a 24 story block of flats?

Of course cladding doesn't get used on individual cases.

It is a FACT it is used for insulation and water-proofing.

It came after experts warned that the process of adding rain-proof cladding to tower blocks could create an additional fire risk.


http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15347983.Tower_insulation_firm__Material_will_burn_if_exposed_to_fire_of_sufficient_heat/


The tower was recently refurbished with improvements including rainscreen cladding,

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/14/what-is-cladding-the-material-involved-in-the-grenfell-tower-fire-6707949/#ixzz4kO1RS25S
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by Verdi on 18.06.17 21:25

The master of understatement..

London fire: Sadiq Khan says tragedy caused by years of neglect

  • 20 minutes ago


The Grenfell Tower fire was a "preventable accident" caused by "years of neglect" by the local council and successive governments, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said.


After attending a service for victims, Mr Khan said the fire was a national disaster requiring a national response.

Kensington and Chelsea Council's leader said officials had been working "around the clock" since the fire on Wednesday.

The government says all those who lost their homes are to receive £5,500.

Each household will receive at least £500 in cash and £5,000 paid into an account as part of a £5m emergency fund first announced on Friday.

Read on..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40320459

What a pity the government wasted in excess of 15 million quid on a bogus investigation into the disappearance of a child in Portugal.  They could have trebled the 'emergency fund' paid out to the genuine victims of a genuine tragedy.

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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by Claire25 on 18.06.17 22:50

Bluebag, I'm not really sure of your point.  Yes people do clad building for insulation.  However, nothing combats condensation like adequate ventilation and heating and spending that money on cladding instead of another fire escape lead to more deaths and damage than bears thinking about.  I don't really understand why you're on the defensive about it.  Do you work for a local authority and feel that I was being unfair? I see it so much in my local community, I've complained and met councillors - it just gets brushed under the carpet.

There was a tiny little article in the corner of my local newspaper, stating that my local council had spend £660k in the past year on gagging ex-employees.  That's just outrageous to me when my son's school is running at a defecit of £80k per year.  I hope these sorts of issues are really highlighted with the inquiry although I fear the blame may just be found to like at the feet of of one person like the contractor to save the rest.

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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by BlueBag on 19.06.17 8:20

The point is that you were saying:

A) The Government are in no way responsible for what happened.
B) The cladding was there for aesthetic reasons only.

Look at what you wrote and work it out.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by BlueBag on 19.06.17 8:31

An architect was quoted at the time saying: 'The main priorities were to eliminate water ingress, improve the thermal efficiency of the blocks, and enhance the physical appearance of the external envelope.'

Cladding is a material attached to a building's frame to create an outer wall.
The purpose of cladding - which can be made from wood, metal or plastic - is to prevent condensation and to let water vapour escape.  

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4606068/Cladding-company-covered-six-blocks-London.html#ixzz4kQmTR4P7 


Prevent water ingress, reduce condensation, improve appearance, reduce exterior maintenance costs.

Win-win.

However massive austerity cuts might influence the choice of materials and the quality of everything else that goes with it.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by polyenne on 19.06.17 8:44

OK, let's get some facts straight please.

In this instance, there were 2 issues. Grenfell Tower was in need of additional insulation to bring it up to, or near, current regulations in terms of energy efficiency. In addition, it was looking "unsightly" as new developments in the neighbourhood had been constructed and clad and Grenfell Tower then didn't "fit in". It has nowt to do with damp.

The energy efficiency was gained by affixing 150mm (I believe) Celotex which is a foil-faced insulation board. Over this, for weathering purposes and aesthetics, an aluminium-faced cladding was installed.

From latest reports, this particular aluminium cladding was not compliant in this country, Europe or the USA.

To go back to basics, one needs to understand who specified the materials and the finish. It is usually the architect (Studio E in this case) for the project. So :

1.   did the architect specify the incorrect product ?
2.   if the architect specified a compliant product, who changed the specification ?
3.   did the successful construction company (Rydon) or the cladding installer (Harley Facades) change the specification unknown to others ?
4.   if they didn't and the change was authorized by others, was it ever challenged - email string ?

And, to be fair, another means of fire escape should not have been necessary on the basis that fires in apartments are usually contained within that apartment and any fires in common parts do not ordinarily spread to apartments due the lack of combustible material in the common parts and the fire rated doors to the apartments.

I'm talking generically you understand. This was a freak occurrence caused by a number of unfortunate factors and heads will surely roll.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by Claire25 on 19.06.17 9:00

@BlueBag wrote:
An architect was quoted at the time saying: 'The main priorities were to eliminate water ingress, improve the thermal efficiency of the blocks, and enhance the physical appearance of the external envelope.'

Cladding is a material attached to a building's frame to create an outer wall.
The purpose of cladding - which can be made from wood, metal or plastic - is to prevent condensation and to let water vapour escape.  

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4606068/Cladding-company-covered-six-blocks-London.html#ixzz4kQmTR4P7 


Prevent water ingress, reduce condensation, improve appearance, reduce exterior maintenance costs.

Win-win.

However massive austerity cuts might influence the choice of materials and the quality of everything else that goes with it.
It's being reported this morning that the differnece in price between the cladding used and the non combustible cladding was just a few thousand.  Between the contractor, the managangent agent and the council, they will have known they were cutting unnecessary  corners.  Don't defend them.  The contractors would have made an absolute fortune on a job like that, those responsible for the building didn't do it justice with the funds they allocated it.

According to Kier Starmer they are looking to prosecute for corporate manslaughter, I hope people are held to accounts for this.

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/18/prosecutors-considering-manslaughter-charges-grenfell-tower/amp/

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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by BlueBag on 19.06.17 9:10

Don't defend them. 

I don't - I'm sure they knew it was less safe.

I'm just pointing out that the Government are not entirely blameless.

"Cutting corners" happens more when there is a massive squeeze on your budget due to austerity.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by polyenne on 19.06.17 9:14

@Claire25 wrote:

It's being reported this morning that the differnece in price between the cladding used and the non combustible cladding was just a few thousand.  Between the contractor, the managangent agent and the council, they will have known they were cutting unnecessary  corners.  Don't defend them.  The contractors would have made an absolute fortune on a job like that, those responsible for the building didn't do it justice with the funds they allocated it.

According to Kier Starmer they are looking to prosecute for corporate manslaughter, I hope people are held to accounts for this.

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/18/prosecutors-considering-manslaughter-charges-grenfell-tower/amp/

Claire25

It's not about defending anyone but when catastrophes like this happen, many people resort to the knee-jerk scattergun approach in which anyone that has anything to do with the problem (and many that don't !) is in the firing line for sometimes unwarranted criticism, sometimes bordering on hysterical abuse.

I completely understand that, for many people, loved ones have been lost or are still unaccounted for and they have my deepest sympathies but let's all take a step back, in a reasonable amount of time (not "years" as has been reported) take a look at the evidence (if it hasn't already been shredded) and let's get to the bottom of the whys and wherefores.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by BlueBag on 19.06.17 9:24

@polyenne wrote: It has nowt to do with damp.
According to nearly every report I've read the cladding prevents rain ingress and reduces condensation (more insulation means interior of walls are less cold).

So saying "it's nowt to do with damp" isn't true.

The cladding can look pretty good as well, it made a big improvement to flats I pass in Sheffield.

My main beef is the claim that the cladding was unnecessary and purely aesthetic... it is clearly not.

And that the Government are somehow blameless for Councils cutting corners - they are clearly not.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by polyenne on 19.06.17 9:40

Hi Bluebag

I suggest that the "damp" element tends to infer that the apartments were damp. That is/was not the case. Of course, it goes without saying, that any external covering, be it bare brickwork, stone/metal cladding or pebble-dashing has to prevent rain ingress but that doesn't equate to "damp"

Dampness, in buildings in general, rises, that is why a damp course is installed horizontally just above ground level. The only caveat to that being when retrospective cavity wall insulation is incorrectly specified/applied and this provides a bridge between the outer and inner skins which then allows moisture to track from outside in. Excessive condensation then tends to form, especially in poorly ventilated dwellings  This does not apply to older tower blocks as they are of solid external wall construction.

I also believe that, over the years, central government has devolved much budgetary responsibility to local authorities and so to say they are "clearly" responsible may not be correct.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by BlueBag on 19.06.17 9:54

Dampness in blocks of flats arises because of the poor construction methods in the first place. The flats built in the 50s, 60s and 70s are an abomination.

They are mostly not bricks and mortar and damp courses are of no use 24 floors up when water gets in the cracks between the concrete pillars and the crap they put between and laughingly called walls.

There is normally little or no maintenance budget for someone to be scaling 24 floors to constantly fix cracks in this garbage to keep water out.

Anyone who owns a normal property knows what a pain in the arse keeping water out is. 

Cladding on high rise is a "cheap" and dirty fix with alleged lower maintenance costs going forward.

As for Government responsibility.

Clearly the Government reduced the money available to councils.

Clearly they are partly responsible for cost cutting.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by Claire25 on 19.06.17 10:00

@polyenne wrote:Hi Bluebag

I suggest that the "damp" element tends to infer that the apartments were damp. That is/was not the case. Of course, it goes without saying, that any external covering, be it bare brickwork, stone/metal cladding or pebble-dashing has to prevent rain ingress but that doesn't equate to "damp"

Dampness, in buildings in general, rises, that is why a damp course is installed horizontally just above ground level. The only caveat to that being when retrospective cavity wall insulation is incorrectly specified/applied and this provides a bridge between the outer and inner skins which then allows moisture to track from outside in. Excessive condensation then tends to form, especially in poorly ventilated dwellings  This does not apply to older tower blocks as they are of solid external wall construction.

I also believe that, over the years, central government has devolved much budgetary responsibility to local authorities and so to say they are "clearly" responsible may not be correct.

I agree with you.  Condensation is a big issue in flats but it just needs people to adjust their living conditions - sufficiently heat whilst providing adequate ventilation and having windows open whilst cooking, not hanging wet clothes everywhere to dry etc. I write reports on this every week because often people don't like to admit that they need to change their living conditions to solve the problem and don't want windows open whilst having the heating on. Regardless though, it always solves the problem and is a relatively inexpensive fix as opposed to spending 2.5 mil on what you could argue were unnecessary works if funding really was that tight.

It would be interesting to see a breakdown of costs of running and maintaining that building and where funds were spent because if all those contracts were priced up by the private sector it would be very different story.  If they were privately owned it wouldn't be stood for and the agents would be given notice if people didn't think were getting value for money and their concerns addressed.  People in the LA overlook these concerns because it suits their relationship with their contractors.

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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by polyenne on 19.06.17 14:14

The implications of that list make truly dreadful reading. RIP
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by Truth4Maddie on 26.06.17 19:48

Government fire investigators reported cladding 'risks' in 2016
http://news.sky.com/story/government-fire-investigators-reported-cladding-risks-in-2016-10928193

I see today they have now said that "75" high rise buildings are at the same risk as Grenfell.
This reporting will be similar to the number of deaths at Grenfell, start off with 12, then 30, now 78 & from some firefighters accounts they already believe this figure will end up officially as 150+ fatalities.
The government must already know that the true figure of unsafe tower blocks will run into the hundreds, but they will drip feed this to general public so the impact is not as shocking to us.
By all accounts the risks with the materials used & fire regulations were all suggested to be lacklustre & dangerous years ago & WTF was done about it?
Yet again it has been proven that we have a government that is anything other than pro active or indeed even remotely concerned about the "lower class" who would generally occupy these buildings as they aren't interested in creating a better class of life from the bottom up.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by polyenne on 26.06.17 19:57

Try interpreting the Building Regulations and see if you can find the clause or clauses that nail any offence.

I guess the buck stops at government but I doubt in all truthfulness that it is the FAULT of government.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by BlueBag on 27.06.17 6:43

A Government policy of austerity is the fault of many dangerous cost-cutting decisions of councils.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by polyenne on 27.06.17 6:56

It is who made/agreed/signed-off on those alleged cost-cutting exercises who are culpable.

At tender stage, all tendering Main Contractor would have costed on the same specification and most would have offered cost savings, with caveats.

Leadbitter, the preferred contractor, bid approx £11.5m. Rydon bid approx £8.6m...... a big difference and obviously a price that appeared very attractive.

The architect or consultant would have carried out a post-tender review and offered recommendstions to the Client, presumably highlighting any caveats.

Orders wee placed and work carried out.

Was the work carried out as tendered/accepted ?

If not, who knew it wasn't ?

Was it inspected and signed off ? If so, by who ?

Lots of questions, heads will roll. It won't be Governmentsl heads though.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by BlueBag on 27.06.17 7:41

@polyenne wrote:It is who made/agreed/signed-off on those alleged cost-cutting exercises who are culpable.
The people who put the councils in this position have some of the blame.

Cost-cutting is not alleged, it's a fact.

You may have heard of the massively reduced council funding due to austerity.

And of course no one in Government will get any of the blame even though they are part responsible.

It's like chiefs blaming the indians.
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Re: Catastrophic tower block fire in London today - KCTMO warned in 2016

Post by nomendelta on 27.06.17 8:25

The refurbishment cost 8 million which means that, for each individual flat, there was a cost of 62,000 (roughly) - how is that cost-cutting? Yeah, standard business practice is to go for the lowest bid but still...8 million quid on a refurbishment of 127 homes. They could have built new houses for that. So where did the money actually go? There wasn't a lack of money at that cost, surely?

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