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Article

27 Jan 2020

Author:
Robert Booth, The Guardian (UK)

Grenfell cladding maker 'knew it fell below safety standard'

The company that made the cladding panels on Grenfell Tower knew in 2011 they were “not suitable for use on building facades” and performed worse in fire tests than declared on safety certificates, a public inquiry into the disaster has heard...

The inquiry also heard that Celotex, the company which made the combustible insulation which lay behind the cladding panels, was concerned in 2013 about how it would behave in a fire when used with cladding panels...

Rydon sought to argue that, while it was the main contractor on the project, it worked with other experts and subcontractors and that civil liability and “moral culpability” must be considered in the light of how different parties met their contractual obligations. It said the architects, cladding subcontractor, fire engineer, building control or the landlord were involved in drawing up the specification, but none said that “using Reynobond PE or Celotex RS5000, either individually or together, posed a risk to the health and safety of the occupants of Grenfell Tower”...

RBKC [the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea] admits it failed in its duty as a building regulator, the inquiry was told...

Studio E, the architect, said it believed the building regulations were not fit for purpose, it did not know that the materials it selected were in breach of building regulations and materials manufacturers provided safety testing data...

“Studio E will listen carefully,” the architect firm said. “The company wants to understand and learn, however painful that may be.”

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