Clearview National July 2018 - Issue 200 - Page 14

INDUSTRYNEWS COMMENT Grenfell – one year on… Shortly after the 12-month anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Pro Installer editor Jason Hubbard asks “at whose door should we lay the blame?” » » ON THE 14TH JUNE 2017 A FIRE broke out in the Grenfell Tower. The fire burned for a total of 60 hours, and once extinguished, 72 occupants had perished. The next day, Prime Minister Theresa May ordered a public inquiry to determine the facts surrounding the tragedy. Sir Martin Moore- Bick was appointed; stating at the time that the investigation would be “open, transparent and fair.” A recent investigation by BBC’s into insulation manufacturer Celotex, claimed that Celotex used a higher quantity of fire retardant in its RS 5000 insulation when it was put forward for its fire test certification than in the final version; as used on Grenfell Tower, and it was this, allegedly, that made the insulation highly flammable, especially when combined with combustible panels. The BBC programme also claimed that Celotex targeted contractors refurbishing Grenfell and sold them flammable RS 5000 insulation, knowing it would be combined with combustible panels, making it a highly dangerous combination. Residents and members of the public have called for a ban on combustible cladding. Moreover, the Royal Institute of Building Architects is one of the national organisations also calling for a ban. Some believe that companies may be resistant towards a ban which is part of a multi-million-pound industry and would affect most installations of rain screen cladding, with approximately 300 tower blocks across the UK currently affected. Another problem that has been highlighted in the investigation by Dame Judith Hackitt is the system of building inspectors. The number of private inspectors has grown considerably since 1985 when Margret Thatcher privatised the profession. Now we seem to be in a situation where companies are offering design and inspection services under one roof, and are no longer independent from each other. They may even work in the same office within the company, leading to a possible conflict of interest. Dame Hackitt has described the process as a “Race to the Bottom”. 14 » JUL 2018 » CL EARVI E W- UK . C O M In the last 10 years deregulation has continued at a rapid pace, with proposals to give building inspectors more power ignored by a number of governments since the profession was privatised. Judith Hackett described the regulatory system as not fit for purpose and confirmed there were deep flaws in the current system, leaving it open for those wanting to take short cuts. She also stated in her report that one of the key issues was indifference; “the primary motivation is to do things as quickly and cheaply as possible rather than to deliver quality homes which are safe for people to live in.” Dame Hackitt has suggested in her report that a new, more powerful and independent national body should be set up. The national body would approve safety in buildings at the design stage of construction. They would then carry out regular checks during the rest of the construction phase. Having more power wo [[[H\[X[ٙ[\]]\B][ Y\\]\^H\H\Yۙ\][\܈\Xܜ˂[HY\X]وܙ[[ H\X][ۂو]\[\\[Z\[ۙYH\ܝ[™\HY]K\YY]HH\HX[ۂ\X][ۈ JK\\ݙ\Y]\[\HY]H\\H]܈\KYB[][][X[ܛ[\[ˈ\X˜\]H]X\[\\]\H[ [[HY[\\Y]H\\š]\ۈHZ[[H\HXY\]ZX\[\\\Y\[YYH [Z[]H\B܈XZ[YYܙH Z[]\˂H[YH[&]HZY][HۙH\۸&\™܈X]\H\H\H]\[]][ݙ\ܙ[[ Y] ]\YYH\YBY[YYYY\H[[\]Hœ]H[ۙ^H][H ][Y]YX[œ][[X[YH[[\H[YH]\HXY]Hܜو]\[[H[ܙ[\][ۜX[Y\H\[B]\YYHY[\[\H[ۜ\]]H[[\ۜXH܈BY\\Y[ ]\YۈH[܈ۋY[[XXH[[Z[][HY[X]\B]\^[]KۙHوHY\\ۘ\]\˜Y[^\Y[HZHوܙ[[\]\\x&\H]X[[XZHBYX[[\YYY[ܝ\ YB[^H]H[X[ۈوH\[ݙ\Y[\[Y\8&&K