Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Ban on flammable cladding considered after backlash over Grenfell probe

UK government will foot £400 million bill to replace Grenfell-style cladding      		  Share UK government will foot £400 million bill to replace Grenfell-style cladding Share
Sammy Stanley | 17 May, 2018, 18:36

A REVIEW on building regulations after the Grenfell Tower tragedy has called for a "radical rethink" of the safety system, but will not recommend an explicit ban on combustible cladding and insulation, despite demands from Grenfell Tower survivors backed by architects, building firms and fire safety experts.

The material is blamed for fuelling the devastating June 14 London tower block blaze.

"It is about more than simply issuing a ban on certain materials", she said, advocating for a "new regulatory framework" rather than an outright embargo.

The Guardian and Sky News have reported Dame Judith Hackitt's review will propose that safeguards are overhauled - but will not suggest the materials that apparently spread the fire in west London, and killed 71 people, should explicitly be prohibited.

"It is clear from Grenfell and from the other tests that have been done that despite the guidance now saying that, people were putting other materials up, so I don't think a ban will work". "It is a much stronger regulatory regime for high-rise buildings that recognises that there is an inherently high level of risk involved".

He added: "Having listened carefully to concerns, the Government will consult on banning the use of combustible materials in cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings".

Sensex loses almost 250 points on political uncertainty, global cues
The Sensex had risen yesterday by more than 400 points intra-day after the BJP emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka . In a highly volatile trade witnessed during the day, the Sensex went down by 91 points to 35,452.35 in the morning session.

The government's announcement that it will fund the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding by councils and housing associations, estimated at £400m, has been met with approval by one of the region's key social landlords.

The state's housing and public works minister, Mick de Brenni, has told the ABC that while it would cost millions to complete rectifications, the government could not put a price on safety.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said: 'More than 11 months on, the time for warm words is long past, and people are rightly asking why so little has changed since the Grenfell Tower fire.

She said: 'Councils and housing associations must remove unsafe cladding quickly but paying for these works must not undermine their ability to do important maintenance and fix work'. There are many other features, many other short cuts out there that could result in other disasters in the future which we need to address as part of this.

This dutyholder during occupation and maintenance should maintain the fire and structural safety of the whole building, and identify and make improvements where reasonable and practicable.

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