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UK Will Pay for Recladding of Public High-Rises

Monday, May 21, 2018

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Eleven months after London’s tragic Grenfell Tower fire, Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged that the government will fund the cladding replacements for all social high-rises, a project that is projected to cost about 400 million pounds.

What We Know

At an event last week May was fielding questions from Conservative MP Bob Blackman, who asked about the government’s commitment, which had not been formally announced since it was brought forth immediately following the fire that killed more than 70 people last June.

ChiralJon, CC-SA-BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Eleven months after London’s tragic Grenfell Tower fire, Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged that the government will fund the cladding replacements for all social high-rises, a project that is projected to cost about 400 million pounds.

“Councils and housing associations must remove dangerous cladding quickly, but paying for these works must not undermine their ability to do important maintenance and repair work,” said May.

“I’ve worked closely with my right honorable friends, the chancellor and the housing secretary, and I can today confirm that the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding by councils and housing associations …”

The PM’s spokesperson said that replacement work was needed on 158 high-rise blocks (defined as 18 meters or higher) and it had begun work on 104 of them.

Even though the move was welcomed by many, some are wondering why it took nearly a year for the government to formally commit and others are worried about the numerous privately owned blocks that will not receive any funding.

“It’s welcome, but why on earth has it taken the prime minister 11 months to make this commitment?” asked shadow housing secretary John Healey. “Almost a year on from the Grenfell Tower fire, over 300 other tower blocks have dangerous, Grenfell-type cladding, but only seven have had it replaced.”

Cladding Systems

In the months immediately following the fire, the government backed extensive testing on a variety of cladding systems.

The test results were:

  • Failed - ACM cladding with polyethylene filler and foam insulation, with fire breaks and cavity barriers in place;
  • Failed - ACM cladding with a polyethylene filler with stone wool insulation;
  • Failed - ACM cladding with a fire-retardant polyethylene filler with PIR foam insulation;
  • Passed - ACM cladding with a fire-resistant polyethylene filler and stone wool insulation;
  • Passed - ACM cladding with a limited combustibility filler with PIR foam insulation;
  • Failed - ACM cladding with a fire-retardant polyethylene filler with phenolic foam insulation; and
  • Passed - ACM cladding with a limited combustibility filler with stone wool insulation.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Cladding; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Fatalities; Fire; Fireproofing; Government; Health and safety; Safety

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