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Re: Social Housing

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:51 pm
by atticus
Would you argue that the balance was right at Grenfell Tower?

Would you argue that the materials used delayed the spread of the fire so that the situation could be dealt with safely?

Re: Social Housing

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:42 pm
by theycantdothat
atticus wrote:Would you argue that the balance was right at Grenfell Tower?


Events would suggest not.

Re: Social Housing

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:51 pm
by atticus
Obviously, but I'm trying to see where diy's thoughts are going.

Re: Social Housing

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:31 pm
by diy
My point was to illustrate the conflict between the drive to achieve one at the expense of the other.

I think (without getting in to the design issues), there needs to be some improvements to how designs are validated.

I don't think computer models are sufficiently accurate to prove encapsulated flammable materials meet the requirements. This is what the industry tests are concluding. PIR can be protected effectively, it's used extensively in new builds.

The current cladding could be made safe. Evidently the design did not comply with approved document B, even if it had the correct rating.

Re: Social Housing

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:52 am
by dls
I thought they were not fitted as insulation. Insulation would require certain standards, cladding requires (wrongly as it turns out) less standards. That it might in addition have an insulating effect does not make it insulation.

I anticipate that this is why in the end there are likely to be very few successful prosecutions.

Re: Social Housing

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:11 am
by shootist
There was an interesting snippet on the idiot box last night about this. I was not in a position to give it my full attention, but it suggested that the regulations may be overcome by means of producing a 'satisfactory' test of the panels in question even if the panels did not meet the required specifications.

Re: Social Housing

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:52 am
by diy
Yes - testing and certification does not necessarily require testing as a normal person would see it. The problem though is often Building control approval is needed after the fact, so there a genuine need for paper based proving of materials.

Any modification to the thermal properties requires building control approval, even if it is as a consequence of other work.
https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/2 ... egulations

The fact that its cladding not insulation means the thermal properties are likely to be exempt. i.e. it doesn't need to meet the required w/m2 standard

Re: Social Housing

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:24 pm
by Hairyloon
dls wrote:I thought they were not fitted as insulation...


It is my understanding that one of the main drives for the cladding was to help meet our carbon reduction targets.

I anticipate that this is why in the end there are likely to be very few successful prosecutions.

I suspect there will be some other reason. I predict two, maybe three successful prosecutions, one or more that get appealed.

Re: Social Housing

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:24 pm
by atticus
I see we are all agreed that Mr Peaker has written an interesting article.

Re: Social Housing

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:00 am
by diy
I strongly disagree with his view that "fitness for habitation" should mean "does not contain hazardous materials". With my "where will it all end" hat on, you have to recognise that housing stock varies hugely and imposing a duty to assess all possible hazards as part of a fitness for habitation would probably result in empty properties and increased homelessness or a significant increase in the subsidy needed for social housing. There is a further argument "tory boy hat on", but more for those hard working people on lower incomes - why should those living in subsidised housing be given greater protection from hazards than those living in private homes? It should be risk based and building control regulations is the best place for that.

Finally and I hope this is not a surprise to most, but depending on when your house was built, there may be Arsnic, Anthrax, calcium hydroxide/oxide, lead, asbestos, wood, straw, polystyrene, PIR, foam, fiberglass, various resins, glues and laminates which all fall in to the category or toxic, flammable or both.