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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:37 pm 
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The more I read about this stuff the more disillusioned I get with our politicians.

Spoiler: show
Quote:
A report by
Dr Gordon M E Cooke
BSc PhD CEng MIMechE MICE FIFireE
International Fire Safety Consultant and Visiting Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, City University, London

November 2000

Commissioned by Eurisol – UK mineral Wool Association
2
Sandwich panels for external cladding –
fire safety issues and implications for
the risk assessment process.
Executive Summary

• This report demonstrates that fire safety guidance is essential for external sandwich panel
cladding – the building envelope.

• The report maintains that the risk posed by combustible-cored sandwich panels in the external
building envelope, as well as that for internal partitioning, should be recognised by building
owners, employers and designers for the purposes of their risk assessments. It is contended
that none of the risk assessment guidance currently available helps the specifier to come to a
decision as to whether or not the risk, in using combustible-cored panels is acceptable

• Combustible-cored sandwich panels are today being used in building envelopes other than
those for low life risk warehousing and temperature-controlled environments. Schools,
hospitals, prisons, retail outlets and other public buildings make use of this type of
construction without appropriate regulation or guidance.

• Sandwich panel construction offers fast track, cost effective energy efficient building
envelopes, with an array of aesthetically pleasing shapes and finishes. Sandwich panels which
incorporate non-combustible insulation cores and properly attached steel faces, can be safely
specified in all relevant building applications.

• Sandwich panels with combustible foamed plastic insulation cores – polystyrene and
polyurethane materials – carry the risk of being a potential hazard in fire. Official DETR
guidance currently recognises this risk in Appendix F of Approved Document B of the
Building Regulations Fire Safety 2000 Edition, but only for internal structures. However it is
advisable that a risk assessment be carried out to determine the suitability of combustiblecored
sandwich panels for external cladding and in other applications.

The Report reviews a number of ad hoc fire tests currently being used to provide data on the
fire performance of sandwich panels. It demonstrates that the fire sources used in these tests
are smaller than the fire sources generally present in UK buildings. Therefore the data
obtained from such tests could give employers, designers and regulators a misleading view of
fire safety.


Where a risk to property and business economies exists, and where a risk of environmental
contamination [air and water] is identified, then employers and designers should be appraised
of the advantages of choosing sandwich panels with non-combustible insulation cores.

http://www.cookeonfire.com/pdfs/eurisolgreenreport.pdf


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:48 pm 
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Anonymous. wrote:
DragsterDriver wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
DragsterDriver wrote:
Yep- it's what was behind the actual cladding that's the issue, the zinc/aluminium is cosmetic.

The council would have been pummelled if it came out later they could have saved the money.

They get pummelled if they could have saved money on not sending a group of six councillors to some sunny place to see how they would decorate the lobby. They don't get pummelled on money spent on safety.


Seems to me it was a cosmetic saving?

They were going to use cladding with a fire retardant core and instead went for cheaper cladding with a pure plastic core that wasn't fire retardant. I don't think people are going to view that as cosmetic.

Why did they have the same fire safety ratings if one was much more flammable than the other?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:49 pm 
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armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
They were going to use cladding with a fire retardant core and instead went for cheaper cladding with a pure plastic core that wasn't fire retardant. I don't think people are going to view that as cosmetic.



obviously that's not going to go down well, but in reality I suspect the convo was more :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"nothing, tbh. should still comply with building regs."


than :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"bigger chance everyone will burn to death. apart from that not a lot"


part of the trouble might be that the whole culture of the industry is to regard the regulations as a bit of a pain that you have to get round, rather than being something of benefit that helps you to build something good.

at the end of the day, the building industry has always been focused on getting things done as cheaply as possible, and it always will be.

I wasn't talking about how they sold it. I was talking about what they did.



Sure. But the point remains. What they did do was decide to choose a cheaper cladding. What they didn't do was decide to choose a more dangerous cladding.

That remains to be seen. I think it may well turn out the zinc and aluminium cladding had the same rating but either of them would have a higher rating with a fire resistant core compared to the polyurethane core.

The tenants having apparently agreed to the zinc cladding with fire retardant core were then told they were getting aluminium cladding and it had the same rating as the zinc cladding. Which seems to be true. If you get my drift.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:52 pm 
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Lobby wrote:
RodneyRegis wrote:
sewa wrote:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/30/grenfell-cladding-was-changed-to-cheaper-version-reports-say

The gaurdian also say it was an inferior cladding. Maybe none of the professional journalists have the amazing expertise of Bimboman.


He's right, this isn't the smoking gun you think it is. If a council spending public money has 2 options, one which costs 300k more, but both are acceptable according to the regs, then they'll go for the cheaper option. That's not austerity, that's a no-brainer.


And as every piece of cladding tested so far by the Govt has failed, its quite likely that the more expensive cladding with the same rating as that used on Grenfell would not have provided any greater protection for the residents, even if the Council had gone for the more expensive option.


I'm not entirely sure that that follows. The government asked local councils to prioritise cladding that they thought might be suspect (although you do worry how they might already know which were suspect), so you would be expecting the first ones to fail. What we don't know yet is out of what has been tested so far, what types of panels they were - did any of them have fire retardant cores at all?

the hope would be that as they get through to the end of the 600, at least some will pass.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:52 pm 
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Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
They were going to use cladding with a fire retardant core and instead went for cheaper cladding with a pure plastic core that wasn't fire retardant. I don't think people are going to view that as cosmetic.



obviously that's not going to go down well, but in reality I suspect the convo was more :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"nothing, tbh. should still comply with building regs."


than :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"bigger chance everyone will burn to death. apart from that not a lot"


part of the trouble might be that the whole culture of the industry is to regard the regulations as a bit of a pain that you have to get round, rather than being something of benefit that helps you to build something good.

at the end of the day, the building industry has always been focused on getting things done as cheaply as possible, and it always will be.

I wasn't talking about how they sold it. I was talking about what they did.



Sure. But the point remains. What they did do was decide to choose a cheaper cladding. What they didn't do was decide to choose a more dangerous cladding.

That remains to be seen. I think it may well turn out the zinc and aluminium cladding had the same rating but either of them would have a higher rating with a fire resistant core compared to the polyurethane core.

The tenants having apparently agreed to the zinc cladding with fire retardant core were then told they were getting aluminium cladding and it had the same rating as the zinc cladding. Which seems to be true


so the cost saving (for aluminium) is a red herring, irrespective of motive ?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:05 pm 
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armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
That remains to be seen. I think it may well turn out the zinc and aluminium cladding had the same rating but either of them would have a higher rating with a fire resistant core compared to the polyurethane core.

The tenants having apparently agreed to the zinc cladding with fire retardant core were then told they were getting aluminium cladding and it had the same rating as the zinc cladding. Which seems to be true


so the cost saving (for aluminium) is a red herring, irrespective of motive ?

Well we've been told that they told the tenants they were getting zinc panels and part of the pitch was telling them it had a fire resistant core. Then surely when they sourced the new much cheaper panels they would have known the core was plastic. That would mean they were equivocating by telling the tenants the aluminium had that same rating as the zinc. Obviously that is only true if as seems logical cladding with a fire resistant core would get a higher rating than one with a plastic core.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:10 pm 
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Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
That remains to be seen. I think it may well turn out the zinc and aluminium cladding had the same rating but either of them would have a higher rating with a fire resistant core compared to the polyurethane core.

The tenants having apparently agreed to the zinc cladding with fire retardant core were then told they were getting aluminium cladding and it had the same rating as the zinc cladding. Which seems to be true


so the cost saving (for aluminium) is a red herring, irrespective of motive ?

Well we've been told that they told the tenants they were getting zinc panels and part of the pitch was telling them it had a fire resistant core. Then surely when they sourced the new much cheaper panels they would have known the core was plastic. That would mean they were equivocating by telling the tenants the aluminium had that same rating as the zinc. Obviously that is only true if as seems logical cladding with a fire resistant core would get a higher rating than one with a plastic core.


have we ?

I would be very surprised if tenants had this level of information ?

I doubt even the council knew this level of information, let alone the tenants.

i'd say the chances any of the tenants had asked "what will the fire resistance of the cladding be like ?" or similar, would be very low.

if there's evidence to the contrary, then fine, but i'd be prepared to call bullshit.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:28 pm 
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armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
That remains to be seen. I think it may well turn out the zinc and aluminium cladding had the same rating but either of them would have a higher rating with a fire resistant core compared to the polyurethane core.

The tenants having apparently agreed to the zinc cladding with fire retardant core were then told they were getting aluminium cladding and it had the same rating as the zinc cladding. Which seems to be true


so the cost saving (for aluminium) is a red herring, irrespective of motive ?

Well we've been told that they told the tenants they were getting zinc panels and part of the pitch was telling them it had a fire resistant core. Then surely when they sourced the new much cheaper panels they would have known the core was plastic. That would mean they were equivocating by telling the tenants the aluminium had that same rating as the zinc. Obviously that is only true if as seems logical cladding with a fire resistant core would get a higher rating than one with a plastic core.


have we ?

I would be very surprised if tenants had this level of information ?

I doubt even the council knew this level of information, let alone the tenants.

i'd say the chances any of the tenants had asked "what will the fire resistance of the cladding be like ?" or similar, would be very low.

if there's evidence to the contrary, then fine, but i'd be prepared to call bullshit.

I'm not saying they asked anything I just said we have been told.

Quote:
Grenfell cladding approved by residents was swapped for cheaper version

Fire-resistant zinc cladding approved by residents of Grenfell Tower was replaced in the refurbishment contract with more flammable aluminium panels to save £293,368, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

In 2012, the designers for the Grenfell refurbishment, Studio E Architects, proposed zinc cladding with a fire-retardant core. It had been approved by residents, according to planning papers
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... eports-say


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:54 pm 
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Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
That remains to be seen. I think it may well turn out the zinc and aluminium cladding had the same rating but either of them would have a higher rating with a fire resistant core compared to the polyurethane core.

The tenants having apparently agreed to the zinc cladding with fire retardant core were then told they were getting aluminium cladding and it had the same rating as the zinc cladding. Which seems to be true


so the cost saving (for aluminium) is a red herring, irrespective of motive ?

Well we've been told that they told the tenants they were getting zinc panels and part of the pitch was telling them it had a fire resistant core. Then surely when they sourced the new much cheaper panels they would have known the core was plastic. That would mean they were equivocating by telling the tenants the aluminium had that same rating as the zinc. Obviously that is only true if as seems logical cladding with a fire resistant core would get a higher rating than one with a plastic core.


have we ?

I would be very surprised if tenants had this level of information ?

I doubt even the council knew this level of information, let alone the tenants.

i'd say the chances any of the tenants had asked "what will the fire resistance of the cladding be like ?" or similar, would be very low.

if there's evidence to the contrary, then fine, but i'd be prepared to call bullshit.

I'm not saying they asked anything I just said we have been told.

Quote:
Grenfell cladding approved by residents was swapped for cheaper version

Fire-resistant zinc cladding approved by residents of Grenfell Tower was replaced in the refurbishment contract with more flammable aluminium panels to save £293,368, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

In 2012, the designers for the Grenfell refurbishment, Studio E Architects, proposed zinc cladding with a fire-retardant core. It had been approved by residents, according to planning papers
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... eports-say


it's almost certainly misleading.

they would have been asked to comment on its appearance, not on its fire-retardant core.

why would the designers ask the residents is they approved of the cladding having a fire retardant core ? it's nonsense.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:27 pm 
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armchair pundit wrote:
it's almost certainly misleading.

they would have been asked to comment on its appearance, not on its fire-retardant core.

why would the designers ask the residents is they approved of the cladding having a fire retardant core ? it's nonsense.

Who knows what they said and if it was verbal or on a list of things sent to all or a select group of residents. I was just going on what we had been told.
However. Once again we are told the architects proposed cladding with a fire -retardant core and they knowingly changed it to cladding that had a plastic core because it was cheaper. I still find it hard to believe the zinc and aluminium with their respective cores inserted would have the same rating. That seems like nonsense.

BTW

The tests they are doing now that are all failures are just testing the samples of the core on its own.


Last edited by Anonymous. on Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:32 pm 
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Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
it's almost certainly misleading.

they would have been asked to comment on its appearance, not on its fire-retardant core.

why would the designers ask the residents is they approved of the cladding having a fire retardant core ? it's nonsense.

Who knows what they said and if it was verbal or on a list of things sent to all or a select group of residents. I was just going on what we had been told.
However. Once again we are told the architects proposed cladding with a fire -retardant core and they knowingly changed it to cladding that had a plastic core because it was cheaper. I still find it hard to believe the zinc and aluminium with their respective cores inserted would have the same rating. That seems like nonsense.


and if they didn't change it, the residents would be complaining that the building management fees or whatever had gone up, because the council didn't manage the costs of the refurb properly.

the bottom line is that it should have been illegal to have used the material. then it wouldn't have been an option to save on the cost.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:42 pm 
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armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
it's almost certainly misleading.

they would have been asked to comment on its appearance, not on its fire-retardant core.

why would the designers ask the residents is they approved of the cladding having a fire retardant core ? it's nonsense.

Who knows what they said and if it was verbal or on a list of things sent to all or a select group of residents. I was just going on what we had been told.
However. Once again we are told the architects proposed cladding with a fire -retardant core and they knowingly changed it to cladding that had a plastic core because it was cheaper. I still find it hard to believe the zinc and aluminium with their respective cores inserted would have the same rating. That seems like nonsense.


and if they didn't change it, the residents would be complaining that the building management fees or whatever had gone up, because the council didn't manage the costs of the refurb properly.

the bottom line is that it should have been illegal to have used the material. then it wouldn't have been an option to save on the cost.

Tenants don't pay service charges only leaseholders which I must admit some leaseholders have been broken by one off ridiculous bills of tens of thousands of pounds. In some cases possibly as much as they paid for their flat.
Edit

Here is one of many

Quote:
Uproar in Oxford as 50 council leaseholders face bills of £50,000 each
http://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/uproa ... 50000-each


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:49 pm 
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Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
it's almost certainly misleading.

they would have been asked to comment on its appearance, not on its fire-retardant core.

why would the designers ask the residents is they approved of the cladding having a fire retardant core ? it's nonsense.

Who knows what they said and if it was verbal or on a list of things sent to all or a select group of residents. I was just going on what we had been told.
However. Once again we are told the architects proposed cladding with a fire -retardant core and they knowingly changed it to cladding that had a plastic core because it was cheaper. I still find it hard to believe the zinc and aluminium with their respective cores inserted would have the same rating. That seems like nonsense.


and if they didn't change it, the residents would be complaining that the building management fees or whatever had gone up, because the council didn't manage the costs of the refurb properly.

the bottom line is that it should have been illegal to have used the material. then it wouldn't have been an option to save on the cost.

Tenants don't pay service charges only leaseholders which I must admit some leaseholders have been broken by one off ridiculous bills of tens of thousands of pounds. In some cases possibly as much as they paid for their flat.
Edit

Here is one of many

Quote:
Uproar in Oxford as 50 council leaseholders face bills of £50,000 each
http://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/uproa ... 50000-each


bloody hell !!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Passive Fire Protection is not always very clear cut. there are so many aspects of the business that need reforming. The change of BS standard to EN is going ahead despite Brexit. Also who is regulating the standards? Fire Assement can takes several weeks when decisions have to be made in hours. Who polices the testing ? I know of a major fp manufacturer who is currently having to retest their flagship new product because their fire data is wrong and not Supported. It's going to cost them £££ Pressure of price over quality is another issue endemic in the industry. Also the decision making for FP on construction projects is so complicated, is it the fire contractor, the installer, the architect, every project is different . FP industry in construction needs to be reformed in terms of product and qualification and the cost cutting culture that is prevalent needs to change.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:16 pm 
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the industry's trying to move towards prefab at a rapid pace.

not sure what effect this will have on that movement ?

not easy to inspect units fabricated in china.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:54 pm 
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Factory inspections at source are a common feature of fire certification testing. They will have an office or partner in China or where ever to do the inspection


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:01 pm 
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armchair pundit wrote:
the industry's trying to move towards prefab at a rapid pace.

not sure what effect this will have on that movement ?

not easy to inspect units fabricated in china.



Yes the prefab question is interesting. Already you can see these pods being installed in student accommodation and hotels. You would think this might even resolve installation concerns as fire stop could be installed at source (hopefully correctly) The quality and testing issues remain


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:25 pm 
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Not one Tory on Oxford city council.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:28 pm 
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Fascinating


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:10 pm 
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armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
DragsterDriver wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
DragsterDriver wrote:
Yep- it's what was behind the actual cladding that's the issue, the zinc/aluminium is cosmetic.

The council would have been pummelled if it came out later they could have saved the money.

They get pummelled if they could have saved money on not sending a group of six councillors to some sunny place to see how they would decorate the lobby. They don't get pummelled on money spent on safety.


Seems to me it was a cosmetic saving?

They were going to use cladding with a fire retardant core and instead went for cheaper cladding with a pure plastic core that wasn't fire retardant. I don't think people are going to view that as cosmetic.



obviously that's not going to go down well, but in reality I suspect the convo was more :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"nothing, tbh. should still comply with building regs."


than :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"bigger chance everyone will burn to death. apart from that not a lot"


part of the trouble might be that the whole culture of the industry is to regard the regulations as a bit of a pain that you have to get round, rather than being something of benefit that helps you to build something good.

at the end of the day, the building industry has always been focused on getting things done as cheaply as possible, and it always will be.


Agree with all of that save for one small but significant detail.

It isn't the construction industry which decides to do things cheaply - it's the clients procuring the buildings who drive that behaviour. Unquestionably.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:30 pm 
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the Judge wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:

They were going to use cladding with a fire retardant core and instead went for cheaper cladding with a pure plastic core that wasn't fire retardant. I don't think people are going to view that as cosmetic.



obviously that's not going to go down well, but in reality I suspect the convo was more :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"nothing, tbh. should still comply with building regs."


than :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"bigger chance everyone will burn to death. apart from that not a lot"


part of the trouble might be that the whole culture of the industry is to regard the regulations as a bit of a pain that you have to get round, rather than being something of benefit that helps you to build something good.

at the end of the day, the building industry has always been focused on getting things done as cheaply as possible, and it always will be.


Agree with all of that save for one small but significant detail.

It isn't the construction industry which decides to do things cheaply - it's the clients procuring the buildings who drive that behaviour. Unquestionably.


Agree. And that is constantly highlighted by many 'new wave' professionals as being the cause of many problems in the construction industry. I attended a lecture last year given by the Chief Executive of Rethinking Construction. He spent most of the lecture criticising quantity surveyors for cost cutting. And I pointed out to him the same observation you have made, ie that cost cutting isn't driven by QSs, it's driven by employers.

But the fact of the matter is, that it will ALWAYS be the case.

It's all very well criticising employers (and I'm not suggesting that you are doing that), but people will always want their projects to cost them as little as it needs to. Nothing is going to change that.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:59 pm 
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armchair pundit wrote:
the Judge wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:

They were going to use cladding with a fire retardant core and instead went for cheaper cladding with a pure plastic core that wasn't fire retardant. I don't think people are going to view that as cosmetic.



obviously that's not going to go down well, but in reality I suspect the convo was more :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"nothing, tbh. should still comply with building regs."


than :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"bigger chance everyone will burn to death. apart from that not a lot"


part of the trouble might be that the whole culture of the industry is to regard the regulations as a bit of a pain that you have to get round, rather than being something of benefit that helps you to build something good.

at the end of the day, the building industry has always been focused on getting things done as cheaply as possible, and it always will be.


Agree with all of that save for one small but significant detail.

It isn't the construction industry which decides to do things cheaply - it's the clients procuring the buildings who drive that behaviour. Unquestionably.


Agree. And that is constantly highlighted by many 'new wave' professionals as being the cause of many problems in the construction industry. I attended a lecture last year given by the Chief Executive of Rethinking Construction. He spent most of the lecture criticising quantity surveyors for cost cutting. And I pointed out to him the same observation you have made, ie that cost cutting isn't driven by QSs, it's driven by employers.

But the fact of the matter is, that it will ALWAYS be the case.

It's all very well criticising employers (and I'm not suggesting that you are doing that), but people will always want their projects to cost them as little as it needs to. Nothing is going to change that.


I'm guessing you, like me, work in the industry AP? Unfortunately I do blame employers for many of the problems the industry faces which ultimately boils down to the lowest price wins mentality. I once had a conversation with a client and asked him if he had a serious illness and had to pay to choose a surgeon wound he select the best or the cheapest. There's always a balance of course but in my 30+yrs as a chartered QS in a global firm the biggest single problem is that charge for the bottom you highlight.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:35 am 
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armchair pundit wrote:
the industry's trying to move towards prefab at a rapid pace.

not sure what effect this will have on that movement ?

not easy to inspect units fabricated in china.


It is very easy to inspect prefab units in factory conditions. In fact it is a piece of piss however once again you approach the minefield of compliance but it is manageable to navigate.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:40 am 
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the Judge wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
the Judge wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:


obviously that's not going to go down well, but in reality I suspect the convo was more :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"nothing, tbh. should still comply with building regs."


than :

"we could use a cheaper cladding ?"

"what difference would that make ?"

"bigger chance everyone will burn to death. apart from that not a lot"


part of the trouble might be that the whole culture of the industry is to regard the regulations as a bit of a pain that you have to get round, rather than being something of benefit that helps you to build something good.

at the end of the day, the building industry has always been focused on getting things done as cheaply as possible, and it always will be.


Agree with all of that save for one small but significant detail.

It isn't the construction industry which decides to do things cheaply - it's the clients procuring the buildings who drive that behaviour. Unquestionably.


Agree. And that is constantly highlighted by many 'new wave' professionals as being the cause of many problems in the construction industry. I attended a lecture last year given by the Chief Executive of Rethinking Construction. He spent most of the lecture criticising quantity surveyors for cost cutting. And I pointed out to him the same observation you have made, ie that cost cutting isn't driven by QSs, it's driven by employers.

But the fact of the matter is, that it will ALWAYS be the case.

It's all very well criticising employers (and I'm not suggesting that you are doing that), but people will always want their projects to cost them as little as it needs to. Nothing is going to change that.


I'm guessing you, like me, work in the industry AP? Unfortunately I do blame employers for many of the problems the industry faces which ultimately boils down to the lowest price wins mentality. I once had a conversation with a client and asked him if he had a serious illness and had to pay to choose a surgeon wound he select the best or the cheapest. There's always a balance of course but in my 30+yrs as a chartered QS in a global firm the biggest single problem is that charge for the bottom you highlight.


Yes Judge, I'm a chartered QS, albeit with a lot less experience with you. Moved into claims and disputes work a few years ago, where I've had a few ups and downs and ins and outs.

In terms of quality v price, it's down to the employer's preference at the end of the day isn't it ? The way I see it is that we are there to advise the client, and to protect his interests, and to do whatever else we are required to do by the construction contract and by our terms of appointment, but at the end of the day we aren't there to make the client's decisions for him. What he wants - so long as it complies with the law - is entirely up to him, and if the client wants to prioritise cost savings, then so be it; that is entirely his prerogative, and I don't see how or why it would ever be any different. at the end of the day, it's the employer's money to do with as he pleases, and I don't really see it as a part of our professional role to evaluate his performance as a client, even if it is inevitable that we might form personal views on that.

In saying that, I absolutely recognise that there can be false economies, to the extent that trying to cut corners on cost can quite easily result in higher costs, either in the long run, or during the construction phase itself, but all we can do is advise the client of that (and then arguably only if it is a part of our appointment to do so).

I'm about to turn in I think. nice chatting with you. apologies for rambling.


Last edited by armchair pundit on Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:42 am 
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Rumham wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
the industry's trying to move towards prefab at a rapid pace.

not sure what effect this will have on that movement ?

not easy to inspect units fabricated in china.


It is very easy to inspect prefab units in factory conditions. In fact it is a piece of piss however once again you approach the minefield of compliance but it is manageable to navigate.


it's not easy to inspect anything in a factory in Guangzhou, if you're an Architect in a small practice based in Romford.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:06 am 
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armchair pundit wrote:
Rumham wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
the industry's trying to move towards prefab at a rapid pace.

not sure what effect this will have on that movement ?

not easy to inspect units fabricated in china.


It is very easy to inspect prefab units in factory conditions. In fact it is a piece of piss however once again you approach the minefield of compliance but it is manageable to navigate.


it's not easy to inspect anything in a factory in Guangzhou, if you're an Architect in a small practice based in Romford.


That's their prerogative if they want to make the trip or not. Most factories now have expats running QC and qualified trades signing off all plumbing and electrical before shipping which needs to signed off again at site by the installers.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:08 am 
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Rumham wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Rumham wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
the industry's trying to move towards prefab at a rapid pace.

not sure what effect this will have on that movement ?

not easy to inspect units fabricated in china.


It is very easy to inspect prefab units in factory conditions. In fact it is a piece of piss however once again you approach the minefield of compliance but it is manageable to navigate.


it's not easy to inspect anything in a factory in Guangzhou, if you're an Architect in a small practice based in Romford.


That's their prerogative if they want to make the trip or not. Most factories now have expats running QC and qualified trades signing off all plumbing and electrical before shipping which needs to signed off again at site by the installers.


maybe, but it's not the same as seeing it yourself. I'm pretty sceptical about the notion of sub-contracting quality inspections, especially to people on the other side of the world.

I'm not saying that that's not the solution, I'm just saying that it doesn't seem ideal to me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:20 am 
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armchair pundit wrote:
Rumham wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Rumham wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
the industry's trying to move towards prefab at a rapid pace.

not sure what effect this will have on that movement ?

not easy to inspect units fabricated in china.


It is very easy to inspect prefab units in factory conditions. In fact it is a piece of piss however once again you approach the minefield of compliance but it is manageable to navigate.


it's not easy to inspect anything in a factory in Guangzhou, if you're an Architect in a small practice based in Romford.


That's their prerogative if they want to make the trip or not. Most factories now have expats running QC and qualified trades signing off all plumbing and electrical before shipping which needs to signed off again at site by the installers.


maybe, but it's not the same as seeing it yourself. I'm pretty sceptical about the notion of sub-contracting quality inspections, especially to people on the other side of the world.

I'm not saying that that's not the solution, I'm just saying that it doesn't seem ideal to me.


They are not subcontracted. Nobody is going to pump millions into a project and not have their own guys involved at some level overseeing or monitoring QC at some level.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:27 am 
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Thhe Fire Officers are to blame. They passed the cladding as fit.

They are also the people who gave us asbestos in the seventies.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:03 am 
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Rumham wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Rumham wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Rumham wrote:

It is very easy to inspect prefab units in factory conditions. In fact it is a piece of piss however once again you approach the minefield of compliance but it is manageable to navigate.


it's not easy to inspect anything in a factory in Guangzhou, if you're an Architect in a small practice based in Romford.


That's their prerogative if they want to make the trip or not. Most factories now have expats running QC and qualified trades signing off all plumbing and electrical before shipping which needs to signed off again at site by the installers.


maybe, but it's not the same as seeing it yourself. I'm pretty sceptical about the notion of sub-contracting quality inspections, especially to people on the other side of the world.

I'm not saying that that's not the solution, I'm just saying that it doesn't seem ideal to me.


They are not subcontracted. Nobody is going to pump millions into a project and not have their own guys involved at some level overseeing or monitoring QC at some level.


the farmer report recommends everything becomes prefab. that's the way the industry is going.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:42 pm 
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My local Council :thumbup:

Quote:
Cladding passes safety checks

Specialist independent tests on the cladding at Edward Woods Estate have been completed and all three blocks have passed. While no further action is needed in relation to the cladding, we are still working with our advisors on other things we can do to make Edward Woods Estate as safe as it can possibly be.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has no other blocks with cladding.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:15 pm 
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Quote:
Director of Grenfell Tower insulation provider 'is government adviser

A senior executive from the company that made the insulation fitted to Grenfell Tower is reportedly an adviser to the government on building regulations.

Mark Allen, technical director of Saint Gobain UK, which makes Celotex insulation, is on the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC), The Times reported.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 17936.html


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:53 pm 
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Anonymous. wrote:
Quote:
Director of Grenfell Tower insulation provider 'is government adviser

A senior executive from the company that made the insulation fitted to Grenfell Tower is reportedly an adviser to the government on building regulations.

Mark Allen, technical director of Saint Gobain UK, which makes Celotex insulation, is on the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC), The Times reported.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 17936.html

So?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:04 pm 
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Gavin Duffy wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
Quote:
Director of Grenfell Tower insulation provider 'is government adviser

A senior executive from the company that made the insulation fitted to Grenfell Tower is reportedly an adviser to the government on building regulations.

Mark Allen, technical director of Saint Gobain UK, which makes Celotex insulation, is on the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC), The Times reported.



So?

Quote:
Fire safety experts have reportedly complained that the committee is “heavily weighted towards the building industry” and has proved “difficult to engage with”.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 17936.html


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:07 pm 
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Is the problem not that the building regulations weren't followed rather than being too lenient or whatever.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:10 pm 
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Anonymous. wrote:
Gavin Duffy wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
Quote:
Director of Grenfell Tower insulation provider 'is government adviser

A senior executive from the company that made the insulation fitted to Grenfell Tower is reportedly an adviser to the government on building regulations.

Mark Allen, technical director of Saint Gobain UK, which makes Celotex insulation, is on the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC), The Times reported.



So?

Quote:
Fire safety experts have reportedly complained that the committee is “heavily weighted towards the building industry” and has proved “difficult to engage with”.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-cladding-boss-senior-executive-government-adviser-tower-building-regulations-advisory-a7817936.html


hardly Watergate is it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:22 pm 
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Gavin Duffy wrote:
Is the problem not that the building regulations weren't followed rather than being too lenient or whatever.

If they are not allowed to use the flammable core at all then they were not followed but if they are allowed to use the plastic core as long as they can somehow show the overall package is safe (as long as they do it perfectly) then they still may not have followed regs but that in my layman's opinion is to lenient.

I still find it difficult to swallow that 3 Hammersmith & Fulham tower blocks within a couple of 100 metres of Grenfell Tower had cladding put on at the same time and they are fine because they used rock wool. Yet so many people down the road are dead because they had plastic.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:30 pm 
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Anonymous. wrote:
Gavin Duffy wrote:
Is the problem not that the building regulations weren't followed rather than being too lenient or whatever.

If they are not allowed to use the flammable core at all then they were not followed but if they are allowed to use the plastic core as long as they can somehow show the overall package is safe (as long as they do it perfectly) then they still may not have followed regs but that in my layman's opinion is to lenient.

I still find it difficult to swallow that 3 Hammersmith & Fulham tower blocks within a couple of 100 metres of Grenfell Tower had cladding put on at the same time and they are fine because they used rock wool. Yet so many people down the road are dead because they had plastic
.


Agree completely.

at the end of the day, this stuff should have been outlawed.

with a completely non-political hat on, to me that's the question that needs to be answered. not about cuts, or austerity, or whatever.

quite simply, why was the use of this material not illegal ?

and tbf, I suppose that does come back to your point about just who it is who was advising the relevant government/public bodies on this, so maybe my cynicism about your ref to the advisors on the regulations/standards was misplaced.

tbh, you have to wonder why the stuff is even produced. on the face of it, it seems like it should be as illegal as heroin, unlicensed guns, and whatever else.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:41 pm 
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armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
Gavin Duffy wrote:
Is the problem not that the building regulations weren't followed rather than being too lenient or whatever.

If they are not allowed to use the flammable core at all then they were not followed but if they are allowed to use the plastic core as long as they can somehow show the overall package is safe (as long as they do it perfectly) then they still may not have followed regs but that in my layman's opinion is to lenient.

I still find it difficult to swallow that 3 Hammersmith & Fulham tower blocks within a couple of 100 metres of Grenfell Tower had cladding put on at the same time and they are fine because they used rock wool. Yet so many people down the road are dead because they had plastic
.


Agree completely.

at the end of the day, this stuff should have been outlawed.

with a completely non-political hat on, to me that's the question that needs to be answered. not about cuts, or austerity, or whatever.

quite simply, why was the use of this material not illegal
?

and tbf, I suppose that does come back to your point about just who it is who was advising the relevant government/public bodies on this, so maybe my cynicism about your ref to the advisors on the regulations/standards was misplaced.

tbh, you have to wonder why the stuff is even produced. on the face of it, it seems like it should be as illegal as heroin, unlicensed guns, and whatever else.

Yes. It clearly seems to be a failure of standards application in some manner. The fact that the plastic cored product was not supposed to be used on a building of that height but still was and signed off on by somebody. The fact that the plastic cored product was not questioned by a fire inspector when it's a no brainer that it's always going to be more dangerous than rock wool (not blaming them directly now, just need to know why it was deemed acceptable so no repeats happen)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:05 pm 
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armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
Anonymous. wrote:
armchair pundit wrote:
it's almost certainly misleading.

they would have been asked to comment on its appearance, not on its fire-retardant core.

why would the designers ask the residents is they approved of the cladding having a fire retardant core ? it's nonsense.

Who knows what they said and if it was verbal or on a list of things sent to all or a select group of residents. I was just going on what we had been told.
However. Once again we are told the architects proposed cladding with a fire -retardant core and they knowingly changed it to cladding that had a plastic core because it was cheaper. I still find it hard to believe the zinc and aluminium with their respective cores inserted would have the same rating. That seems like nonsense.


and if they didn't change it, the residents would be complaining that the building management fees or whatever had gone up, because the council didn't manage the costs of the refurb properly.

the bottom line is that it should have been illegal to have used the material. then it wouldn't have been an option to save on the cost.

Tenants don't pay service charges only leaseholders which I must admit some leaseholders have been broken by one off ridiculous bills of tens of thousands of pounds. In some cases possibly as much as they paid for their flat.
Edit

Here is one of many

Quote:
Uproar in Oxford as 50 council leaseholders face bills of £50,000 each
http://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/uproa ... 50000-each


bloody hell !!


Turns out that the cladding on this building has failed the inspection and is coming off next week


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