Grenfell cladding safety ‘downgraded’ before fire

Grenfell cladding safety ‘downgraded’ before fire

THE SAFETY rating of the cladding used on Grenfell Tower had been downgraded due to failing fire safety tests, but the building products regulator ‘was not informed’.

The Times reported on the news that the safety rating of the Arconic cladding used on Grenfell Tower ‘had been downgraded after it failed fire safety tests’, but the buildings product regulator the British Board of Agrément (BBA), stated that it was ‘not informed’. The cladding was installed during a refurbishment in 2015, but The Times says that Arconic ‘knew in 2014 that the tests rating for the cladding panels had been downgraded’.

Arconic told BBC News that it had shared the downgraded rating with ‘various customers and certification authorities’, and that its test results had been published on the website of the French testing facility that it had been tested at. The BBA in turn had given the Reynobond PE panels a “B” rating, ‘the second best’, in 2008 for their ‘reaction to fire’.

This, The Times stated, meant that ‘some in the construction industry believed’ this meant ‘it was safe to use on tower blocks’, but further tests ordered by Arconic before the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower ‘resulted in a lower classification of C or E for different types of panel’. Finally, the news outlet noted that an Arconic brochure from 2016 described the cladding ‘as suitable for buildings up to ten metres in height’, while Grenfell Tower was 67 metres in height.