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Post-Grenfell industry response group launched

Grenfell Tower fire

Representatives from the construction industry will work with government in an Industry Response Group (IRG), tackling changes for the construction sector arising from the Grenfell Tower fire.

Testing by the BRE group on ACM cladding samples is still ongoing: samples from 224 buildings have now failed to meet “limited flammability” requirements as set out in Approved Document B, the government’s own guidance on how to meet building regulation requirements. A series of larger scale tests, mixing three types of cladding with two types of insulation, are now underway. These tests are in line with British Standard 8414, which assesses how a full scale external cladding system reacts to fire.

Although no results have yet been published, the government anticipates quick action could be needed across the construction industry to comply with new guidance as a result of the tests.

The IRG, made up of government representatives, Build UK, the Construction Industry Council and the Construction Products Association, will help the construction sector implement any changes. This includes providing technical advice to the industry and helping to solve problems where there are safety concerns with specific buildings.

“We understand how concerned people are about the safety of buildings and we would like to reassure the public that the UK construction industry is working with urgency to respond to advice published by the government,” said a spokesperson for the IRG.

“This IRG will demonstrate leadership and, acting as a focal point, provide a collective response to government and other stakeholders.”

The group will act as the main point of communication between the construction industry and the government.

There are currently four different ways for a building to comply with fire regulations. Several fire engineers have told New Civil Engineer they believe confusion around fire regulations needs to be urgently tackled.

 

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