Grenfell Tower cause

The cause was a simple fire that should have been easy to contain and stop. We often complain about regulations, but they would have saved lives here. Looks like most of the world does not allow flammable material, but the Brits allow it.
I also find it unconscionable for Alcoa to make a product that is known to burn and is not approved in much of the wold. Hey, it cheaper and the Brits will buy it. A bunch of people should end up in jail from this.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/24/world/europe/grenfell-tower-london-fire.html
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On 6/25/17 9:39 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Two major problems in addition, either of which would have made a huge difference. There was only one stairwell so people couldn't get out. The other is because of one stairwell, the emergency plan was that people should shelter in place. Since the burning was outside on the cladding, it should have given people plenty of time to get out before breaking through and entering the building.
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On 6/25/2017 10:15 AM, Kurt V. Ullman wrote:

When I first heard it on the new I figured it was a very old building never brought up to code. I was amazed at the age and lack of sprinklers and alarms.
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On Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 1:05:51 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Good find Ed. It confirms what I said in my earlier post, that this is a classic example of why building codes are important and just letting people do as they please is a very bad idea. One could argue that it happened with codes, but obviously the UK is way, way behind on reasonable safety codes. It was built in the 70s and you certainly couldn't have built that building in a major city in the US with no fire alarms, no sprinklers, one stairwell, no fire escape back then. That it was just renovated without correcting any of that is beyond belief.
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The windows were not designed to be firestops, as the original exterior was just plain, ugly, non-flammible concrete. Fire was never SUPPOSED to come racing up the outside of a "fireproof" concrete structure.
That said, I don't know of anywhere else in the "civilized world" where a building like that could be occupied with only one staircase and no central fire alartm or smoke alarm sytem - even if it didn't have sprinklers.
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On 06/25/2017 11:05 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I'd say there was a definite case of cheap involved.
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On 06/25/2017 07:39 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Arconic (Alcoa) has two varieties of Reynobond, PE and FR, with FR standing for 'fire resistant'. For many applications the cheaper PE would be fine.
Architects and structural engineers are expected to evaluate materials' suitability for the project at hand. Somewhere along the line somebody said "Let's go cheap.' I would follow the chain from Omnis Exteriors, Harley Facades, and Rydon Maintenance to the building owner.
Having been involved in engineering I'm willing to bet that all along the way there were people saying "This is a bad idea, but the big boss says 'Do it!'"
I'm not an Arconic shareholder or fan but pointing to them is like a homeowner installing the cheapest possible vinyl siding and then bitching when it fades and cracks within 10 years.
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On Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 1:18:19 PM UTC-4, rbowman wrote:

The essential difference is that fading doesn't kill people, while fire does. And that it was well documented for decades that this type of product was a fire hazard. No further engineering evaluation is needed to know that this crap should not have been used. We even had the spectacular UAE skyscraper fire, all over the news, with videos, just a year ago, which used the same stuff. Even Arconic had a do not use warning for other parts of Europe, but not for the UK. It's a very bad case of bad corporate behavior.
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On 6/25/2017 1:20 PM, rbowman wrote:

If your siding fades, will you die? I've been involved in making some building materials for years and in the industry there may be some cheaping out on thickness, density, other dimensions but no one ever substituted regular material for the FR. In some applications it did not matter but you did not take that chance.
My guess is their ass will be in the courts. They certainly would be in the US.
IF the insulation faded instead of burned, people would still be alive today. Follow the money.
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It won't be Arconic on the block, it will be whoever signed the authorization to install the PE instead of the FR. That MAY be someone on London Council ( it is a council building) or it may be the contractor (who chisled on the deal and bought PE instead of FR product for the job)
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On Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 3:26:00 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

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So, you've never seen cases where everybody, especially the deep pockets ge t sued and they either settle it or wind up with a verdict against them? H ere it seems they have a case against the manufacturer. Arconic knew it was a fire hazard if used in buildings over 30 ft high. They had dire ctives in other countries not to use it that way. I'd say they are partly r esponsible.
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On 06/25/2017 12:11 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I am following the money. Arconic makes two versions of Reynobond with recommendations for each. It is up to the end user to determine suitability.
Let me put this another way. I want a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" CDX for the bed on my motorcycle trailer, so I drive over to Home Depot. I see standard CDX for about $25 and fire retardant for $42. I don't plan on my trailer bursting into flame or killing anyone if it does so I go for the $25. Were I sheathing an interior staircase I would spend the $42. Is the plywood manufacturer culpable for offering two products? Or is it my problem if I build my shack with the cheapest material available and it burns?
Judging from the minimal or sub-minimal standards used in the construction they would have built it from tissue paper and sealing wax if they could have gotten away with it. They aren't alone. I see OSB and papier-mâché castles going up every day.
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On 6/25/2017 3:50 PM, rbowman wrote:

Yes, but the US web site only shows one. I did not find two versions. Why is that? Could it be they only offer one version here? https://www.arconic.com/aap/north_america/catalog/pdf/specifications/ReynobondNC-Double-Sheet-Panel_Engineering-Data-Sheet.pdf

Residential, commercial, industrial construction has different codes than motorcycle trailers. You won't see a lot of flammable materials allowed. Go to Home Depot and you won't find flammable insulation, period. You can decorate your artificial Christmas tree with firecrackers, sparklers, and gas cans but you won't find an artificial tree made with flammable materials.

But the paper mache is covered according to code. Arconic knows it is not acceptable in other places and why, yet they offer it in the UK. Irresponsible and immoral, IMO. The courts will decide. s
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No , the Brits don't allow it on buildings over something like 9 meters high. The regulations SPECIFICALLT do not allow it to be used as it was on high-rizes - but nobody is doing proper inspections, and nobody is following the regulations. You can regulate an industry to within an inch of it's life, but if the regulations are not enforced, or are not enforced uniformly, those in the industry know what they can get away with, and where they can cut corners without being caught - so the regulations are totally ineffective.

There are many applications where the darn stuff is legal, and eveb relatively safe. Just like styrofoam (or EPS) insulation board. It is "safe" when covered with drywall, but is NOT safe to be used where it is left exposed. How many places do you see it glued to a basement wall, or nailed up in a garage, and left totallt exposed??? Should it be illegal for it to be made and sold (for it's intended purpose) just because idiots use it where they shouldn't?

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On Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 1:38:49 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Where did that come from? Did you even read the NYT article? It said exactly the opposite, that UK had no regulations saying it could not be used as it was. Which isn't that surprising considering they allowed it to be built in the first place with no fire alarms, no sprinklers, no firescape, one stairwell. And then just now they allowed it to be renovated without requiring any of the above.
You can regulate an industry to

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On 6/25/2017 1:38 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

But the Styrofoam and eps is at least a fire retardant material to start with. It will put itself out if the source of ignition is taken away. The foam is safer than the old coated paneling that was popular in the 70s and it was proven by Factory Mutual tests. Over 45 years I've personally done hundreds of tests on the finished product and have some in my own house and garage.
IMO, it is safer exposed than the flammable stuff that was used in Grenfell.
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The BIG problem with the Grenfell product, other than the flamability of the plastic and the toxic fumes, is the fact it is like CorPlas, with air channels running up and down, providing a chimney effct, turning the burning panels into blowtorches shooting flames many feet up the walls from each panel. IMHO, a very bad engineering design combination. I get WHY it was designed that way - it is self draining and self ventilating.
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On 06/25/2017 12:21 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Styrofoam (tm) is only fire retardant due to the addition of halogenated compounds -- that were banned by the EU.
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On 6/25/17 1:38 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

This was a Council building. I am wondering if maybe the government exempts itself from building codes. Certainly wouldn't be the first an agency of the government said we follow our own rules.
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