Yet more on Grenfell and panel testing

On the BBC News this morning: The original specifications for the cladding on Grenfell tower was for zinc panels, but the specifications were later changed for aluminium panels, saving £293K.
and
Lord Porter, Chair of the Local Government Association, says that it is just not credible that the cladding on all 137 tower blocks tested so far should fail fire safety tests, i.e. 100% failure rate. He says the tests are not being conducted on the actual panels in their entirety, but only on the core of the panels, and thus are not representative of what happened in reality. He calls for a re-think in the way the panels are being tested.
BBC IPlayer Radio 4 , approximately 1 hr 52 minutes in. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08vwn8b
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Chris

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Chris Hogg wrote:

It's taken the journos long enough to figure that out, we knew it here (and that the original zinc ones were specified as FR rated, the aluminium ones didn't specify PE/FR/A2 rated) ages ago ...
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Think it was pointed out very soon after the fire that the company who made the panels made three versions - with differing fire resistance and prices. (lowest price poorest fire resistance) And that the cheapest one was chosen - even although it was banned for high rise in other countries.
But surely a change from zinc to ally would require a planning permission change too? Since it looks very different?
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

We know the supplier has stated they provided the PE version.

Yes, the original planing docs stated zinc/FR and a subsequent materials approval stated aluminium without stating PE/FR/A2, neither of those are BR docs, but it seems there *are* no BR docs for Grenfell as the work was done under a Building Notice.
planning website.
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Wonder if a small scale private development would get away with changing the look of it after obtaining planning permission?
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman wrote:

Yes material change applications, or non-material change applications happen after initial planning approval all the time, sometimes they're approved, other times rejected ...
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On 30/06/2017 09:42, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Its a panel, its flat, its painted what's going to look different?
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dennis@home wrote:

The planning dept was probably more interested in the change from champagne finish to silver/grey finish, plus the lack of contrast from the new grey to another section that was already a different grey, so had to also be changed to maintain a higher contrast ... the zinc->alu change was approved as part of that.
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I assumed they were self coloured.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman wrote:

No, the "coil coated" in the descriptions refers to the fact that the rolls of metal arrives at the cladding manufacturer ready "painted", or more likely power coated.
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On Fri, 30 Jun 2017 09:23:01 +0100, Andy Burns wrote:

Wasn't that when the armchair experts here were claiming a saving of £5k or so was involved? £300k is rather more significant.
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mechanic wrote:

I don't think anyone here actually came up with the figure of £5k, just reported that "someone else" had said that it was £2/sheet cheaper and had arrived at the figure.
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On 30/06/2017 12:19, mechanic wrote:

Thats the difference between the original zinc panels and the alu panels. It was suggested that the FR variant of the alu panels was only £5k. So they could have saved ~£290k and had some fire resistance.
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On 30/06/2017 12:19, mechanic wrote:

There were FR rated *aluminium* panels available for a total extra cost of around £2/m^2 which is in the ballpark of £5k for the whole lot. See:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4609334/Fireproof-cladding-Grenfell-cost-5k-more.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-latest-london-cladding-banned-us-flammable-a7792711.html
They chose the cheapest nastiest stuff they thought they could get away with and ignored the manufacturers guidance notes which said words to the effect of "unsuitable for buildings over 18m high".
Not that this stopped their slimy salesmen from selling this stuff for the refurbishment of a named 70m tall block of flats. It will be very interesting to see if *any* prosecutions can be made to stick.
My instinct is that UK building regulations are so sloppy that no-one will be held to account and it will end with Pontius Pilate style hand wringing and a "something must be done about it" report whose final recommendations are then kicked into the long grass a la Lakanal House.
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On Fri, 30 Jun 2017 13:30:19 +0100, Martin Brown

+1
"Lessons will be learnt" I don't think!
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I *really* hate that expression. Instant passing of the buck. 'Not my fault as I wasn't taught about it'
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I'd be very surprised if a salesman from the company that made them etc would push a cheaper unsuitable product. Far more likely to be a suit somewhere counting pennies with no regard to anything else.

Lets just hope there are some sensible answers in less time than Hillsborough. Which in some ways is similar. Drunken football louts have about the same sort of standing as council tenants in some eyes.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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They seem to be setting up Rock something-or-other at the council as the officer who signed off, and was ultimately responsible for, the change of cladding from fire-resistant ones to Zip firelighters to save costs.
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what a surprise .....
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On 30/06/2017 09:14, Chris Hogg wrote:

The issue is whether the cheaper option complied with building and fire safety regulation. If it did then the council was well within its right to choose either.
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