However the principal contractor, the Rydon Group, based mostly in East Sussex, England, assigned the facade work to a specialist agency that was struggling financially in the course of the venture. The agency, Harley Curtain Wall, went out of enterprise in 2015 and transferred its belongings to a successor, Harley Facades.
One other subcontractor, Omnis Exteriors, stated on Friday that it had not been informed that the flammable Reynobond cladding was going to be mixed with flammable inside insulation. That was an issue, the agency stated in a press release, including that the cladding “ought to solely be used together with a noncombustible materials.”
The cladding itself was produced by Arconic, an business titan whose chief government lately stepped down after an uncommon public battle with an activist shareholder. Arconic sells a flammable polyethylene model of its Reynobond cladding and a costlier, hearth-resistant model.
In a brochure aimed toward clients in different European nations, the corporate cautions that the polyethylene Reynobond shouldn’t be utilized in buildings taller than 10 meters, or about 33 ft, in keeping with laws in america and elsewhere. “Hearth is a key problem relating to buildings,” the brochure explains. “Particularly in terms of facades and roofs, the hearth can unfold extraordinarily quickly.”
A diagram exhibits flames leaping up the aspect of a constructing. “As quickly because the constructing is greater than the firefighters’ ladders, it needs to be conceived with an incombustible materials,” a caption says.
However the advertising supplies on Arconic’s British web site are opaque on the difficulty.
“Q: When do I want Hearth Retardant (FR) versus Polyethylene (PR) Reynobond? The reply to this, partially, depends upon native constructing codes. Please contact your Space Gross sales Supervisor for extra info,” reads a query-and-reply part.
For greater than every week after the hearth, Arconic declined repeated requests for remark. Then, on Thursday, the corporate confirmed that its flammable polyethylene panels had been used on the constructing. “The lack of lives, accidents and destruction following the Grenfell Tower hearth are devastating, and we want to categorical our deepest sympathies,” the corporate stated. Requested about its various product tips, the corporate added, “Whereas we publish common utilization tips, laws and codes differ by nation and must be decided by the native constructing code specialists.”
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