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Wednesday, January 3

  1. page Grenfell Tower (Facade) Fire edited ... The Fire June 14, 2017, police were called at 1:16AM to reports of a large fire at the Lancas…
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    The Fire
    June 14, 2017, police were called at 1:16AM to reports of a large fire at the Lancaster West Estate (The Grenfell Tower). Officers were sent to the scene to assist the London Fire Brigade (LFB) and the London Ambulance Service (LAS). The LFB arrived within six minutes of the call and 200 firefighters arrived to the scene along with 40 engines and 14 fire rescue vehicles. A number of nearby residences were evacuated while first responders attempted to put out the blaze and rescue those trapped inside. The fire was contained within 24 hours of the fire starting but the blaze was not fully extinguished for about 60 hours.
    ...
    {After Fire.jpg} Image 2: Grenfell Tower late morning on June 14, 2017
    The Cladding
    Initial investigations have focused primarily on the newly renovated facade on the tower and the role that it played in the spread of the fire. The renovation of the facade of the building included attaching additional insulation as well as a rain screen on the exterior of the building. This along with the replacement of the old windows was supposed to improve the thermal efficiency of the building. Figure one below shows a simple diagram of the new wall build up. The install of a system such as this is not uncommon and can greatly improve the energy efficiency of older buildings such as The Grenfell Tower. However the materials used for the renovation are under scrutiny as they do have flammable properties.
    {Wall Section.PNG} Figure 1: details showing organization of new and old materials used on the Grenfell tower facade
    A number of parties were involved in the construction and installation of these cladding materials. Arconic manufactures the Aluminum panels in their factory located in Merxheim, France. Here they are distributed throughout the European market. The panels used at the Grenfell Tower were delivered from the manufacturer to the fabricator, Omnis Exteriors. Here the panels were sized and cut to correctly fit onto the tower. They were then installed onto the structure by Harley Facades, whom was contracted to Rydon to install the exterior facade system. This type of contract structure is very popular and can be found on many construction projects. However, the installation of the material did not seem to contribute to the fire.
    The insulation that was attached during the renovation of the tower was Celotex RS500. On the exterior of the insulation a rain screen made using Archonic's Reynobond PE panels was used to protect the insulation from harsh conditions. The Reynobond product is an aluminum cladding panel that is commonly used around the world. However, the Reynobond PE panel, unlike other Reynobond products is made with a flammable polyethylene core. This product is in fact banned in the USA for use on buildings taller that 40 feet. In addition to using flammable materials, the detail of the additional insulation allowed the fire to spread quickly. The air cavity between the PE core cladding and the Celotex insulation gives space for oxygen to continue to feed the flame. This airspace also made it very difficult for first responders to put the flame out with hoses. This allowed the rapid spread of the fire from floor to floor.
    ...
    Core Cladding.PNG} Figure 2: details showing the construction of the flammable Reynobond PE Core cladding material
    Contributing Factors
    Although the facade system allowed the fire to spread quickly throughout the entire tower, other fire safety procedures were not in place to help prevent this from being a catastrophe. In hindsight a number of factors could have been changed that could have prevented this from growing the way it had. To list a few; there was only 1 central staircase with 2 elevators, there was no automatic sprinkler systems, and the fire safety plan was done improperly. Any of these factors could have greatly changed the outcome of the situation.
    (view changes)
    1:53 pm
  2. page Grenfell Tower (Facade) Fire edited ... The Fire June 14, 2017, police were called at 1:16AM to reports of a large fire at the Lancas…
    ...
    The Fire
    June 14, 2017, police were called at 1:16AM to reports of a large fire at the Lancaster West Estate (The Grenfell Tower). Officers were sent to the scene to assist the London Fire Brigade (LFB) and the London Ambulance Service (LAS). The LFB arrived within six minutes of the call and 200 firefighters arrived to the scene along with 40 engines and 14 fire rescue vehicles. A number of nearby residences were evacuated while first responders attempted to put out the blaze and rescue those trapped inside. The fire was contained within 24 hours of the fire starting but the blaze was not fully extinguished for about 60 hours.
    {Before Fire.jpg} {After Fire.jpg}
    Image
    Image 1: Newly Renovated Grenfell Tower Image 2: Morning after June 14th fire at Grenfell Tower
    before
    before fire on
    ...
    14, 2017 {After Fire.jpg}
    The Cladding
    Initial investigations have focused primarily on the newly renovated facade on the tower and the role that it played in the spread of the fire. The renovation of the facade of the building included attaching additional insulation as well as a rain screen on the exterior of the building. This along with the replacement of the old windows was supposed to improve the thermal efficiency of the building. Figure one below shows a simple diagram of the new wall build up. The install of a system such as this is not uncommon and can greatly improve the energy efficiency of older buildings such as The Grenfell Tower. However the materials used for the renovation are under scrutiny as they do have flammable properties.
    (view changes)
    1:50 pm
  3. page Grenfell Tower (Facade) Fire edited ... This list a few fires that were able to spread rapidly up the building through the PE core cla…
    ...
    This list a few fires that were able to spread rapidly up the building through the PE core cladding system. Many more of these buildings still exist in the UK as well as other areas around the world. This fire epidemic is now being combated by governments in many parts of the world by putting more strict regulations to prevent future disasters.
    Bibliography
    "LATEST: Grenfell Tower Fire Investigation." Metropolitan Police, 19 Sept. 2017, news.met.police.uk/news/latest-grenfell-tower-fire-investigation-250453.
    Boyle, Danny. “Grenfell Tower Firefighters Put out Fridge Blaze 'and Were Just Leaving When Flats Erupted in Flames'.” The Telegraph, 20 June 2017.
    “London Fire: What Happened at Grenfell Tower?” BBC News, BBC, 19 July 2017, www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-40272168.
    John, Tara. “Grenfell Tower: The Continuing Urgency of the Tragedy.” Time, Time, 23 June 2017, time.com/4830302/grenfell-tower-london-fire/.
    Tamplin, Harley. “Why Is Cladding Banned in the US and Germany Used on Buildings in the UK?” Metro, Metro, 16 June 2017, metro.co.uk/2017/06/16/why-is-cladding-banned-in-the-us-and-germany-used-on-buildings-in-the-uk-6712578/.
    Edwards August 4, 2017 Consumer protection, Corporate Transparency, Crimes and public safety, Georgia-news.ajc, investigative.ajc, watchdog news., Johnny. “Videos Show Infernos at High-Rise Buildings with Flammable Cladding.” AJC, AJC, 4 Aug. 2017

    (view changes)
    1:48 pm
  4. page Grenfell Tower (Facade) Fire edited ... before fire on June 14, 2017 The Cladding ... flammable properties. {Wall Section.PNG} …
    ...
    before fire on June 14, 2017
    The Cladding
    ...
    flammable properties.
    {Wall Section.PNG}
    A number of parties were involved in the construction and installation of these cladding materials. Arconic manufactures the Aluminum panels in their factory located in Merxheim, France. Here they are distributed throughout the European market. The panels used at the Grenfell Tower were delivered from the manufacturer to the fabricator, Omnis Exteriors. Here the panels were sized and cut to correctly fit onto the tower. They were then installed onto the structure by Harley Facades, whom was contracted to Rydon to install the exterior facade system. This type of contract structure is very popular and can be found on many construction projects. However, the installation of the material did not seem to contribute to the fire.

    The insulation
    ...
    was Celotex RS500 polyisocyanurate foam core (PIR).RS500. On the
    ...
    40 feet.
    The design of
    In addition to using flammable materials, the wall detail may haveof the additional insulation allowed the fire to spread quickly. The air cavity between the PE core cladding and the Celotex insulation gives space for oxygen to continue to feed the flame. This airspace also contributedmade it very difficult for first responders to put the flame out with hoses. This allowed the rapid spread of the fire throughfrom floor to floor.
    {PE Core Cladding.PNG}
    Contributing Factors
    Although
    the exteriorfacade system allowed the fire to spread quickly throughout the entire tower, other fire safety procedures were not in place to help prevent this from being a catastrophe. In hindsight a number of factors could have been changed that could have prevented this from growing the way it had. To list a few; there was only 1 central staircase with 2 elevators, there was no automatic sprinkler systems, and the fire safety plan was done improperly. Any of these factors could have greatly changed the outcome of the situation.
    The central plan at The Grenfell Tower offers a lot of spacial efficiency. It does not however provide much opportunity for the escape of the tenants in the event of a fire. For example, if a fire were to start at the door of an apartment it will likely trap the tenant of that apartment inside with no opportunity to escape to the fire exit. Modern codes require more than 1 method of egress from a building giving each tenant the best opportunity to evacuate
    the building. This is something that continues to be discussed in the UK, as this building was constructed in 1974 and likely met the building code used at that time.
    The use of Automatic Sprinkler heads has been proven to help contain and prevent the spread of fire. Again this is something that has been integrated into modern codes but was likely not used in 1974. Refer to the fire case study done on the One Meridian Fire in Philadelphia Pennsylvania for additional information on the effectiveness of sprinkler systems.
    In addition to the factors mentioned above there was not a proper fire safety plan done for The Grenfell Tower. In fact there were signs within the tower that explained the procedure to remain in the apartment and wait for assistance. Fire safety programs should be designed to efficiently evacuate the building while also alerting the appropriate authorities of the situation. There were also reports that the fire department used the stairs to reach residents on the upper levels of the building. This takes a lot of time and slows the extermination process down greatly.
    Similar Fires
    Aluminum Cladding Systems such as the one use on the Grenfell Tower are very population in the construction industry and it has been used worldwide. The spread due to this material is not something new and it has been seen in other parts of the world as well. Below are some examples of fires from PE core Cladding products.
    Wooshin Golden Suites, Busan, South Korea - 2010
    Mermoz Tower, Roubaix, France - 2012
    Al Tayer Tower, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - 2012
    Tamweel Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - 2012
    Lacrosse Building, Melbourne, Australia - 2014
    This list a few fires that were able to spread rapidly up the building through the PE core cladding system. Many more of these buildings still exist in the UK as well as other areas around the world. This fire epidemic is now being combated by governments in many parts of the world by putting more strict regulations to prevent future disasters.
    Bibliography

    (view changes)
    1:29 pm
  5. 12:24 pm
  6. file Wall Section.PNG uploaded
    12:24 pm
  7. page Grenfell Tower (Facade) Fire edited ... The Grenfell Tower is a 24 story, high rise mixed use apartment building located in the boroug…
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    The Grenfell Tower is a 24 story, high rise mixed use apartment building located in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. The Tower is managed by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization (KCTMO). The building was originally constructed in 1974 to house businesses on the lower levels as well as provide the area with low income apartments. At the time of the fire the lower three levels hosted office spaces as well as community areas, while the remaining 20 floors contained 127 apartments for tenants. The structure was constructed using reinforced concrete and contained a central core. The core consisted of 2 elevator towers and a single staircase. The square plan of the building does not have any hallways and each apartment enters into the core of the building. Additionally the tower was constructed without an automatic sprinkler system. In 2016, Rydon Construction completed an 8.6 million pound renovation project on The Grenfell Tower. The scope of this renovation included new exterior cladding, new replacement windows, and a communal heating system. The renovation was done to improve the thermal efficiency of the building and lower energy bills for the tenants. Rydon has said that the work they preformed met "all required building regulations".
    The Fire
    ...
    trapped inside. The fire was contained within 24 hours of the fire starting but the blaze was not fully extinguished for about 60 hours.
    {Before Fire.jpg} {After Fire.jpg}
    Image 1: Newly Renovated Grenfell Tower Image 2: Morning after June 14th fire at Grenfell Tower
    before fire on June 14, 2017
    The Cladding
    Initial investigations have focused primarily on the newly renovated facade on the tower and the role that it played in the spread of the fire. The renovation of the facade of the building included attaching additional insulation as well as a rain screen on the exterior of the building. This along with the replacement of the old windows was supposed to improve the thermal efficiency of the building. Figure one below shows a simple diagram of the new wall build up. The install of a system such as this is not uncommon and can greatly improve the energy efficiency of older buildings such as The Grenfell Tower. However the materials used for the renovation are under scrutiny as they do have flammable properties.
    The insulation that was attached during the renovation of the tower was Celotex RS500 polyisocyanurate foam core (PIR). On the exterior of the insulation a rain screen made using Archonic's Reynobond PE panels was used to protect the insulation from harsh conditions. The Reynobond product is an aluminum cladding panel that is commonly used around the world. However, the Reynobond PE panel, unlike other Reynobond products is made with a flammable polyethylene core. This product is in fact banned in the USA for use on buildings taller that 40 feet.
    The design of the wall detail may have also contributed to the spread of the fire through the exterior of the building.

    (view changes)
    11:33 am
  8. page Grenfell Tower (Facade) Fire edited ... The Fire June 14, 2017, police were called at 1:16AM to reports of a large fire at the Lancas…
    ...
    The Fire
    June 14, 2017, police were called at 1:16AM to reports of a large fire at the Lancaster West Estate (The Grenfell Tower). Officers were sent to the scene to assist the London Fire Brigade (LFB) and the London Ambulance Service (LAS). The LFB arrived within six minutes of the call and 200 firefighters arrived to the scene along with 40 engines and 14 fire rescue vehicles. A number of nearby residences were evacuated while first responders attempted to put out the blaze and rescue those trapped inside.
    {Before Fire.jpg} {After Fire.jpg}
    Image 1: Newly Renovated Grenfell Tower Image 2: Morning after June 14th fire at Grenfell Tower
    before fire on June 14, 2017

    (view changes)
    11:10 am

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