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Glasgow School of Art gets burnt out, for the second time in 4 years.

Were any lessons learned in this Educational Building over the last 4 years?

Jun 16, 2018 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


The supervising architects have - as I understand it - overarching responsibility for the quality of the components and the completion standards of the work - and - their not inconsiderable fees reflect this status.

If the design is defective then the architects get to pick up the tab for remediation - a relatively recent prominent example being the swaying Millenium Bridge over the Thames.

That the Grenfell architects ran away isn't surprising - what's obvious though is that there is absolutely no appetite / pressure in the MSM for asking them any questions.

So the two main issues as far as I can see are - how did flammable cladding get to be fitted and why did the fire instructions require residents to stay in the building when it was on fire?

Jun 16, 2018 at 8:51 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Jun 16, 2018 at 1:51 AM | DaveS

Thank you for that link. I think it illustrates the point that tomo made and I was trying to elaborate on

● nb I have no idea whether Vivaldo or any of their component parts are linked to Grenfell

If someone involved with the design and specification process decides that the most important factor is reducing the Carbon Footprint of a building, and that combustibility is of secondary importance, which product is best value, provided it meets the relevant standard? What is the relevant standard, and why are there so many?

Brickwork, stonework, concrete etc do not burn. Why so many different categories for modern building materials to define their performane rating in a fire? What do they ACTUALLY mean. With cynical hindsight, why were testing authorities persuaded to have so many categories, and what do the lesser ones conceal?

Carbon footprint was not an issue in the 1980s -1990s, hence the simple task of taking samples into an office car park with a cigarette lighter....

The collusion between the EU and French and German diesel vehicle manufacturers, concerned how the vehicles should be tested. This allowed manufacturers to design vehicles that knew when they were being tested, and to adapt performance accordingly.

I don't know whether the Grenfell Inquiry can examine the relationship between manufacturers and those that set performance criteria across the EU.

Jun 16, 2018 at 8:18 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A link to a summary of standards for fire resistance of cladding:

Jun 16, 2018 at 1:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

The renovation was overseen by a bunch of idiotic incompetents - like I keep saying - the architects have very clearly and unequivocally run away - and nobody is pursuing them. The fire safety instructions - stay in your flat if the alarm goes off? what the absolute f**k is that about?

Jun 15, 2018 at 8:41 PM | tomo

The "architects". I have not looked for the Project Management Structure or Hierarchy. I do not know how far the Inquiry is going to get with apportioning blame to individuals. I would assume that they will all claim that they were relying on the expertise of someone else, whilst denying any personal liability.

The UK concept of an Inquiry is to work out what went wrong, why, and what steps need to be taken to avoid it happening again. Whether Court Trials will follow is a presumption at present, but no one wants to admit something in an Inquiry that will be published and subsequently used against them in a Court.

So far, the Inquiry has ensured that victims/relatives are heard with dignity, without pressure or an inquistion. No one has questioned their right to feel pain, anger, emotion etc.

The "cause" of the fire does not seem in doubt. How did the fire get out of the original flat?

"Stay in your Flat". I doubt this was the standard advice when Grenfell was built. When Grenfell was built, there was little to burn. Were lifts more reliable, or if they failed, were repaired quicker? Did London Fire Brigade reduce the number of extra long pump ladders? Was there a death somewhere resulting from a full evacuation necessitated by a toaster fire that was extinguished before the evacuation was complete? Many more possibilities, but minimising disruption to tenants, whilst cutting costs seems a good place to start.

Whatever caused the change, it must have been agreed with Firefighters and building owners.

Jun 16, 2018 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jun 15, 2018 at 8:41 PM | tomo

When I was doing that sort of stuff, nobody had thought of anything so stupid as attributing a cost of carbon. It may have been last century, but not actually that long ago.

Fire Ratings/Proof/Resistance etc, what does it really mean in the real world? Easy, simple test. Take various samples from various different manufacturers out into the office car park, with a cigarette lighter. Do they catch fire or smoulder, or does the insulation change form or shape giving off any smoke, gas or fumes? What about carpets, carpet tiles, sheet vinyl etc? Yes I have tried to burn it, with "accelerants" such as WD40.

Obviously with todays Health and Safety culture, the idea of checking manufacturers accredited claims in such a dangerous way is not allowed. We have to accept what it says on the tin, even if nobody really understands what it says.

If it met Building Regulations approval and was to BS (British Standard) with a Kitemark etc, it was good enough, but would I have wanted it in my home? The target was to achieve the levels of insulation required, NOT to exceed them.

With insulation thickness being the cheapest element to increase, the possibility that Grenfell Tower had insulation thicknesses far in excess of requirement, and hence to levels that had not been laboratory tested, or ignited in an office carpark should be borne in mind as the Inquiry progresses.

The principles of Cost Benefit Analysis have not changed. The quality of the data has, and as you say, the desired target has changed, to meet bogus targets, set by incompetents.

We have all seen footage of the Grenfell fire. I don't think I have yet seen film of a test panel or removed panel subjected to a llaboratory "fire". Has anyone seen comparison fire tests, of the same cladding system with different insulation materials and thicknesses? Or even with the same cladding and insulation thickness as "Certified" by test certificates?

There is the possibility that the extra cost of insulation that exceeded the Manufacturers Certification contributed to the speed of the spread of the fire, and hence the total deaths. The Cost Benefit Analysis is then turned upside down. There is the extra cost of having specified an insulation that did not burn or fume at all ......

Jun 15, 2018 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


The simple maths of cladding a building to reduce maintenance and repair costs is generally sound. So is the maths of increasing insulation, to reduce the costs of heating.

No, they're not - it's a cost/benefit analysis. Uninformed assumptions are what turned a kitchen fire into "towering inferno".

You are dignifying incompetence and ineptitude - the arithmetic is not that simple if one attributes an insane value to "reducing carbon" and fudge the numbers to get the answer you want or - simply ignore the arithmetic and go for more emotive intangibles aligned with municipal sustainability gobbledegook.

The renovation was overseen by a bunch of idiotic incompetents - like I keep saying - the architects have very clearly and unequivocally run away - and nobody is pursuing them. The fire safety instructions - stay in your flat if the alarm goes off? what the absolute f**k is that about?

Jun 15, 2018 at 8:41 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Jun 15, 2018 at 4:30 PM | stewgreen

As an "investor", does nepotism count as insider dealing?

If this taxpayer scam starts to go wrong, her investment may be the first asset sold, leaving gullible suckers to take the hit.

Jun 15, 2018 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Times : \\ Good Energy boss just sent out a letter saying that as an investor they back the Swansea Barrage.
She forgot to say that her the project is run by her HUSBAND //

Jun 15, 2018 at 4:30 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Jun 14, 2018 at 9:23 AM | golf charlie
Thank you, strange world.
I think the latest Jurassic Park movie, which I watched last night, is based to the problems faced when trying to get rid of hedgehogs on Lewis.

Jun 15, 2018 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterUibhist a Tuath

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