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  #101  
Old 15.06.2017, 15:38
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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As for thermal insulation, does it really get that cold in central London and is external cladding the best solution?
It's likely also to insulate the building against heat loss in winter. They also (apparently) installed new heat pumps and a new heating system during the refurb so upgrading the insulation makes sense.
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  #102  
Old 15.06.2017, 15:59
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

Thanks for bearing with me, guys

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As for thermal insulation, does it really get that cold in central London and is external cladding the best solution?
Where should the thermal insulation go? Inner thermal insulation is a solution you resort to only in dire situations, as for example in renovation of houses with a stone facade. In terms of insulation, hygiene, detail solving, and thermally speaking, outside insulation is the best solution.

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As you're an Architect working here the german word would be Fassade.
I think that confuses me even more For me "fassade" is just the projection of each vertical surface, or the shell that envelops the building (including the structural part). From what you guys write, cladding is a layer put over the proper structural layer (concrete/brick/jello) for technical or simple aesthetics reasons. (Am I getting there? I am so sorry, but my technical English lags a little behind).

The reason why I am so confused, is that when you cover your fassade with eternit, or wood, or stone plates, or metal plates, or anything but stucco, you should leave a layer of air behind, for reasons that cover thermal insulation, waterproofing and condensation.

Here's an example:



That's why it leaves me very confused when people are railing against the idea of having a layer of air between the cladding layers... That's how you should build!

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and probably an air gap between the rear surface of the cladding and the outer surface of the brick (to avoid trapped moisture which would further degrade the pointing and cause mould).
Hmmmm... So the air was actually between the brick and the insulation? Now I can understand what you guys seem to be talking about. That's a big no-no.
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  #103  
Old 15.06.2017, 16:10
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Hmmmm... So the air was actually between the brick and the insulation? Now I can understand what you guys seem to be talking about. That's a big no-no.
This was the pic of the wall that was used in the media yesterday.

Maybe it shows it a bit more clearly.
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  #104  
Old 15.06.2017, 16:21
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

The problem with this image is that I don't know if the space between the brick/ grey structure and the insulation is only graphical help (to help understand the different layers in the construction) or really built to scale. The ventilation cavity on the front, however, is totally normal in metal facades and no excuse for this calamity, unless it was incorrectly done.
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  #105  
Old 15.06.2017, 16:26
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Pure conjecture here, but...

The buildings were built in the '70s, the original exterior appears to be brick which will probably have needed repointing by now, but that takes money, skill and time, so they've installed a layer of metal to keep the rain off the mortar so that they can ignore the fact that the building needs repointing.
Isn't 27 stories a bit high for bricks? Especially in the 70ies as concrete may also reduce worktime.
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Old 15.06.2017, 16:29
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Isn't 27 stories a bit high for bricks? Concrete seems quite more likely to me amateur.
The bricks are most likely not structural. Being built in the 70's, it is probably composed of concrete floor slabs, and a point structure made with concrete and/or steel pillars. The bricks are used to divide and enclose spaces, not to bear weight.

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  #107  
Old 15.06.2017, 16:50
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

If I was living in a 70s London high rise, of the Brutalist school, I might consider buying one of these for absolute piece of mind.

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  #108  
Old 15.06.2017, 16:53
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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If I was living in a 70s London high rise, of the Brutalist school, I might consider buying one of these for absolute piece of mind.
I don't think abseiling through flames would have done much to reduce the number of casualties.
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  #109  
Old 15.06.2017, 17:01
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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I don't think abseiling through flames would have done much to reduce the number of casualties.
Exactly- maybe the the Tardis would be of better help.....
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  #110  
Old 15.06.2017, 17:09
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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You can't blame all flammable cladding installed with a 'chimney gap'. There are thousands of installations like this that haven't burned down their building! /s
Yes, but at least one tv report I've seen today has said that the cladding used was found to be responsible for another fatal fire in Melbourne. Apparently, the Chinese manufacturer just changed the name and continued to sell it.

There are so many cases out there of this type of aluminium cladding causing rapid fire acceleration, that it beggars belief.

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ACM stands for aluminium composite material, which is the same combustible product blamed for fuelling nearly a dozen major high-rise fires globally in the past decade, including in Melbourne in 2014.
One person was killed and another six people injured in Roubaix, France, in 2012 after Mermoz Tower was refurbished with flammable cladding.
http://www.smh.com.au/world/london-f...14-gwr9qf.html

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/busi...1063d8b4b34535

https://sourceable.net/melbournes-ta...able-cladding/
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  #111  
Old 15.06.2017, 17:15
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

We could begin to 'blame' those:

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/full-list-...130115642.html

and this arrogant baffoon:

https://youtu.be/UN3e-aYUusc

It does seem that the cladding was done as a request by other residents that the building was an eyesore and affecting the value of other privately owned properties in the area.
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  #112  
Old 15.06.2017, 17:17
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Too slanted for my taste. Is there a full list of what was proposed and all the MPs who voted it down?
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  #113  
Old 15.06.2017, 17:19
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

Just given you the list.

As for the insulation, here is an expert view (Guardian today):

“The issue is that, under building regulations, only the surface of the cladding has to be fire-proofed to class 0, which is about surface spread,” says Tarling. “The stuff behind it doesn’t, and it’s this which has burned.” He says he recently inspected a new-build eight storey block in south-east London where there was no fire protection in the external cavity walls. “The insulation behind the external cladding is flammable polyurethane. I know because I took a chunk out and burned it.”

Scott Sanderson, director at PRP Architects, has worked on the refurbishment of several postwar high-rise housing estates, including recently Bow Cross in Tower Hamlets, east London, where three 25-storey 1960s tower blocks were over-clad with insulated render.

“The issue is about compartmentalisation,” he says. “Whatever cladding system you use, you have to incorporate fire stops at the line of each floorplate and every party wall around a dwelling to prevent fire from spreading up the facade. The current regulations are robust enough, but they have to be properly followed, and the architects drawings properly executed on site.”
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  #114  
Old 15.06.2017, 17:54
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

Not directly related question, but is it normal for flats here not to have smoke detectors?

I thought about getting one, along with a small fire extinguisher (it was a norm for us back in London), but did nothing. This week's horrible event made me think again...
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  #115  
Old 15.06.2017, 18:09
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Not directly related question, but is it normal for flats here not to have smoke detectors?

I thought about getting one, along with a small fire extinguisher (it was a norm for us back in London), but did nothing. This week's horrible event made me think again...
Pretty much the norm not to have one.

While you're at it, get a fire blanket too. (way less mess if you happen to set fire to a frypan or such)
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  #116  
Old 15.06.2017, 18:14
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Just given you the list.
Thanks, but I'm looking for a full list of the 312 MPs who voted it down. Just wondered if you'd had better luck than me in finding it.

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I thought about getting one, along with a small fire extinguisher (it was a norm for us back in London), but did nothing.
All private UK landlords are required to provide smoke alarms, fire extinguisher and a fire blanket. They're also required to provide at least one fire escape window in the upper storey of a house, unless it's a listed property.

The last place we lived in in the UK was Grade II listed, but the windows were big enough to climb out of anyway. The house I've been refurbing has a fire escape window (opens fully to give easy access) in each bedroom. I was only required to provide one, but because the window cills are low, all the windows had to be fitted with toughened safety glass, so I decided to have the fire escape windows. Having said that, when I did a partial refurb of the house in '96, I had a fire escape window fitted in the main bedroom.

Where Switzerland and the continent as a whole are better, is that most residential buildings are fitted with tilt and turn windows, so the only thing restricting your escape would be the height from ground level.
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  #117  
Old 15.06.2017, 18:24
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

Just moving forward, I'd expect injunctions to be imposed on all the decision makers regarding the refurbishment and upkeep of these flats to prevent them from leaving the country until an investigation is under way. No more fo this Philip Green swanning around the Med in his fugly super yacht sticking two fingers up at the judiciary.

I'd expect all UK stocks of the cladding material used to be surrendered and removed from sale across the country. Fire safety inspections and independent testing done it and all the other buildings that it's been used on.

Oh...and one for Theresa to pull her finger out on... Apparently, it would cost £44 million to fit brand new sprinkler systems in every residential high rise block in the country. She says she wants to create jobs, well there's one for you! And seeing as she's just blown £130 million on an election, she should sure as hell get the cheque book out on this one! No excuses, ifs buts or maybes.
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  #118  
Old 15.06.2017, 18:39
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Oh...and one for Theresa to pull her finger out on... Apparently, it would cost £44 million to fit brand new sprinkler systems in every residential high rise block in the country. She says she wants to create jobs, well there's one for you! And seeing as she's just blown £130 million on an election, she should sure as hell get the cheque book out on this one! No excuses, ifs buts or maybes.
44million? That's it? sounds like a bargain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...y_expenditures

UK spends now between 48 and 56 billion USD annually on military stuff, so it'd only cost about 1/1000 of that.

Hmm.. how much does the GCHQ spend spying on it's own citizens et al, I wonder?

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/ne...it-lying-down/
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  #119  
Old 15.06.2017, 18:40
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

It would cost a lot more than 44 million. A lot more.
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  #120  
Old 15.06.2017, 19:55
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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It would cost a lot more than 44 million. A lot more.
Looks like the report I heard on tv this morning was wrong Loz. Sorry.

The figures that I do have contrast quite sharply because of the definition of tower blocks and high rise. So...from 'The Wright Stuff' this morning, there are 2,925 council owned tower blocks in London, of which only 8 are fitted with sprinkler systems.

What I've found myself is this...
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A full report on the project, Safer High Rise Living: The Callow Mount Retrofit Project is available from BAFSA but its conclusions are easily summarised:
  • It is possible to retrofit sprinklers into occupied, high-rise, social housing without evacuating residents;
  • Such installations can be undertaken on a fast track basis;
  • The installation cost of £1,150 per flat compares favourably with other fire protection measures;
http://www.bafsa.org.uk/sprinkler-in...sprinklers.php


I'm still trying to find a reasonably accurate figure for how many tower blocks nationwide.
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