Tag Archives: Grenfell tower

Cladding Concerns Gathering Speed 75 Buildings Identified

The horrific fire that destroyed people and the Grenfell Tower they lived in has had only one positive result. So far 75 tower blocks have been identified as being at risk.

The instant blame that followed this awful event surprised me in one major way, the cause talked about within hours turned out to be accurate. Normally assumption is the mother of all…mess ups. I have been around industry long enough to not be surprised that combustible material was used. I’d hoped it wasn’t but when it was confirmed there was no shock for me or many up and down the country.

I certainly would like to believe it was an oversight, that somewhere between the plans and the execution of the Grenfell refurbishment someone screwed it up. Yeah I know how that sounds and I ‘m going to leave it there in the slim hope the inquiry sheds a more humane light on the circumstances.

blackened tower shot from helicoptershows two thirds from top to bottom blackened by fire.
Grenfell Tower in West London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey apartment block. Click image for the Metro article it is taken from building yesterday morning.

75 Tower Blocks Below Code

All over the UK teams have been taking hastily put together advice from the government and scouring buildings with aluminium composite insulation. Samples have been taken and tested. Not all cladding is as risky as that which killed all those people but much is close to the line. In this atmosphere I am surer of action than I am about my hopes for an innocent mistake having been made on Grenfell.

The Future

Well that is going to be frantic and the price tag absolutely immense.  The 75  suspect buildings are as it stands now with the search continuing for more. All of it has to be done yesterday with logistical reality slowing progress. Meanwhile the local authorities and fire services nationally are reviewing safety procedures.  All I am left with is a lesson that I know but there is never harm in being reminded. The devil is in the detail. That is a saying as old as the hills. I wonder when we can have it engraved on every office wall, mug and written on every letterhead.

Take care

Christine Hodge

The Grenfell Tower Tragedy and Why I Have No Opinion

That is not strictly true. I do have an opinion on the subject generally and that is that the lessons of the past mean we should wait. We should not wait for long but as the fire was still going strong it was widely declared that the cause and effect had been identified. I don’t accept that.

It is rare, people who know me will say it to my face, that I have nothing much to say on any issue. When it comes to the exterior cladding and its alleged acceleration of the flames up the London residential tower block, it looks highly likely but not proven.

The fire experts say the materials used were substandard, the manufacturers and suppliers insist it was legal to use but in among the media hype and counter claims by the government I am left with questions. Those questions will only be answered in a bit of time. Meanwhile, one thing is clear this stuff is on other buildings, sufficient history exists to call it into question therefore immediate action to remove it seems logical. It is a nightmare logistically i admit but it needs to come off.

Declaring an opinion on that is still withholding one on the specifics of this fatal blaze. There are serious political reasons for skewing the facts in this case and plenty of media commentators with axes to grind. I will wait on the search for evidence and that will apparently take several weeks.

Take Care

Chris Hodge