The manufacturers of cladding panels used on Grenfell Tower have denied the chancellor’s claims that they were banned in the UK.
Philip Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that the criminal investigation into last week’s tragic fire would include checking whether the external finish to the 24-storey west London tower fell foul of Building Regulations.
Inside Housing reported last week that planning documents showed composite aluminium and polyester-coated panels were used to clad the outside of Grenfell Tower during a project completed last summer.
Mr Hammond said yesterday: “My understanding is that the cladding [used on Grenfell Tower], this flammable cladding which is banned in Europe and the US, is also banned here.
“So there are two separate questions. One: are our regulations correct, do they permit the right kind of materials and ban the wrong kind of materials? The second question is: were they correctly complied with?
“Obviously that will be a subject that the inquiry will look at. It will also be a subject that the criminal investigation will be looking at.”
East Sussex firm Harley Facades, whose work on the Grenfell Tower scheme included installation of exterior cladding, said: “The aluminium composite material panels are a commonly used product in the refurbishment industry.”
CEP Architectural facades – part of the Worcester-based Omnis Group – said it fabricated the rainscreen panels and windows for Grenfell Tower. Reynobond cassettes from France and US based firm Arconic appear to have been specified for use on the external cladding of the building.
John Cowley, managing director of CEP Architectural Facades, said: “Reynobond PE is not banned in the UK. Current building regulations allow its use in both low rise and high rise structures.”
Fellow East Sussex based building firm Rydon oversaw the £10m upgrade to Grenfell Tower, which created nine extra flats in previously vacant space as well as adding rain screen cladding, curtain walling and replacement windows.
Rydon said in a statement last week that the project “met all required building regulations – as well as fire regulation and health & safety standards”.
Inside Housing has contacted Reynobond and the Department for Communities and Local Government for comment.