In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has provided an update and advice on further testing as a next step to help landlords ensure safety of their buildings.

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The suggested tests will help establish how different types of Aluminium Composite Material panels in combination with different types of insulation behave in a fire.

The results of these tests will help landlords make decisions on any further measures that may need to be put in place to make their buildings safe following the Grenfell Tower fire. These tests will be undertaken by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and will not require any new samples from buildings.

This follows discussion from the expert panel, of which Amanda Clack FRICS is a part, of the processes that have been followed to identify whether buildings had ACM panels and the advice provided to building owners on interim measures; it was agreed that these were the right first steps.

Testing and demonstration

Further tests, which will look at three different types of ACM cladding combined with different types of insulation, will be in accordance with British Standard 8414 in line with the panel’s advice. This involves building a nine-metres-tall demonstration wall with a complete cladding system, including panels and insulation, fixed to it, and then subjecting it to a fire that replicates a severe fire in a flat breaking out of a window and whether it then spreads up the outside wall.

In addition, the Expert Advisory Panel recommended issuing further practical advice on immediate steps landlords can take to identify their wall materials, including insulation, which will be published shortly.

The Government has now commissioned BRE to undertake these tests as a matter of urgency. The results will be made publicly available. Landlords will be expected to take their own professional advice on what is required for their buildings in the usual way.

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Comments (6)

  1. Is the acronym ACM for 'Aluminium composite material', possibly going to create some confusion with 'Asbestos containing materials' particularly if both are present?

    Andrew Morgan Andrew Morgan, 10 July at 09:12AM

  2. Will RICS be giving support and advice to any members caught up in the Grenfell tragedy?

    David Moore David Moore, 10 July at 09:41AM

  3. I agree with Andrew and raised this concern with RICS Associate Director Alan Cripps a few weeks ago. Maybe ALCM would be better?

    Jeremy Carpenter Jeremy Carpenter, 10 July at 10:00AM

  4. Well said Andrew I share your view. When I mentioned it to a colleague last week I was told I was being pedantic!

    Stephen Owen Stephen Owen, 10 July at 10:23AM

  5. acronyms are often confusing and should be avoided unless they are in general public use - and then only after a full description. Good editorials will do this.

    David Crewe David Crewe, 10 July at 10:27AM

  6. I fully concur with Andrew as the first thing that crossed my mind was Asbestos Containing Materials

    Charles Holl Charles Holl, 11 July at 22:02PM

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