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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 1st 2019
     
    Posted By: fostertomYes, looks Fire Service management failed to upate their thinking in the face of ... what?

    The Fire Service failed to plan for the circumstances they faced, and failed to execute any plan at all on the night. They just muddled through. That absolutely indicates extremely poor leadership, irrespective of your political hobbyhorses.

    +1 to what lineweight said.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeNov 1st 2019
     
    However, leadership and management on the ground was not good enough.

    Writing on a wall the flat numbers is hardly the way to do it. Then not knowing what flats had been checked and who was in what flat, sending firefighters to the same flat multiple times but none to other flats directly contributed to the number of fatalities.

    Yes it shouldn't have happened, but that is war; you have to be flexible and assess everything as it is, not what you expect it to be. By the accounts I have read, is was chaos and the leadership was severly lacking.

    Interestingly, LFB have just re-introduced a rank based system into their structure.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 1st 2019
     
    Posted By: borpinHowever, leadership and management on the ground was not good enough.

    Indeed, but training the management on the ground is the responsibility of the senior managers, and replacing the middle managers in the unlikely event they prove not capable of doing the job. Given when Dany Cotton took over, that's why I reckon Ron Dobson is largely to blame for the Fire Service's failings. But her saying she wouldn't change a thing, indicates the depth of her incomptence as well.

    And of course, the Fire Service isn't alone to blame, but we'll have to wait to hear the details about the pre-fire responsibility.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeNov 1st 2019
     
    Lineweight said:

    "I agree the Fire Service shouldn't have to be dealing with buildings that are unsafe due to lax regulation (...)"

    However, should not the fire service be having the *final say* in commissioning the building (or re-commissioning it after heavy renovation works" ?

    whatever happened to yearly inspections ?

    I (naively...) thought that this Oban hotel affair cleared everything up:

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13115152.safety-legacy-of-hotel-death-fire-is-remembered-40-years-later/

    "It led to the passing of the Fire Precaution Act 1971, which came into force the following year. The new act required hoteliers to obtain a fire certificate from the fire brigade."

    Cotton needs to be prosecuted, it happened on HER watch...

    gg
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2019 edited
     
    Posted By: gyrogearI (naively...) thought that this Oban hotel affair cleared everything up:
    Fire regulation is devolved to Scotland.

    All fire safety legislation in England and Wales is gathered under ‘The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005’

    In Scotland there is the 'FIRE (SCOTLAND) ACT 2005' and an SSI 'Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006'

    https://www2.gov.scot/resource/0040/00401614.pdf is a good explanation of the legislation and the history of it.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2019
     
    Posted By: djhAnd of course, the Fire Service isn't alone to blame, but we'll have to wait to hear the details about the pre-fire responsibility.
    From the point where the fire occurred, there is no one else culpable (which is what my post is about). That it should not have happened is a different issue and I think the inquiry was right to differentiate between the 2.
  1.  
    I won't be quick to blame the fire service. They were dealing with a fire in a high rise according to the procedures of the day. Imagine the outcry if the procedures had not been followed and deaths had occurred.

    The fire service could not have had any foresight as to how the fire would progress and whilst you could argue the established procedures should have been dumped sooner and evacuation ordered it would be a brave officer with the propensity for finger pointing blame after the event that follows any disaster today to go out on a limb and depart from procedures because they would be dammed if they do - and as it turns out - dammed if they don't. And yes there was a level of chaos but with so many firefighters and such an unprecedented event with no time to schedule a coordinated clockwork like action with different procedures some confusion is unavoidable. There is of course the enquiry acting as such thing do - with hindsight

    Posted By: gyrogearwhatever happened to yearly inspections ?

    The annual inspection would not be looking at the potential chimney effect and fire risk of the cladding nor would it be looking at the gaps in the window frame that allowed the fire to spread to the cladding. That would not be part of that inspection.

    The fire safety would have been part of the planning process sign off for windows and cladding but I don't know who - if anyone - would have the responsibility to say 'the quality of this work (gaps in the window frame that allowed the fire into the cladding) is a fire risk rather than just say the gap is poor quality work. I doubt that the inspections went to the level of detail that every flat was inspected rather than 'batch inspection'

    Apparently there was a complaint shortly before the fire that there were gaps around the window and some ineffective remedial work was done - but who would (should?) see this as an increased fire risk?

    A comment that I heard recently from Dany Cotton was that there have been several fires in high rise since Grenfell and the stay put policy is still followed and in those fires the policy was correct.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2019
     
    Posted By: borpinFrom the point where the fire occurred, there is no one else culpable (which is what my post is about).

    That's not quite true, from what I understand. Whoever made the encryption setting on the video feed from the police helicopter was also culpable, for example, but not to anything like the same extent as fire service management of course.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2019
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryThey were dealing with a fire in a high rise according to the procedures of the day.

    The point is that those procedures were both wrong and inadequate, in that they resulted in a lot of avoidable deaths and confusion on the ground. Responsibility for the procedures lies with the fire service.

    The fire service could not have had any foresight as to how the fire would progress

    Of course they could, and in fact did! There was a safety briefing about previous similar fires such as Lakanal House prior to Grenfell, and apparently Cotton chose not to attend it, despite being in charge of safety at the time.

    I'll wait for the rest of the inquiry before commenting on issues regarding the pre-fire aspects.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Looks like another fire that has migrated into the cladding in Manchester this time. Student accommodation. Evacuating apparently...
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Posted By: borpinLooks like another fire that has migrated into the cladding in Manchester this time. Student accommodation. Evacuating apparently...

    Do you have a link?
  2.  
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTime4 days ago edited
     
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-50445311

    It appears that the fire started at the top so less disruptive than Grenfell, but the containment between flats on that floor appears to be suspect.

    Some of the students need a Darwin Award.

    "I heard the fire alarm going off but it kept on going off so I just thought it was a drill at first, until one of my flatmates shouted down the corridor that it was a real fire,"

    So at the point you decided it must be a drill, did you not think to evacuate?

    I've had experience of a refurbished building where the sounders were not good enough. Found that out on the first drill...

    Contractors back that day with their sound meters.

    Sprinklers would appear not to be part of the build. Really; student accommodation.

    My thought after Grenfell was that some sort of water curtain on the outside of the building might provide sufficient suppression. You could retrofit that reasonably easily.
  3.  
    Certainly will be interesting to find out what the cladding was and how it contributed here. Seems to be new build, only a few years old. It looks like the fire did not spread downwards, at least.
      Screen Shot 2019-11-16 at 12.54.44.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime4 days ago
     
    Thanks for the links. Bolton was the bit of information that I didn't have when I first searched. Here's another:

    https://www.urbanstudentlife.com/accommodation/bolton/the-cube
  4.  
    It looks like the panels on this building were HPL rather than aluminium.

    https://www.ft.com/content/bb1e05b4-0896-11ea-b2d6-9bf4d1957a67

    HPL panels are what were on the Lakanal building

    https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/news/next-grenfell-style-disaster-will-be-in-hpl-clad-tower-says-academic-59891
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    On a slightly different aspect, some of the reports say all that was left were the framework and some students said they could see out where there had been walls. And the pictures seem to show steels and void behind. So apart from the cladding, what was the rest of the construction? What was the insulation? Fireproof compartmentation?

    i.e. a cladding fire would have been spectacular but shouldn't have caused any damage inside the building. So what else was burning?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    I heard one TV reporter say the cladding was of a "wood fibre type".
  5.  
    Being reported as HPL cladding with Kingspan phenolic board behind. Also described as being 'reclad in 2018' - is this an old building? Post Grenfell re-clad?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    Posted By: Simon Stillis this an old building?

    I read something which I think said it was built in 2015, so I was surprised to read about (re)cladding in 2018, especially with combustible HPL.
  6.  
    I think the building is in two blocks with a shared podium, each block facing onto a different parallel street. One of them looks like a refurb of an old building, and the other (the one that caught fire) seems to be newbuild. You can see this on google streetview if you look at photos from 2015 or so.
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTime3 days ago edited
     
    Posted By: djhOn a slightly different aspect, some of the reports say all that was left were the framework and some students said they could see out where there had been walls. And the pictures seem to show steels and void behind. So apart from the cladding, what was the rest of the construction? What was the insulation? Fireproof compartmentation?

    i.e. a cladding fire would have been spectacular but shouldn't have caused any damage inside the building. So what else was burning?


    yup, it certainly looks like the whole wall buildup went - not just the cladding. The structure holding up the roof seems to have survived though.

    What we can't know from the 'after' photos is how long the various bits survived. For example, did the compartmentation survive for the length of time it was supposed to, even if it eventually burnt through?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime3 days ago edited
     
    The planning application appears to be at https://www.planningpa.bolton.gov.uk/online-applications-17/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=DCAPR_83402 with minor changes at https://www.planningpa.bolton.gov.uk/online-applications-17/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=DCAPR_85319

    Sadly planning applications don't include building regs details of course, but there are some materials listed on the sectional drawings. It seems the top of the building probably burnt because it was HPL laminate on timber frame and plywood with UPVC windows to help destroy the compartmentation. It seems they should have been caught by 18 m rules though.
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