Grenfell-type cladding found on Scottish schools in 14 local authority areas

Written by Jenni Davidson on 14 July 2017 in News

The cladding type is not allowed on high-rise buildings in Scotland, but is allowed on lower buildings

Grenfell Tower fire - Image credit: PA

Cladding of the type used on the Grenfell tower has been found on a number of low-rise schools in 14 local authority areas in Scotland, the Scottish Government has said.

Checks are being carried out by councils and the fire service across the country to ensure that where the aluminium composite material has been used on buildings, it has been fitted according to building regulations.

Scottish building standards regulations means the type of product used on Grenfell Tower should not be used in their cladding systems for high rise domestic properties.

However, aluminium composite material (ACM) can be used as part of the cladding systems of other buildings in certain circumstances.


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No high rise domestic buildings owned by councils or housing associations have used ACM cladding and 30 of 32 local authorities have reported that ACM cladding has not been used on any privately owned high-rise domestic buildings either.

Edinburgh and Glasgow city councils are still carrying out investigations into buildings in their areas, which will take some time due to the numbers involved. 

No Scottish local authority-owned school buildings above 18 metres have the type of cladding reported to have been used on the Grenfell tower, but 14 councils have reported that a type of ACM has been used on a small number of low-rise schools.

Checks are currently being carried out by local authorities and the fire brigade to ensure that all of these have been fitted in accordance with building regulations. 

All of Scotland’s health boards have confirmed that none of their buildings use the ACM cladding type reported to have been used on Grenfell Tower.

However, additional checks have shown that eight NHS sites, including the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, have used solid aluminium with A1 non-combustible fire rating material and mineral wool insulation. 

Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board has been assured by Multiplex, the main contractor for the hospital construction, that the insulation material used in Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow – Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Insulation Boards – were properly installed to meet building and fire safety regulations.

The Scottish Government said: “This insulation is classified by the building regulations and is an acceptable product for use above 18 metres.

“We are confident this product has been used in a proper and safe manner in the hospital. Whilst this material was identified in recent media reports as being part of the cladding system on Grenfell Tower this was on less than five per cent of Grenfell Tower and not the material that has been the focus of investigations.”

The Scottish Government has also requested information regarding universities and colleges including student accommodation.

It said that initial indications were that there are no further issues expected. 

At the third meeting of a Ministerial Working Group to examine building and fire safety regulatory frameworks, which was chaired to by Angela Constance yesterday, plans were made for future work including an examination of automatic fire suppression systems such as sprinkler systems and a review of current building regulations.

Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities Angela Constance said: “While we continue to be confident that we have stringent building and fire safety regulations we cannot afford to be in any way complacent.

“That is why our work programme is evidence-led and our focus is prioritised.

“Checks continue across Scotland by both local authorities and the fire brigade to assess buildings and reassure people that adequate fire protection measures are in place.

“I’d like to reiterate my thanks to all local authorities, the fire and rescue service, housing associations and numerous other building owners across Scotland who continue to work extremely hard at the moment to reassure the public about the safety of their buildings.

“We’ll continue this partnership to ensure collectively we are doing our utmost to reassure members of the public of the safety of Scotland’s buildings.”

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