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CROSS Safety Report

Combustible insulation under rainscreen cladding

Report ID: 726 Published: 1 April 2018 Region: CROSS-UK

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Overview

Whilst walking past a tall residential building under construction, a reporter observed the facade build-up to consist of combustible insulation with a rainscreen cladding.

Key Learning Outcomes

For all built environment professionals:

  • People with knowledge about safety systems may often observe matters of concern but not know how to act on the knowledge

  • This report sets out a range of suggestions to help ensure that the knowledge is shared and acted on, including:

    • notifying the principal contractor responsible for the work

    • notifying the building owner

    • contacting the relevant local authority

    • contacting the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

    • contacting the Fire and Rescue service

Full Report

Find out more about the Full Report

Our secure and confidential safety reporting system gives professionals the opportunity to share their experiences to help others. If you would like to know more, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.

A tall residential building is being constructed in a UK city. Whilst walking past, a reporter observed the facade build-up to consist of combustible insulation with a rainscreen cladding.

They have no professional involvement in the project and are unaware of its fire strategy; whether the facade build-up is an approved, tested system, or if a desk study was conducted for the project.

However, in light of recent events, particularly for projects with a high number of sleeping residents, the use of combustible insulation causes the reporter great concern.

Expert Panel Comments

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Expert Panels comment on the reports we receive. They use their experience to help you understand what can be learned from the reports. If you would like to know more, please visit the CROSS-UK Expert Panels page.

The reporter is right to be concerned after the large number of reported problems. It is hoped that with all the publicity post Grenfell that no current design or construction team can be unaware of the risk. However, prudence is required, and general advice is given below for reporting issues for buildings under construction and for existing buildings.

Reporting issues for a building under construction

If you are concerned about work being carried out, in the first instance you may wish to notify the principal contractor responsible for the work. You can also contact the relevant local authority, who will have an interest in the safety of buildings in their area.

You might also contact the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who is the enforcing authority in respect of fire safety during construction activities. However, concerns about the design of the building, materials used and adherence to building regulations are best referred to the local authority building control department.

For an occupied residential building under refurbishment, the Fire and Rescue service are the authority responsible for general fire precautions in the building, such as means of escape, alarms and fire-fighting equipment.

For an occupied residential building under refurbishment, the Fire and Rescue service are the authority responsible for general fire precautions in the building, such as means of escape, alarms and fire-fighting equipment.

Reporting issues for an existing building

If you are concerned about the safety of an existing building, you may wish to notify the building owner. You can also contact the relevant local authority, who will have an interest in the safety of buildings in their area.

For an occupied residential building under refurbishment, the Fire and Rescue service are the authority responsible for general fire precautions in the building, such as means of escape, alarms and fire-fighting equipment.

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Our secure and confidential safety reporting system gives professionals the opportunity to share their experiences to help others.