In light of the recent tragic events which saw many lives lost in the Grenfell Tower fire, Arconic, who supplied the component Reynobond PE (polyethylene) used in the overall cladding system of Grenfell Tower, has issued a statement saying that they will be discontinuing the sale of the product for use on high-rise flats with immediate effect. The statement, which was released on June 26 reads:
“I wanted to reach out to make you aware of a change to our product offering. Effective immediately, we have made the decision to discontinue global sales of Reynobond PE for use in high-rise applications.
As you may have seen in media reports, this product was used as one component in the overall cladding system of Grenfell Tower. We believe this discontinuation is the right decision because of the inconsistency of building codes across the world and issues that have arisen in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy regarding code compliance of cladding systems in the context of a building’s overall designs.
The loss of lives, injuries and destruction following the Grenfell Tower fire are devastating, and we are fully committed to supporting the authorities as they investigate this tragedy.”
Since the fire, the Government ordered that fire safety tests were carried out on other high-rise buildings. Since then it has been revealed that 190 samples out of 191 have failed these tests. An effort is being made to identify other buildings with the same cladding material used on the Grenfell Tower. Camden council have since evacuated 650 households from four tower blocks after fire safety experts stated that they were unable to guarantee the safety of residents in those blocks. So far, the cladding on these high-rise flats has a 100% fail rate when it comes to testing for combustibility.
In an interview with the BBC, the chief executive of the National Housing Federation, David Orr said: “Having had 120 different tests… I think we can now say that according to the tests that the Government is carrying out, this cladding is not fit for purpose. We don’t need to test any more of it… There is a lot of time and energy going into moving kit and equipment around the country to do the tests… Let’s take a step back and prioritise exactly what we do to make people feel safe and secure at home.”
The Government has ordered a public enquiry into the events that took place and Sir Martin Moore-Bick, a former Queen’s Council and Lord Justice of Appeal, has been appointed to lead this enquiry. This story is developing daily and will be updated.