The Guardian wrote:Material used in the cladding that covered the Grenfell Tower was the cheaper, more flammable version of the two available options, an investigation of the supply chain has confirmed.
Omnis Exteriors manufactured the aluminium composite material (ACM) used in the cladding, a company director, John Cowley, confirmed to the Guardian.
He also said Omnis had been asked to supply Reynobond PE cladding, which is £2 cheaper per square metre than the alternative Reynobond FR, which stands for “fire resistant” to the companies that worked on refurbishing Grenfell Tower.
CorruptUser wrote:Yes they definitely need better standards of safety, but how are you going to get them to do that; with what money? Raising taxes on the poor would cause more deaths than it would prevent, and raising taxes on the rich is politically impossible, especially if it's for something that they aren't directly benefiting from.
Other countries seem to manage it just fine:
The Guardian wrote:German construction companies have been banned from using plastic-filled cladding, such as Reynobond PE, on towers more than 22 metres high since the 1980s when regulations were brought in to improve fire safety at residential blocks.
Concerns that the panels could exacerbate the spread of fires led authorities to allow them only on buildings that can be reached by the fire brigade using fully-extended ladders from the ground. Taller buildings require panels with a more fire-resistant core and separate staircases for people to use if evacuation becomes necessary.
Frankfurt’s fire chief, Reinhard Ries, said he was appalled at the fire at Grenfell Tower and said tighter fire-safety rules for tower blocks in Germany meant that a similar incident could not happen there. US building codes also restrict the use of metal-composite panels without flame-retardant cores on buildings above 15 metres.
Another cultural problem in the UK is an obsession with 'cutting red tape':
The Guardian wrote:But both Conservative and New Labour governments have been highly reluctant to introduce new public protections, even when the need is pressing. They have been highly amenable to tearing down existing protections at the behest of trade associations and corporate lobbyists. Deregulation of this kind is a central theme of the neoliberal ideology to which both the Conservatives and Labour under Tony Blair succumbed.
In 2014, the then housing minister (who is now the immigration minister), Brandon Lewis, rejected calls to force construction companies to fit sprinklers in the homes they built on the following grounds:
“In our commitment to be the first Government to reduce regulation, we have introduced the one in, two out rule for regulation … Under that rule, when the Government introduce a regulation, we will identify two existing ones to be removed. The Department for Communities and Local Government has gone further and removed an even higher proportion of regulations. In that context, Members will understand why we want to exhaust all non-regulatory options before we introduce any new regulations.”
In other words, though he accepted that sprinklers “are an effective way of controlling fires and of protecting lives and property”, to oblige builders to introduce them would conflict with the government’s deregulatory agenda. Instead, it would be left to the owners of buildings to decide how best to address the fire risk: “Those with responsibility for ensuring fire safety in their businesses, in their homes or as landlords, should and must make informed decisions on how best to manage the risks in their own properties,” Lewis said.