Council told to remove Chalcots cladding immediately after latest fire safety test failed
"These further test results don’t tell us anything new and they support our decision," says council leader
02 August, 2017 — By William McLennan
The combination of cladding and insulation failed government tests
RESIDENTS of the Chalcots estate have demanded that flammable cladding is removed from their homes immediately after it was revealed tonight that it had failed a further round of safety tests.
A mock up of the combination of the exterior panels and fire-resistant insulation installed on the towers in Adelaide Road was set alight in a laboratory and failed to stop the spread of flames.
The blocks were evacuated in June after it was found that the cladding – made of aluminium composite material (ACM) with a plastic core – was similar to that at Grenfell Tower.
Camden Council made a committed to remove the cladding as soon as the results of the first test were known, but told residents that their homes were different to the tower block in west London were a fire spread rapidly around the exterior, claiming the lives of at least 80 people.
Camden said at the time that the “rock wool” insulation used “will not burn”.
Last night the Department for Communities and Local Government said that combination of cladding and rock wool did not meet current building regulations and “present a significant fire hazard”.
It is understood that the test failed on the basis of the paneling, with the rock wool insufficient to delay the spread of fire.
The DCLG advised that all cladding be removed and replaced with fire-retardant panels and insulation.
Council leader Georgia Gould said: “We made a commitment to residents to remove the cladding panels on the Chalcots and that commitment remains. This decision was based on the results of tests in June that showed that the outer cladding panels on the Chalcots towers are combustible.
“We are yet to receive a full technical briefing from the Government but we have been informed that these further test results don’t tell us anything new and they support our decision.
“We will of course follow any additional safety guidance that is recommended. We continue to take active measures to make sure our residents are safe and we’ll continue with our plan to remove and replace cladding panels as soon as we can. ”