We were shocked and horrified to learn of the fire spreading throughout Grenfell Tower residential block and our thoughts are with those that have been affected by this terrible tragedy.
There have been questions raised by the press that the cladding system applied to the building may have contributed to the speed at which the fire has spread. It should be emphasised that it is far too early to speculate as to the probable cause and propagation of the fire. Notwithstanding this, we do feel the necessity to provide a degree of reassurance to those clients who have applied, specified and most importantly are living in high rise accommodation, in which SPSE external wall insulation systems have been used.
SPSenvirowall external wall insulation systems are fundamentally different from the ACM cassette rain screen cladding system which appears to have been used on this building. Where required, the SPSenvirowall systems have undergone full scale fire tests. SPSenvirowall as well as organisations such as BRE and Warrington Fire Research are familiar with how EWI system generally perform in relation to fire and as such do not present a threat to the occupants within buildings clad with our EWI systems.
Over the many years these systems have been used, there have been incidences of fires in individual flats where SPSE and other similar external wall insulation system have been applied. It is our understanding that in each case fire damage to the cladding has been limited to the localised area of the fire, which is reflective of what occurs when we carry out a full scale test of our system. In summary, in both tests and actual fires, from our experience the fire does not spread across the building and damage is localised to the immediate source of the fire.
We will await the findings of the investigations that will follow before we can comment further.
Mitchell A. Gee