Grenfell Fire

Like everyone, I was horrified by the events of June 14, 2017. I felt additionally anguished because I had written so often about poor standards and corner cutting in construction, without ever imagining the consequences would be so devastating. But we knew, didn’t we, that risks were – and still are – being taken.

I wrote a long piece for Passive House Plus looking at the background to the catastrophe: in particular, examining how such highly combustible cladding might have come to be used. That article is here: Grenfell Tower – how did it happen?

I also wrote a follow-up piece on the concerns of many fire experts that too much information about product testing was being kept secret due to commercial confidentiality – and that that the information that was kept secret, might have led to better design choices had it been available. The story also contained calls for combustible materials to be banned entirely from tall buildings as they are in several other countries. A further news item reported Dame Judith’s shock at the lack of accountability and the obvious opportunities for corner-cutting in mainstream construction

And I contributed to some of the very thorough coverage of the subject in Inside Housing magazine – you can read the relevant articles here and here (you may need to create an account to read these if you are not an IH subscriber).