Socialist Worker

Thin cladding used on Grenfell passed test

Issue No. 2744

The cladding used on Grenfell Tower was flammable

The cladding used on Grenfell Tower was flammable (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A person responsible for testing the cladding used on Grenfell Tower said he was “not aware” of a weakness in the panels.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry into the deaths of 72 people heard from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) last week. It carried out testing on the flammable insulation that was put on Grenfell.

Insulation firm Celotex’s product failed a test in February 2014. Celotex passed a second test in May 2014, but by using thinner boards to strengthen the cladding panels. Phil Clark from the BRE—who also advised Celotex on how to pass—did not mention this in his test report.

Witnesses claim they had “no doubt” Clark was aware of the boards. During cross-examination he denied this, despite signing a delivery note showing the panels were 8mm rather than 12mm.

Clark said, “What you need to appreciate is at any one time I could have had seven or eight projects I was working on.”

“That’s not credible, is it, really?” counsel for the inquiry Richard Millett QC replied.


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