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Fire safety: More cladding fails DCLG tests

The Department for Communities and Local Government has announced that the latest cladding system to be tested, which includes a fire-retardant inner filler, has failed to meet safety standards.

In the third in a series of large-scale tests conducted by the Buildings Research Establishment, the system of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding that includes a fire-retardant ployethylene filler with PIR foam insulation was found to fall short of current Building Regulations guidance.

According to the DCLG, more than a dozen buildings in England over 18 m tall are known to have this combination of ACM and filler/insulation in the cladding systems.

The BRE tests are being conducted following the fire that ripped through Grenfell Tower on 14 June, leaving at least 80 people dead.

In a letter to former Grenfell residents on 9 August, communities secretary Sajid Javid said: “Since the tragedy, a large fire safety testing programme has been under way.

“The results of this make it clear that we need to further understand how current Building Regulations and fire safety works, in order to make them as effective as possible in the future.

“We appreciate this cannot undo what has already happened, but the government is working hard to ensure it never happens again.”

The latest fire test results come a week after the DCLG announced that cladding used on more than 100 towers across England also failed the second series of fire safety tests.

Results from the second wave of tests found that ‘as installed’ mock-ups of walls consisting of ACM and a polyethylene filler with stone wool insulation did not meet current Building Regulations guidance.

The DCLG said that 111 buildings are known to have this combination of materials in their cladding systems, 90 of which are owned by either a local authority or a housing association.

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