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London's burning

On the radio the other day - the little known British Board of Agrement got a mention at the enquiry, deals with approval of building materials. Something about BBA not being aware of the problems with fire tests. So there's another party dragged in.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
On the radio the other day - the little known British Board of Agrement got a mention at the enquiry, deals with approval of building materials. Something about BBA not being aware of the problems with fire tests. So there's another party dragged in.
I spent some time working on a contract there, its a very well organised place, built on an old wartime airfield, they have a model of the dams there that features in the film, they carry out very exhaustive testing of products, I wonder whether the cladding was not submitted for testing for the specified use ?

 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
I spent some time working on a contract there, its a very well organised place, built on an old wartime airfield, they have a model of the dams there that features in the film, they carry out very exhaustive testing of products, I wonder whether the cladding was not submitted for testing for the specified use ?

According to my offspring the cladding failed the test, then a second sample was submitted which passed.

Of course the second sample had been doctored and was not representative of what was sold after the test was passed.
 
I spent some time working on a contract there, its a very well organised place, built on an old wartime airfield, they have a model of the dams there that features in the film, they carry out very exhaustive testing of products, I wonder whether the cladding was not submitted for testing for the specified use ?
Might you be confusing BBA and BRE? BRE had a good reputation in the research field (it's their dam model). BBA do confirmatory testing that, being an "independent" organisation, "legitimises" products though I'm wary of organisations that are funded by the manufacturer whose product they are testing* **.

*even though I used to work for an independent testing consultancy. Difference is that we were generally engaged by specifiers or users and didn't issue certificates for public use.

**BBA certificates best use (IMHO) is to compare against manufacturers' instructions as they seem to omit fewer vital requirements and limitations.
 

colinmc400

Swinger
I happened to come across a Youtube clip last night, about the Summerland fire on the Isle of Man in 1974. It beggars belief what was allowed to happen there, with regard to selection and approval of materials. The flammability of lots of different plastics was known about, yet the approvals were granted and people like the Fire Chief, who could have vetoed their use, were kept completely in the dark.

Looks like we have learnt nothing when it comes to making more money!

As a side note, i was 8 years old when the Summerland fire happened and was on holiday in Douglas at the time. We had been to the swimming pool part of this complex on the previous 3 days and were due to go again, but as the weather was rubbish outside, my Mum kept us back in the hotel. Who knows how differently that might have played out for my family.
 
That raises even more questions. With so much outsourced and contracted out, who monitors standards of refuse collection? Who takes action against residents who make a mess?

The janitor / warden who always lives on the ground floor next to the entrance of the block.
He got the flat very cheap as he took on the responsibility for keeping an eye on all the comings and goings with all their Safety and Social welfare issues.

Ground floor flat suited him as his legs were a bit stiff from that crash / shrapnel / bullet he had sustained a few years back.
He had also learned a lot about social cohesion and earned a few stripes for it.

What ? The Council and their privatised 'partners' don't do this anymore !

Madness !
 
I happened to come across a Youtube clip last night, about the Summerland fire on the Isle of Man in 1974. It beggars belief what was allowed to happen there, with regard to selection and approval of materials. The flammability of lots of different plastics was known about, yet the approvals were granted and people like the Fire Chief, who could have vetoed their use, were kept completely in the dark.

Looks like we have learnt nothing when it comes to making more money!

As a side note, i was 8 years old when the Summerland fire happened and was on holiday in Douglas at the time. We had been to the swimming pool part of this complex on the previous 3 days and were due to go again, but as the weather was rubbish outside, my Mum kept us back in the hotel. Who knows how differently that might have played out for my family.
EX SERVICEMAN CHEATS DEATH WHILE ON HOLIDAY!!!
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
EX SERVICEMAN CHEATS DEATH WHILE ON HOLIDAY!!!
Or, if printed in a left wing rag, "Ex-serviceman leaves people to die in building collapse!"
 
Might you be confusing BBA and BRE? BRE had a good reputation in the research field (it's their dam model). BBA do confirmatory testing that, being an "independent" organisation, "legitimises" products though I'm wary of organisations that are funded by the manufacturer whose product they are testing* **.

*even though I used to work for an independent testing consultancy. Difference is that we were generally engaged by specifiers or users and didn't issue certificates for public use.

**BBA certificates best use (IMHO) is to compare against manufacturers' instructions as they seem to omit fewer vital requirements and limitations.

Wasn't BRE shut down, along with a lot of other government research centres? Or do bits of it live on in the private sector? In the good old days the BRE might just have seen a problem developing with the medium/high rise fires and done some research of its own.
 
I happened to come across a Youtube clip last night, about the Summerland fire on the Isle of Man in 1974. It beggars belief what was allowed to happen there, with regard to selection and approval of materials. The flammability of lots of different plastics was known about, yet the approvals were granted and people like the Fire Chief, who could have vetoed their use, were kept completely in the dark.

Looks like we have learnt nothing when it comes to making more money!

As a side note, i was 8 years old when the Summerland fire happened and was on holiday in Douglas at the time. We had been to the swimming pool part of this complex on the previous 3 days and were due to go again, but as the weather was rubbish outside, my Mum kept us back in the hotel. Who knows how differently that might have played out for my family.

ISTR a horrendous photo in the papers, Summerland still burning and a body lying against the see-through plastic wall.
 
Wasn't BRE shut down, along with a lot of other government research centres? Or do bits of it live on in the private sector? In the good old days the BRE might just have seen a problem developing with the medium/high rise fires and done some research of its own.
As it has been more than 20 years since I was last there, I had to look it up though I recall its funding gradually being reduced. It seems that it ceased to be a National Laboratory but continued some of its work as a privately funded organisation, currently operated as a charity.

I think last time I was there, they'd just built some weird trianglar-shaped eco-friendly houses, timber frame, timber clad, super insulated and maybe geo-thermally heated. Very scandinavian.
 
We had been to the swimming pool part of this complex on the previous 3 days and were due to go again, but as the weather was rubbish outside, my Mum kept us back in the hotel. Who knows how differently that might have played out for my family.
Madeleine McCann Walt.
 
Wasn't BRE shut down, along with a lot of other government research centres? Or do bits of it live on in the private sector? In the good old days the BRE might just have seen a problem developing with the medium/high rise fires and done some research of its own.
BRE had one of the balloon sheds at Cardington. They could build a 5 storey block inside, set fire to it and record all the parameters. They also used it it investigate fire extinguishing and fire fighting tactics.
 

Chef

LE
BRE had one of the balloon sheds at Cardington. They could build a 5 storey block inside, set fire to it and record all the parameters. They also used it it investigate fire extinguishing and fire fighting tactics.
'Let's build a five storey building in a bigger, listed, building and set it on fire. What could possibly go wrong.'

You've not thought this through have you? Was there an aroma of sulphur and a flash of purple?
 
'Let's build a five storey building in a bigger, listed, building and set it on fire. What could possibly go wrong.'

You've not thought this through have you? Was there an aroma of sulphur and a flash of purple?

The Cardi sheds are big enough to have their own internal climate....
 

Chef

LE
The Cardi sheds are big enough to have their own internal climate....
Which may negate the original premise:

'Shed's beyond saving boss.'

'Damn! But at least we've got lots of useful data for reference. It was worth the sacrifce.'

'Umm, you know it has it's own internal climate...?'

'Yes.'

'Well if a five storey building ever catches fire inside a bigger building then we've got loads of data. Outside, less so.'

But if your happy to put it on your flick then I'll bring the matches :)
 
'Let's build a five storey building in a bigger, listed, building and set it on fire. What could possibly go wrong.'

You've not thought this through have you? Was there an aroma of sulphur and a flash of purple?
This is what they did, they had their own crews on standby.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer

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