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Old 16th June 2017, 19:57 #21
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I just found out that tower is mostly public housing with the tenants' rent paid by the government.

The tower went through a 10 million GBP renovation last year.

I am sure the owners didn't pay for that renovation. They have nothing to gain financially by doing so:

it's not like they can raise the rent and attract more tenants who are willing to pay a higher rent - public housing means the rent is capped and controlled by the government, at least that's the way it's done here in the USA.

So I am thinking 10 million GBP worth of renovation and they, the owner(s) and the compan(ies) who did the work couldn't even install a sprinkler system or a fire alarm system???

I am also thinking the government subsidized most of that 10 million GBP and the owner(s) found a contractor or contractors who did the work at the lowest cost using the cheapest materials and both the owner and contractor(s) pocketed most of that 10 million GBP.

The government needs to investigate where that 10 million GBP went and how was it spent.
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Old 20th June 2017, 04:54 #22
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I've just posted the BBC One UK Panorama series documentary that aired on 6/19/2017 UK time, about this tragedy, here:

http://eropict.ru/t886494-pa...hame-720p.html

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Old 20th June 2017, 16:21 #23

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Originally Posted by Namcot View Post

The tower went through a 10 million GBP renovation last year.

So I am thinking 10 million GBP worth of renovation and they, the owner(s) and the compan(ies) who did the work couldn't even install a sprinkler system or a fire alarm system???

There was a fire alarm system. Many residents claim to have complained in the past that it sometimes could not be heard. No doubt that will form part of any enquiry.

Other things to bear in mind...

When these buildings are designed, the "idea" is that a fire in any one flat would be contained within that flat. This is what usually happens in such fires and I have attended fires where this has been the case. I suspect that would have been the case here had the building not undergone "cladding" with unsuitable materials. This cladding is thought to be the reason that the fire was able to spread across and up the front of the structure. I have no doubt (personally) that the enquiry will support that suspicion.

A sprinkler system may have helped to control the fire spread and, as has been previously stated in other posts, such systems are mandatory in new high-rise builds in the UK.
The later installation of a sprinkler system in older buildings such as that involved here is not solely down to cost.. Other factors have to be borne in mind. The after-build installation of a sprinkler system would involve a massive amount of structural work and one consideration would have to be whether the installation of such a system would adversely affect the structural integrity of the building. With a new-build, this is factored in at design stage and is not (usually) an issue.

A building such as Grenfell Tower would be fitted with a "dry riser". This is a system of pipework within the building that allows fire crews to get water up to higher levels. Basically, a pump would connect to an inlet at ground level and "charge" the pipework within the building. A crew then goes internally to the affected floor(s), connects to an outlet on that floor and fire-fights from that level or more usually one floor below... In this case, the fire was initially fought from the exterior, no doubt whilst crew were attempting to connect to the dry riser, charge it and enter the building. The rapid spread (vertically initially) of the fire rendered that attack more or less redundant.

As a slight aside, the taller high-rise building are fitted with "wet risers" - look it up online if you want to know the difference..

One final point... Bear in mind that the rapid spread of the fire shocked and surprised even seasoned firefighters.. rapid decisions had to be made as to the best way to fire-fight and try to ensure the safety of crews and members of the public.

Trust me when I say that entering a burning building, especially one so heavily involved, is like walking (or in most cases crawling) into hell - not like is it in the movies.

You can't see more than a few inches in smoke, your heart is racing, you are sweating like a pig and shit scared.

You are physically stressed from dragging equipment or a hose line with you. Your mind is working overtime trying to compute everything you need to know - including your escape route. You sincerely hope that your mate, by your side backing you up, is on the ball.

The firefighters that went into that building were bloody brave people. They would be working in horrendous conditions and would see sights they will never, ever forget . London, and indeed everyone, should be proud of them...

I know I am.
Last edited by Overlander; 20th June 2017 at 16:28. Reason: Spelling correction.
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Old 21st June 2017, 00:25 #24
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Exclamation

So 10 Million Great Britain Pound is not enough money to install a fire suppression sprinkler system on a 24 stories building?

I am sure the cladding that was put up throughtout the entire outside of the building from top to bottom didn't cost 10 million Great Britain Pound.

That's equal to $1.236 million. I would think that's more than enough money to install a fire suppression system on a 24 stories building.
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Old 21st June 2017, 03:37 #25
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Originally Posted by Namcot View Post
That's equal to $1.236 million. I would think that's more than enough money to install a fire suppression system on a 24 stories building.
Not for the first time, your arithmetic is wrong - it's $12.36 million. See below for why a sprinkler system was not installed.

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.
The later installation of a sprinkler system in older buildings such as that involved here is not solely down to cost.
No - but a Tenant Management Organisation that seems to have baulked at paying an extra £7,000 (on a £10 million project!) for the fireproof version of cladding panels is unlikely to spend the well documented cost of £1,200 per apartment on installing a sprinkler system which is not mandatory.
Poor people/immigrants/refugees should damn well be satisfied with what they've been given and not bellyache about something they'd not have a hope of getting at their own cost and/or in their country of origin.

Quote:
The after-build installation of a sprinkler system would involve a massive amount of structural work and one consideration would have to be whether the installation of such a system would adversely affect the structural integrity of the building. With a new-build, this is factored in at design stage and is not (usually) an issue.
It's my understanding that this is not the case. The Callow Mount Project I mentioned in a previous post used a ground level electric pumping system and caused no structural issues. Large capacity (and very heavy) water storage tanks were not required at roof level to make the system work effectively.

Quote:
One final point... Bear in mind that the rapid spread of the fire shocked and surprised even seasoned firefighters.. rapid decisions had to be made as to the best way to fire-fight and try to ensure the safety of crews and members of the public.
..and not for the first time - see my reference to the Lakanal House incident in 2009 in a previous post. As I've previously posted, we have been assured that 'lessons will be learned' by the government but why were the lessons of 2009 ignored?

You'll not get any argument from me regarding the bravery of the LFB personnel - true heroes the lot of them. That goes for all firefighters.

The real tragedy is that this incident was totally avoidable.
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Old 21st June 2017, 11:05 #26

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Originally Posted by TRX75 View Post

It's my understanding that this is not the case. The Callow Mount Project I mentioned in a previous post used a ground level electric pumping system and caused no structural issues. Large capacity (and very heavy) water storage tanks were not required at roof level to make the system work effectively.

..and not for the first time - see my reference to the Lakanal House incident in 2009 in a previous post. As I've previously posted, we have been assured that 'lessons will be learned' by the government but why were the lessons of 2009 ignored?

The real tragedy is that this incident was totally avoidable.

Just to address the three points I have snipped from your excellent post..

Most modern sprinkler systems avoid the use of upper-level water tanks. They usually use a pumped system as a tank-fed system presents it's own problems vis:
a) Limited water supply..
b) Pumps still required to get water to the high level tanks in the first place. Mains pressure will not do it. Check out how high water will rise from a hose charged at 150 pounds pressure - not very high at all - as evidenced by the video shown on TV last week.
c) Discharge pressure from tanks is relatively low - especially so at high floor levels just below the tanks.

The structural strength problem I outlined is not to do with heavy tanks but due to the massive number of holes, accesses and ducts that would need to be cut through an old(ish) concrete building. We are talking about installing large capacity pipework throughout the entire structure. I'm not a building consultant so cannot quote figures but listening to a chap on the news last week who was seemingly qualified to to objectively comment, he made the very point that I made regarding structural integrity. Cutting holes in a building cannot be done without some regard to possibly compromising overall building strength. Not to say it wouldn't be possible - it's just not as easy or safe as many folks think.


With regard to the Lakanal House incident in 2009 I agree fully... Government claimed that lessons would be learned. They never are. The government and many agencies say stuff to appease the masses at times of crisis. Another example would be the floods in recent years.. "This won't happen again" they cry "we will make sure of that"..

Not till next year anyway..



I also agree that this was a totally avoidable incident. If proper thought had been given to the type of cladding (if any) that was installed this tragedy would have been much more limited in it's scope and, I suspect, more or less confined to localised fire damage.
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Old 21st June 2017, 20:27 #27
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Thanks for that - I'm with you now. As a civil engineer whose involvement with building construction is a distant memory, I have good knowledge of structures but rather less about sprinkler systems and their associated pipework requirements.

It's difficult to get unbiased, independent information. For example, the Callow Mount Project was headed by the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association and didn't mention any structural issues. A cynic would say that they have a vested interest in making retro-fitting systems appear to be as easy as pie. However, I've not seen any arguments against their cost evaluation but that may only come about when retro-fitting is finally made mandatory.

I've relied on a report from the Chief Fire Officers Association to demonstrate the effectiveness of sprinklers when it comes to saving lives and property. That report asserts that 'It's easy to install sprinklers in existing buildings' and the revelation that 'In the UK, there has never been a fire death in a fully sprinklered building' tells me all I need to know. The CFOA's vested interest would be the safety of firefighters and I've no problem at all with that.

Chief Fire Officers Association - Sprinklers

Many thanks for your invaluable contribution to this topic.
Last edited by TRX75; 21st June 2017 at 20:38. Reason: added link
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Old 21st June 2017, 22:38 #28

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Thanks for that - I'm with you now. As a civil engineer whose involvement with building construction is a distant memory, I have good knowledge of structures but rather less about sprinkler systems and their associated pipework requirements.

It's difficult to get unbiased, independent information. For example, the Callow Mount Project was headed by the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association and didn't mention any structural issues. A cynic would say that they have a vested interest in making retro-fitting systems appear to be as easy as pie. However, I've not seen any arguments against their cost evaluation but that may only come about when retro-fitting is finally made mandatory.

I've relied on a report from the Chief Fire Officers Association to demonstrate the effectiveness of sprinklers when it comes to saving lives and property. That report asserts that 'It's easy to install sprinklers in existing buildings' and the revelation that 'In the UK, there has never been a fire death in a fully sprinklered building' tells me all I need to know. The CFOA's vested interest would be the safety of firefighters and I've no problem at all with that.

Chief Fire Officers Association - Sprinklers

Many thanks for your invaluable contribution to this topic.



As I said, I am neither a structural nor civil engineer and my points with regard to the structural concerns were based only on what I have learned from others. I agree that all parties concerned will have their own agendas and vested interests.

One thing I am sure about though is that had the building had an effective sprinkler system and fire resistant cladding the incident would not have even made the news..

I sincerely hope that the valuable lessons have been learned by the authorities but it is a pity that it took such a tragedy to highlight the issues.

Thank you for your comments.
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Old 22nd June 2017, 01:25 #29
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I live high up in a beautiful apartment, spread over two floors, in a 25 storey tower that may be defined as 'social housing', however given its very central London location (near the city centre, the river Thames, West End, and City) means that many of the dwellings are now privately owned, and the average price is £1/2M+ on the open market.

I can look out of my window and set my watch by Big Ben, and can also walk there in about a quarter hour at a leisurely pace.

Yet the building itself owned and run by the local authority ('The City' for our US members) and doesn't have a sprinkler system and many of my neighbours are concerned by this.

We are organised as an association, and our next step is to fight for fire safety improvements to be made.

Our residents include architects, lawyers, media professionals so we stand a good chance of successfully making our case for these much needed improvements.
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Old 22nd June 2017, 17:13 #30
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I sincerely wish you the best of luck with that alexora. Many years ago I used to work high up in the CIS Tower in Manchester. That was bad enough but I couldn't sleep at night if I lived at high level.

Hopefully, the Public Inquiry's interim report will recommend the retro-fitting of sprinklers and if so, I'd guess you'd be towards the front of a very long queue.

It doesn't bode well that the Prime Minister said 'Sprinkler systems may not be the way forward' in the House this morning. She also had the gall to say that the resignation of the CEO of K&CBC was the right thing to do as their initial response had been severely lacking. 'Hello! Pot calling kettle. How black are we!'

The good news is that at least one London Council is doing the right thing by it's tenants without waiting for the results of the Inquiry. Lets hope it's the start of a trend.

Croydon Council to install fire sprinklers in tallest housing
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