Grenfell refurb and cladding firms to open second phase of inquiry

27 January 2020 | By Neil Gerrard

Rydon Maintenance, the contractor responsible for refurbishing Grenfell Tower ahead of the devastating fire in 2017 in which 72 people died, is due to make its opening statement today as the second phase of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry begins.

Rydon’s subcontractor Harley Facades and Studio E Architects are also due to make their opening statements today, followed tomorrow by fire safety testing firm Exova (UK), ACM cladding panel provider Arconic Architectural Products, Celotex, whose insulation products were used in the tower’s refurbishment, CEP Architectural Facades and subcontractor Osborne Berry.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry is chaired by retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick. In its first phase, the Inquiry examined what happened on the night of 14 June 2017, when the Grenfell Tower disaster occurred. The second phase is setting its sights on the testing and certification of building materials’ reaction to fire.

Grenfell Tower underwent a £10m refurbishment by contractor Rydon that was completed in 2016. During hearings for the first phase of the inquiry, the London Fire Brigade’s (LFB) lawyers sought to argue that the building was “catastrophically non-compliant with fire safety requirements”.


There would appear to be much angst in this enquiry and from the limited information that is reaching the public domain people appear to be working from the event backwards. This on the face of it would appear to be an appropriate route to take. However, given my experience in carrying out extensive investigations should the committee be looking at the start at the beginning and working to the event.
This would answer many questions in a more chronological order and bring a greater understanding to the process.
This was a horrific event that should never have happened and as a surveyor my heart goes out to all whom have been affected.

Rod Appleyard, 27 January 2020

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