Many combustible cladding tower blocks not disclosed, RICS warns

13 June 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

The number of tower blocks clad with combustible ACM cladding could be much higher than official figures suggest, a fire safety expert has warned.

Speaking at the Royal Institute of British Architects fire safety conference, Gary Strong, director of practice standards and technical guidance at RICS, claimed that many owners of private blocks had not yet disclosed the presence of ACM cladding similar to that used on Grenfell Tower.

He estimated that the number buildings identified as having combustible ACM cladding could turn out to be more than double the 323 identified in the last report by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHCLG), according to Inside Housing.

The news came ahead of the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower blaze, on 14 June 2017, in which 72 people died.

A total of 138 of the 323 buildings over 18 metres tall identified so far were privately owned residential buildings, including hotels and student accommodation.

Strong told Construction Manager: "Our priority here is to prevent another tragedy, and that will only happen if the industry is transparent about the current situation.

"There is no doubt that many private block owners have not yet disclosed ACM cladding & insulation similar to that used on Grenfell. It’s essential that they do so."

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