Grenfell Tower Fire London and refurbishment of properties with External Wall Insulation – Update

At Manor Estates Housing Association we have all been shocked to see the press images and TV Coverage of the fire spreading through the residential block in West London.  Our thoughts are with those that have been affected by this terrible tragedy.

Over the last 2 years Manor Estates Housing Association have undertaken refurbishment works to 711 tenant and owner occupied properties at various locations throughout Edinburgh, involving  the application of External Wall Insulation panels.

To answer questions and concerns expressed by householders we have been in touch with the manufacturers of the insulation panels and the Contractors who undertook the works:

Structherm Ltd. Panel Manufacturer:

Mitie Property Services Ltd. Contractor:

Properties at Telford

SPS Envirowall Ltd. Panel Manufacturer:

SERS Energy Solutions Ltd. Contractor:

Properties at Niddrie Mill, Muirhouse Place East and West, Ratho, South Queensferry and Sighthill

The Grenfell Tower Block appears to have been fitted with a Rain Screen Curtain Wall Façade System, using Aluminium Composite Material Cassette panels – basically two layers of aluminium sandwiching a thermoplastic core. The panels are then fixed to a rail system and sit out from the concrete structure with an air gap.

The External Wall Insulation Render systems utilised on our insulation contracts by Structherm and SPS Envirowall are markedly different and we have reassurance that:

  • The systems comply to The Building (Scotland) Regulation s 2004
  • It used a high polymer cementitious based render system with a dash aggregate finish
  • Panels are bolted direct to the rendered concrete wall / no air gap
  • Panels have been fire tested and are classified as low risk in accordance with BS EN 13501-1 : 2007

Structherm Ltd. have given the assurance that all their systems are rigorously tested and certified to BR135 Full Scale Fire Tests and meet all necessary fire regulations and associated building control requirements.

SPS Envirowall Ltd. confirm that their systems have undergone full scale fire tests, working alongside the British Research Establishment (BRE) and state that from their experience in both tests and actual fires, the fire does not spread across the building and damage is localised to the immediate source of the fire.

While giving this reassurance about the External Wall panelling Manor Estates would ask all householders  to give due consideration to smoke detection systems.  All Manor Estates tenanted properties have a smoke detector fitted and receive an annual check, and faults and replacements are arranged as necessary.   If you own your property, you should install smoke detectors, carry out regularly tests of your detectors, keep replacement batteries and ensure appliances don’t become clogged with dust.

As part of their commitment to building a safer Scotland, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service offer everyone in Scotland a free home fire safety visit, and can fit smoke alarms free of charge if your home requires them. To get in touch with SFRS and to arrange a visit:

  • call 0800 0731 999
  • text “FIRE” to 80800 from your mobile phone
  • online at http://www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/for-householders/home-fire-safety-visit.aspx
  • call your local fire station


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