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Company which installed cladding on Grenfell Tower also clad council office block in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 16:17 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 19:34 27 June 2017

Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday June 14. Photo: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday June 14. Photo: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

Council chiefs have reviewed aluminium cladding used at three offices after the Grenfell Tower fire.

Vantage House on Fishers Lane, NorwichVantage House on Fishers Lane, Norwich

The aluminium cladding on Grenfell Tower, which was not fire resistant, has been identified as one possible reason why the blaze at the building spread. At least 79 people are dead and missing from the fire on June 14.

The firm behind the cladding at Grenfell Tower, Harley Facades, also covered Vantage House on Pottergate in Norwich with aluminium cladding made by a firm called Alucobond.

The £600,000 project was carried out in 2003. The building is now offices for the County Council and Norfolk Police.

MORE: Cladding on at least five Norwich tower blocks fail fire safety tests

County Hall in Norwich. Photo: Steve AdamsCounty Hall in Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Norfolk County Council’s headquarters, County Hall, as well as Havenbridge House in Great Yarmouth where it has offices, have also been recently clad in aluminium panels.

A council spokesman said they would “be looking closely at any recommendations that come from the investigations” into the Grenfell disaster.

The spokesman added: “The safety of our staff and the public is our first priority and we keep our fire safety arrangements under regular review.

“We have reviewed all the properties where our staff work.”

Havenbridge House. 

Picture: James BassHavenbridge House. Picture: James Bass

MORE: Hospitals told by health secretary Jeremy Hunt to carry out fire checks after Grenfell Tower disaster

Cladding samples have not been sent for fire safety tests as the Government has only asked for tests on tall residential blocks.

Havenbridge House was re-clad as part of a £3m refurbishment last year by its owners Citygate Developments.

The council spokesman added: “Havenbridge and Vantage House are leasehold and have a number of fire detection and prevention systems, including fully automated fire alarm systems which are tested once a week.

MORE: Families in fear after Norwich apartment block fails cladding tests after Grenfell Tower disaster

“We are working closely with the freeholders of Havenbridge House and Vantage House to ensure that any additional required safety reviews are complete.”

A spokesman for Citygate Developments said: “We are satisfied that the building is fully compliant with Fire Safety Standards.

“The cladding has no insulation and does not have a continuous run up the building.”

MORE: Fire safety advice after tests reveal cladding on Norwich’s Brennan Bank apartment is unsafe following Grenfell Tower tragedy

County Hall, meanwhile, was clad in aluminium panels during the building’s £33m refurbishment which began in 2013.

The council spokesman said the “highest fire rated products” were used for the cladding.

The cladding was made by a firm called Kawneer and has fire barriers between each cladded floor to limit the risk of spread. It has the highest rating for fire safety.

“When County Hall was refurbished, fire safety was a major consideration,” they said.

MORE: Brennan Bank tower block in Norwich is among 60 to have failed cladding fire safety tests after Grenfell tower tragedy

“We also installed fire suppressant sprinklers in the tower and a new fire detection system throughout the building.

“We take the safety of our staff very seriously and are confident that there is no reason for people in our office buildings to be concerned. As with all safety matters, we will continue to monitor and review the situation.”

Meanwhile, Norfolk Fire Service is also looking at hospital buildings in the county to make sure they are safe.

They will then move on to looking at schools and offices.


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