Grenfell-Style Cladding On Schools In 14 Scottish Areas

14 July 2017, 09:29 | Updated: 14 July 2017, 09:31

Grenfell tower

A type of cladding reported to have been used on the Grenfell Tower has been found on a small number of low-rise schools in 14 Scottish local authorities, the Scottish Government said.

Checks are currently being carried out by local authorities and the fire brigade to ensure that the type of aluminium composite material (ACM), which can be used appropriately, has been fitted in accordance with building regulations in all these cases.

No Scottish local authority-owned school buildings above 18 metres have ACM cladding.

The findings emerged during the third meeting of a Ministerial Working Group, convened to examine building and fire safety regulatory frameworks, on Thursday.

This group is overseeing a review of building and fire safety regulatory frameworks in Scotland with an initial focus on high rise domestic buildings, following the Grenfell Tower fire in London on June 14, in which at least 80 people are believed to have died.

The meeting heard that no high-rise domestic buildings owned by councils or housing associations in Scotland have used ACM cladding.

Thirty of 32 local authorities have reported that ACM cladding has not been used on any privately owned high-rise domestic buildings.

Edinburgh and Glasgow are completing their investigations and it was acknowledged this will take time due to the numbers involved.

All Scottish health boards have confirmed that none of their buildings use the cladding type reported to have been used on Grenfell Tower.

However, additional checks have shown that eight sites on the NHS estate - including Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow - have used solid aluminium with A1 non-combustible fire rating material and mineral wool insulation.

However Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board has been assured by Multiplex, the main contractor for the hospital construction, that the insulation material used in Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) - Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Insulation Boards - were properly installed to meet building and fire safety regulations.

The meeting was chaired by Communities Secretary Angela Constance with Housing Minister Kevin Stewart and they were joined by Scottish Government officials and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Ms Constance said: "The group met today (Thursday) to continue our thorough review of our regulations and take any action needed - both immediate and longer-term - to ensure the highest standards of building and fire safety is in place across Scotland.

"While we continue to be confident that we have stringent building and fire safety regulations, we cannot afford to be in any way complacent. That is why our work programme is evidence-led and our focus is prioritised.

"Checks continue across Scotland by both local authorities and the fire brigade to assess buildings and reassure people that adequate fire protection measures are in place.''

The Scottish Government reiterated that building standards systems and regulations for high-rise domestic properties in Scotland means the type of product used on Grenfell Tower should not be used in their cladding systems.

However, in some controlled circumstances specified by Scottish building regulations, ACM can be used as part of the cladding systems of other buildings.

Scotland's building regulations specify that those cladding systems must meet the relevant technical requirements applicable in each case.

The group will meet again on August 9 when it will review evidence on automatic fire suppression systems including sprinklers.