Solid wall insulation

Meeting: 
MQT on 2017-12-14
Session date: 
December 14, 2017
Reference: 
2017/5079
Question By: 
Leonie Cooper
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Has the RE:NEW programme examined issues in relation to solid wall insulation installs in London following the Grenfell Tower tragedy?

Answer

Answer for Solid wall insulation

Answer for Solid wall insulation

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The insulation on Grenfell Tower was an aluminium rainscreen cladding system which included a ventilated cavity. This is distinct from external Solid Wall Insulation (SWI), which is a different energy efficiency retrofit measure. SWI involves an enclosed cement-based render system. 

The RE:NEW Support Team has reviewed every project to date that they have provided technical assistance to and no similar cladding system to that used on Grenfell Tower had been used. However, as a precaution, RE:NEW ceased new technical assistance work on tower blocks following the fire and advised housing providers to await the Government's official inquiry's findings and advice on insulation and cladding before resuming work.

The RE:NEW programme's technical assistance is focussed exclusively on ways to achieve energy performance improvement through specific measures (for example, loft insulation, heating upgrades or solar photovoltaics) and financial advice, but it does not recommend the specific products, manufacturers or insulation materials to meet the improvements. These are subsequently agreed between the property owner and their chosen contractor who are expected to follow their own due diligence procedures.

In my response to the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Home Office's Call for evidence for the independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety', I stated my disappointment that the scope of the review had been drawn this narrowly as  the entire system of building regulations, including the interaction of its constituent parts, needs to be fundamentally examined.