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Cladding fails fire safety test

10 July 2018

THE HOUSING ministry is looking closely at the results of a popular cladding brand that has failed a safety test.

The cladding was seen as being fire safe and was permitted to be used on tall buildings. But a test that took place in Dubai on the cladding system made up of Vitracore G2 cladding over a mineral wool insulation is now raising questions as UK building rules would have not required further tests as all the parts have fire safety ratings of at least ‘limited combustibility’.

In a normal system test the cladding would be fixed over a wall and its resistance to a blaze would be checked by lighting a fire underneath. When this brand was tested, the independent testing company Exova found that the temperature inside the cladding breached the upper limits required to pass the test known as BS-8414.

The BS-8414 test was used last year to determine which cladding systems were safe or unsafe after the Grenfell fire.

Adrian Buckmaster of Tetraclad, a cladding company, said he has observed a marked rise in the popularity of Vitracore G2, explaining to the BBC: "the sort of buildings it's going on to is where existing cladding that has failed the recent tests wants to be replaced with a similar type of finish."

Local authorities and housing associations may have replaced cladding systems that have failed the BS 8414 test.