New cladding test results

The government has published the latest results of research and tests into a range of non-aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding materials. The tests were commissioned in 2018 to understand whether there were other types of cladding that burn like the ACM with an unmodified polyethylene core used on Grenfell Tower.

The research showed that none of the materials tested performed the same, or even similarly, to the cladding used on Grenfell Tower. The tests performed were scaled-down experiments that involve testing a type of cladding in a 2m by 3m mock-up wall. The materials tested included class B and class D high-pressure laminate (HPL), brick slips, zinc and copper composite materials, and timber.

The government states that the findings of this research support the advice provided by its Independent Expert Advisory Panel, which is set out in the government’s advice note to building owners, published in January. The advice note sets out guidance on remediating other cladding types that present a significant risk.

Meanwhile, the Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association (MCRMA) commissioned a test into the burning behaviour of ‘standard grade’ HPL cladding and phenolic foam insulation, reported in Inside Housing. Their test results suggest that this system is comparably dangerous to the ACM cladding with an unmodified polyethylene core used on Grenfell Tower.

We know that you may have questions about what these results could mean for your remediation work, and how you prioritise that work, so please do get in touch if you would like to share your concerns.