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Bolton Student Flats Fire


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Has the cladding been identified? The metal framing looks like SFS which is a common structural wall system for schools, PRS (private rented sector housing), student accomodation etc. where they support the external facade and provide the internal finish infilling between the main concrete/steel building structure. You have to be careful detailing this to get the right fire stops in place both vertical and horizontal and the correct layer of boards to the inside face as well as a non combustible board to the outside face.

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I am sure you will have discovered by now that the cladding was HPL. 

I have refrained from any comments on this at the moment as its my station ground and whilst I was not on duty when it kicked off, I am subsequently involved in some of the work streams coming out of the incident, operationally, not fire safety related. 

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@Carl Do you know if GMF&RS are intending on releasing an interim report into the cause of the fire and in particular, its development? 

There is an intense hunger across the fire safety industry in respect of learning lessons and applying them as soon as possible.

I know Hampshire (Andover Ocado fire) and Merseyside (car park fire) issued interim reports to quell rumour and idle talk. I hope Manchester will follow suit, although I do appreciate the potential commercial, reputational and legal pitfalls of 'rushing' any formal report out

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No worries Carl, as you know my job I am quite interested in the build up of the building, knowing the top floorplate is below 18m on the old regulations would mean more combustive materials would have passed (depending on surrounding building distances to the boundary etc.) As you may or may not be aware P.i insurance in the construction industry has taken a serious hike with some not covering cladding materials at all and companies are now asking for records of projects going back 12 years.  Yet the thing that happened with Grenfell was a Design and Build project where the architect is removed from decision making once the tender has been submitted so any changes made by the contractors to cut costs after our appointment has finished we are still being blamed for and why we now never change anything on record drawings and submit the final drawing as design intent due to the amount contractors strip out and scrimp on just to protect ourselves.  Yet at the moment contractors are still not being held accountable and will do their best to push the blame on other parties where they can.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A surveyor (Arnold Tarling who also commented on Grenfell) has analysed the construction and came up with the current points. This was discussed at a Rockwool seminar today I attended as we were discussing the building height and the regulations requirements below 18m and above 18m and the poor testing along with contractors value engineering schemes to the minimum fire requirements.

Steel frame with MF steel studwork Class A1 fire rated.

► Kingspan Therma TP10 PIR Insulation BBA certificate 15/5133 for use as a roof insulation!

► Class E fire rating. Plywood covering.

► Class D fire rating, Tyvek breather membrane Class E fire rating.

► Vertical timbers Class D fire rating.

► HPL cladding make unknown but usually Class D fire rating.

► No evidence of vertical fire barriers or fire stopping to compartment wall positions.

► No evidence of fire stopping at floor levels.

Height of building just under 18m


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