The London borough of Camden is to take “urgent legal advice” after the cladding used for five of its tower blocks were “not to the standard” it had commissioned.
Camden Council has announced it will immediately start preparing to remove the external cladding panels on the Chalcots Estate as it accused a contractor of fitting aluminium panels with a polyethylene core, which is believed to be flammable.
Cladding is the application of one material over another and is used to provide a degree of thermal insulation and weather resistance as well as improve the appearance of buildings.
The main contractor for the renovation of the five blocks in the estate was Rydon, the same company that worked on Grenfell Tower.
The council’s announcement comes after the cladding was independently tested by the Building Research Establishment after last week’s disaster, which is believed to have killed at least 79 people.
Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, said: “The arrangement of the cladding and insulation used on Camden Council’s buildings significantly differs from that on Grenfell Tower. It includes fire-resistant rock wool insulation designed to prevent the spread of fire and fire-resistant sealant between floors, designed to stop a high-intensity flat fire from spreading to neighbouring flats.
“The new results from the laboratory show that the outer cladding panels themselves are made up of aluminium panels with a polyethylene core.
“Therefore the panels that were fitted were not to the standard that we had commissioned. In light of this, we will be informing the contractor that we will be taking urgent legal advice.”
The council has also pledged to carry out 24/7 fire safety patrols on the estate’s corridors to reassure residents we well as carry out enhanced fire safety checks.