Thursday, 29 June 2017

France plans new cladding law after Grenfell fire disaster

France's top building fire safety adviser has told Sky News the country is planning a new law on cladding for tower blocks following the Grenfell disaster.
Jean-Charles du Bellay, who is the head of fire safety at the French Federation of Building, met with the country's Interior Minister this week to discuss what needs to be done to protect people in residential blocks and social housing.

He said it is inevitable that French regulations will be updated to make things safer.

A critic of what he says is poor building regulation in the UK, Mr du Bellay said: "The difference concerning the spread of fire in London was undoubtedly caused by the type of cladding on the exterior.

"In France, in the high-rise towers like Grenfell, we can only use non-flammable materials - they don't burn, they don't catch fire."

He insisted that a fire like that at Grenfell could never happen in France because flammable cladding is banned on buildings over 50 metres high. Grenfell was 67 metres.

However, Mr du Bellay has been asked by the French government to draw up new recommendations which will restrict such cladding on any building over 28 metres - around 10 storeys.

He believes the law could be implemented within weeks.

Acknowledging that it would involve vast expense, with cladding having to be removed from properties across France, he said simply: "Life doesn't have a cost."

And if that change had come earlier, it might have saved the life of an elderly woman and the homes of hundreds more people in the northern French town of Roubaix.

SKY      News.