Lynn S. Beedle Achievement Award – Winner: Larry Silverstein, New York City

Larry Silverstein
Silverstein Properties, New York City

Identification and Characterisation of Aluminium Composite Cladding

The Grenfell disaster of June 14, 2017 brought into sharp focus the dangers posed by combustible façade materials. Polyethylene core panelling has been implicated in numerous fires such as The Address Downtown, the Saif Belhasa in Dubai and the Lacrosse building in Melbourne. Due to the large number of buildings with potentially combustible cladding, there is significant pressure to find an accurate and fast method to identify such cladding and any associated insulation as part of the overall assessment process. Over the past year several different approaches to identification have been proposed and in this presentation we recount our experiences in developing an accurate methodology to achieve this and discuss the limitations of this method and of competing methods.
Over the last eight years at least 153 people have died in fires attributable to combustible cladding and insulation. Public outcry has brought considerable political pressure to bear on building owners, designers, builders and others in the supply chain to prevent the installation of combustible materials on new buildings. But what about existing structures? How can asset owners be assured with regards to the type of cladding on their building?
In this presentation we hope to share some of our findings from the testing and identification of combustible cladding. In particular, useful information relating to laboratory analytical methods which offer the ability to obtain accurate and reliable data towards assigning a combustibility class to the sample panel and insulation where required.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation

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