Arconic Pulls Aluminium Cladding Suspected in Grenfell Tower Fire Due to Global Building Code Mishmash

Value-add aluminium firm Arconic announced on Monday that it is no longer marketing the aluminium cladding system blamed for the Grenfell Tower inferno that claimed 79 lives two weeks ago, citing the non-uniformity of global building codes, making it impossible to produce a product that complied with every code around the world.

“Arconic is discontinuing global sales of Reynobond PE for use in high-rise applications,” the company said in a statement. “We believe this is the right decision because of the inconsistency of building codes across the world and issues that have arisen in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy regarding code compliance of cladding systems in the context of buildings’ overall designs. We will continue to fully support the authorities as they investigate this tragedy.”

The firm went on to say that the product was sold with instructions on general usage, expecting the cladding to be installed by the end user in a way that complies with local building codes. Arconic also pointed out that the cladding is but one component of a multi-faceted cladding system, and that the firm did not exercise control over the whole of the system nor responsible for insuring it complied with relevant codes.

The release is likely a response to six emails from Arconic’s predecessor Alcoa Inc. purport to say that the company supplied panels it knew to be flammable to the contractor who installed them during a refurbishment in 2014.

The fire at the 24-storey, 220’ tower in in North Kensington, west London began around midnight on the morning of June 14. The public housing tower, which contained 127 flats, burned for sixty hours, killing 79 individuals and injuring over seventy others. Eighteen victims have been formally identified to date, with another 61 missing and presumed dead.

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