Insulation added to buildings like the ill-fated Grenfell Tower was a result of climate regulations, as this extract from a Sky News report shows. But the manufacturers themselves helped write those rules, and now some critics who tried to point out potential fire hazards in the materials say they were subjected to intimidation by them.
While legal threats were being made in private, the plastic insulation industry was openly advertising its role in writing the rules that govern the fitting of its products to millions of buildings across the country.
The main lobby group for the plastic insulation trade was, until November 2017, called the British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers’ Association [BRUFMA].
Partly in response to Grenfell Tower – or what it refers to as “events of this year” – BRUFMA changed its name to the Insulation Manufacturers Association.
They advertise that they are “influencing UK and local government, specifying authorities, relevant approval and certification bodies,” and have “high level involvement in the drafting and regular revision of British and European standards [and] the Building Regulations.” Its members are promised the “opportunity to influence Government bodies and NGOs” and “direct input into relevant British Standards committees.”
How that influence works in practice is exposed by examination of government efforts to meet the UK’s climate change commitments. Since the Kyoto agreement in 1997 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, successive governments have created rules about how new and refurbished buildings must be insulated to reduce heat loss.
In 2011 the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) turned to the insulation industry for help, inviting representatives onto a Green Deal committee to come up with ways to push more insulation into homes. We discovered that of the 10 firms and construction industry groups on that committee, four were members of BRUFMA.
One of them was Celotex, the firm whose plastic insulation would be fitted to the outside of Grenfell Tower four years later.
via Tallbloke’s Talkshop
November 27, 2017 at 08:03AM