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Grenfell inquiry hears of Kingspan’s insurance threat

The inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has heard how one of the manufacturers of the insulation used on the tower threatened the NHBC with legal action after the Council suggested it would not insure high-rise buildings using Kingspan’s K15 insulation, as it had not been proved it was fire safe. the product was unsafe to use on high-rise buildings, an inquiry has heard.

Ivor Meredith, a former member of Kingspan’s technical team who worked on the K15 product, told the inquiry that the NHBC gave Kingspan an ultimatum to provide test data proving that Kooltherm K15 insulation was safe for use in buildings more than 18 metres tall.

Kingspan’s solicitors requested more time to prove compliance, suggesting that otherwise, its client might feel it had no choice but to apply for a court injunction to prevent the NHBC from making its statements about the K15 boards.

The inquiry also heard that Meredith was “uncomfortable” with work to try to get the dangerous material approved.

Employees from Celotex, which also made insulation used in Grenfell’s cladding have also been questioned about manipulating a fire safety test to ensure its own RS5000 product was deemed safe for use on high-rise buildings.

The  inquiry continues.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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