Scottish Government confirms that no Scottish tower blocks have been clad in the type used on Grenfell Tower



A speedy response from all of Scotland’s local authorities and other landlords has confirmed than none of their tower blocks have been clad in the inflammable aluminium composite used at Grenfell. The group which ordered the survey and response has also initiated these actions:

  • The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will continue to carry out additional operational assurance visits to high-rise buildings. Since the Grenfell Tower fire, over 200 visits have been carried out by the SFRS to residents in high-rise buildings.
  • Work already underway to develop a common standard of housing quality across both private and social rented housing, as well as to consult on and review standards for fire and smoke detectors, will be expedited.
  • The Working Group will also consider current regulations and evidence base for sprinkler systems to determine if further action should be taken.

I think the last point is of particular interest when you consider the widespread use of sprinkler systems in tower blocks used for commercial purposes. It’s good to see this speedy response regardless of the initial reactions suggesting that such a disaster was already thought to be much less likely in Scotland. You might remember these comments at the time.

Jim Millar, a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and former housing convener at Angus Council was quoted as saying without giving specific evidence: ‘I’m quite confident that something like this would not happen to this extent in Scotland.’

Also, this reference, which now seems accurate, to the regulations was made:

‘Generally, the requirements in Scotland are more onerous that those in England and Wales or Northern Ireland….In Scotland the AS Fire Resistant Wall system should be used for all walls which require a fire resistance period. See Scottish Building Standards Technical Handbook Section 2 for details of boundary conditions and fire resistance requirements.’

I hope this news will put a few minds at ease.


7 thoughts on “Scottish Government confirms that no Scottish tower blocks have been clad in the type used on Grenfell Tower

  1. johnrobertson834 June 22, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    From Angela Constance today:

    Scottish building regulations state that cladding on high rise domestic buildings built since 2005, and cladding added to existing high rise domestic buildings since 2005, should be made of non-combustible materials or a cladding system that has met stringent fire tests.

    External cladding on high rise domestic buildings built before 2005 has to meet a Class 0 classification which was the most demanding anti-flame spread classification at that time.

    We have confirmation from all local authorities that aluminium composite material has not been used in the cladding of their high rise domestic buildings. We are working intensively with local authorities to complete the picture for all high rise domestic buildings, including those that are privately owned, as quickly as possible.


  2. Finnmacollie June 22, 2017 / 6:08 pm

    Just thinking out loud…

    If there is a flame retardant equivalent then why is the flammable one still manufactured and supplied?

    If fire appliances can only reach a height of 12 storeys then why are buildings built higher than that?

    I fear the answers to my own questions will come down to money saving.

    Hats off to the Scottish building regulations for being more stringent. As I read somewhere recently – red tape is what safety nets are made of.


  3. Shaun Melluish June 26, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    Really hope they are actually testing them. Just because it’s not exactly the same cladding as London doesn’t mean it’s fire retardant or has an air space behind to allow fire to spread. 100%failure rate in England find it hard to believe every single one in Scotland is totally safe


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