Controversial insulation material in Grenfell Tower to be used in National Children's Hospital 

The board of the National Children's Hospital has defended the use of insulation material highlighted at the Grenfell inquiry.

The National Pediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) has said it is "closely monitoring" proceedings at the inquiry into the London apartment block fire which killed 72 people in 2017.

However, the board has said construction of the hospital is "fully compliant" with building regulations.

The inquiry into the London inferno has already found that the insulation cladding used in a refurbishment of the building fueled the devastating fire.

This cladding was made by Celotex and Irish company Kingspan.

Before Christmas a former Kingspan technical director Ivor Meredith, told the inquiry that the company was "stretching the truth" by claiming its product was appropriate for use on high-rise buildings as they had not fire tested the product after they changed the formulation of their phenolic insulation called Kooltherm K15.

'Fully compliant'

The NPHDB confirmed that phenolic insulation, "encapsulated within vertical and horizontal fire cavity barriers", is currently specified in the design for the granite rainscreen cladding system for the lower façade of the new children's hospital.

We are aware that this phenolic material is being discussed as part of the ongoing Grenfell Inquiry. We are closely monitoring the evidence and outcomes of the Inquiry which is currently focusing primarily on the marketing and use of insulation products within façade systems where appropriate full scale fire testing had not been completed.

"We will continue to monitor with interest and will ensure that only appropriate and safe façade systems are used within construction," the board said in response to queries from the Irish Examiner.

They added that the insulation is certified as fully compliant based on full scale fire testing appropriate to a building of the scale of the new children’s hospital.

The board pointed to the fact that this part of the building ranges from three to four storeys and so does not exceed 18 metres, the height under which it is deemed safe to use the product.

The higher parts of the building use mineral fibre insulation.

In a statement, Kingspan said K15’s use on the hospital façade is fully compliant with building regulations.

"A total of 15 BS 8414 tests using cladding systems incorporating current K15 have successfully met the relevant criteria," the company said.

Kingspan added that K15 constituted 5.2% of the rainscreen insulation boards ordered for use on Grenfell Tower, and Kingspan had no knowledge that its product was being used until after the fire.

"The system used on Grenfell Tower was not compliant with Building Regulations, was unsafe, and should not have been used. Kingspan condemns any actions that do not demonstrate a proper commitment to fire safety."

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