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University to re-assess buildings after Grenfell Tower fire

The University of Kent has confirmed it will be reviewing building and student accommodation in the light of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Universities across the county are re-assessing their buildings, with sites such as Newcastle University and Bournemouth having found that some of their buildings are fitted with the same flammable cladding as Grenfell Tower

In a statement the University of Kent has said:

“We can confirm that all buildings, including student accommodation, which are already the subject of rigorous fire risk assessment, are being re-assessed in the light of the recent tragedy in London. Indications so far are that there are no inappropriate materials in use associated with the insulation or cladding of those buildings. These reassessments are precautionary measures only, and we do not believe there is any cause for concern.”

The University of the past few years has gone through a major regeneration of campus buildings, with new additions such as Sibson and The Widgoder Building alongside old buildings being revamped such as Ingram, which according to BPA Architecture website was fitted with “overcladding and window replacements designed to upgrade its image and transform its thermal performance”.

Ingram before the overcladding was installed.

Ingram after the £3.12m regeneration in 2015/16.






Contractors D&B Facades UK Limited who completed the Ingram exterior refurbishment in 2015 said “Our aluminium rainscreen system is +25 years old, unchanged and is proven to perform in all respects, including severe fire. The system utilises only inert, solid aluminium, which has an A1 NON COMBUSTIBLE fire rating with no requirement for fire retardants. The system also incorporates A1 NON COMBUSTIBLE integral mineral wool insulation and firebreaks.” is launching an investigation into university accommodation, urging educational institutions to release details of their buildings. Danielle Cullen, Managing Director at, comments:

“The safety and welfare of student residents must be of the utmost importance for housing providers and universities, following the devastation caused at Grenfell Tower.

It’s saddening to hear that newly developed buildings, and buildings which have been recently reviewed by professionals, are using the exact same cladding as Grenfell Tower. How have the architects, builders, and providers of the cladding missed how potentially dangerous it is until now? Why has it taken an awful tragedy to highlight how unsafe this is?

University students have been paying three times more for higher education in recent years, but where is that money going? It has been reported that the cladding used is marginally cheaper, but does not have the same fire-proofing as other options. What is the cost of a life? Students lives have been put at risk for a saving of a few thousand pounds”

The University of Kent has reassured students adding, “None of the buildings on University of Kent estates are high rise and all include alarm systems that are automatically activated via heat and/or smoke detectors. Regular testing is carried out along with evacuation drills which are monitored by our Safety, Health and Environment department. Trained security staff respond immediately to all fire alarm activations.”

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