Today is the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed over 70 people in West London. I wrote about the incident in an article for NFPA Journal published in August called "London Calling."
The blaze was the deadliest in modern British history and shed light on a growing global fire safety concern: the use of combustible materials in exterior wall components such as high-rise building cladding. In response to the Grenfell fire, NFPA acted swiftly to create resources for AHJs, building owners and designers, and others to navigate the risks and regulations pertaining to exterior wall assemblies.
One such resource, released in February, is the the Exterior Facade Fire Evaluation and Comparison Tool (EFFECT™). An article that will appear in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal details how one early user of the tool, an engineering consultant from Dubai, has found value in it. "EFFECT is a great tool to further the conversation of combustible cladding risk mitigation," he told me in the spring. "Cladding replacement is invasive and expensive and it can be challenging to highlight existing risks and incentivize building owners to invest in addressing these issues. EFFECT is an easy, and arguably proactive, way to input data about a building and get a clear and concise rating that is unbiased."