The construction industry has acknowledged that it must deal with the risk of fire in multistorey timber-frame construction after the publication of the London Fire Brigade’s initial findings on the catastrophic fire at Colindale, north London, in July.
Building revealed last week that part of the timber-frame development burned to the ground in nine minute.
This week, Dave Mitchell, technical director at the Home Builders Federation, said: “We need to sort this out. If something needs to be done we should do it with housebuilders, the Health and Safety Executive and the timber-frame industry.”
Colin Mitchell, divisional director for housing at contractor Geoffrey Osbourne, said his firm recognised the risk of fire in timber-framed projects and had mitigated it.
He said staircases were a particular hazard as their undersides were not fire protected until board was fixed to their undersides.
Brendan Ritchie, innovations director at Willmott Dixon, said: “We tend not to do multistorey timber frame. We tend to use steel – there’s less fire risk and it has better dimensional stability.”