Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 37 - 39)

TUESDAY 20 JULY 1999

MR PETER FIELD, MR TONY MORRIS, MS SARAH COLWELL AND MR MARTYN RICH

Chairman

  37. Could I welcome you to the second session this morning and ask you to identify yourselves for the record, please.

  (Mr Field) Peter Field, Deputy Director of the Fire Research Station. On my right is Sarah Colwell, from the Fire Research Station, and Tony Morris also from the Fire Research Station.
  (Mr Rich) Martyn Rich. I work for a company that supplies overcladding systems in the UK, and have done successfully for the past 18 years.

  38. First of all, do any of you want to make a statement to the Committee, or are you happy for us to go to the questions?
  (Mr Field) Just a point of clarification, Chairman. The Fire Research Station is part of BRE—part of the privatised Buildings Research Establishment since 1997. Mr Morris is an expert in the field of fire spread and has been for some 30-40 years; and Ms Colwell is co-author of the report on the FRS test method for assessing the fire performance of external cladding systems.

  39. I think you have all listened to what was said by the first set of witnesses—is there anything you want to comment on which they said which you strongly disagree with?
  (Mr Field) Again a point of clarification in respect of the system perceived to have been involved in the Irvine fire, and whether or not the test method we have worked on would be appropriate to look at that. It is true to say that the test we have developed looks at total cladding systems. It is not clear from what we have heard whether or not the Irvine system is of this nature. Notwithstanding that, we believe the test facility itself could be accommodated to access the fire performance of systems which are not the same as total cladding systems and may involve windows and decorative panels.


 
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