New student accommodation in Newcastle required to replace flammable cladding
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The Shield student accommodation, currently under construction in Newcastle, has been found to be using the same cladding as London’s Grenfell Tower. It has emerged that the construction materials used in the new building included Reynobond ACM PE panels, the same substance which contributed to the catastrophic inferno which killed at least 80 people in early June this year. The developers of the student accommodation, BAM Properties LTD, said that although the cladding “met all fire safety and building regulations”, and the company has previously claimed that they would not replace the cladding, it will be replaced in order to “reassure future occupants” of their safety. However, at its tallest point, The Shield will stand above 18 metres, which is the current maximum height at which the Reynobond cladding can be used as set out by the government. As a result, BAM Properties, contractor BAM Construction and owner Curlew Capital issued a joint statement that although they “have every confidence in the safety of The Shield building” they will immediately begin the process of replacing the cladding. In addition, they added that they “appreciate that the recent publicity surrounding the use of Reynobond panels on the buildings may cause concern to future and potential occupants, pending the outcome of the investigations into the causes of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. “The student accommodation market in Newcastle is highly competitive. Our scheme offers a very high standard of accommodation and we do not want any concerns to stand in the way of its attractiveness to students. “In order to reassure occupants, the parties have decided therefore to remove the Reynobond cladding panels from the scheme. They will be replaced with solid zinc panels.” In terms of time scale, it is estimated the replacement will take around 14 weeks.