Albion claim the Amex stadium is safe

From The Argus

The home of Brighton and Hove Albion does have cladding like that used on Grenfell Tower – but the club insists the stadium is safe.

That is the message from the football club after it emerged that plastic panels on the side of the American Express Community Stadium were made by the same company that provided the panels for the building in London where at least 80 people died.

Last month The Argus reported how checks were being made on materials used at the Amex following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Those checks have been made and the club has decided the stadium is safe.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Albion said: “While we cannot comment on the materials used on Grenfell Tower, we do have Reynobond ACM cladding to our east and west elevations at the stadium. At the time of construction the cladding fully-complied with building and fire regulations. It was inspected during the construction process and signed off by the local authority.

“Since the start of our investigations we have been in direct communication with Brighton and Hove City Council building control, our main building contractor, and our fire management consultants, and have found no concern in the design of or implementation of products used. We have also reviewed our current fire risk assessment and have no reason to amend this document at this time. These reports are also in line with the recent issue of the Sports Ground Safety Authority safety checks document dated June 29, 2017.

“All of our materials comply with current building regulations (Building Regulations Approved Document B) which was the relevant standard at the time of construction and to date is still current.

“We would also emphasise that the stadium cannot be compared with a residential tower block; we have sophisticated fire detection and fire suppression systems, CCTV monitoring, 24-hour security staff who are regularly trained in evacuation procedures, and multiple escape routes in the event of an emergency.”

One of the differences at the Amex is that the cladding system uses a non-combustible brickwork backing wall.

Reynobond PE has now been withdrawn from sale for use in buildings over 18 metres in height.

An independent company, BRE, is now conducting tests for the government to see how different combinations of insulation and cladding perform in the event of a serious fire.

There is an ongoing inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower, which took place on June 14 and is believed to have started in a fridge-freezer.