The German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will not renew its partnership with the British company Rydon, which installed an allegedly flammable insulation and cladding system in the Grenfell Tower, located in west London, where a fire killed 72 people last month.
“We are, therefore, terminating our existing relationship with Rydon when it comes to the modification of buildings for our various MBNTG projects,” said an official statement issued by the company.
On Thursday, May 5, 2017, a fire in the west London high-rise burned through three floors and plowed into the top floors, destroying the building. A deadly fire in a London apartment block killed 60 people last year, many of whom perished in their beds before firefighters could put out the fire. The Rydon company, which says its project was approved by fire safety agencies and officials, says the infill material used in Grenfell Tower was designed to last for at least a century and had a carbon monoxide safe level of 40 percent.
Many have pointed fingers at several companies, including Rydon, which boasted that it could cut construction costs in half by using cheaper, imported materials and quicker, quicker, quicker in its most recent annual report.
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“Rydon Global Ltd.’s main competence is in product design, quality assurance, engineering procurement and construction,” the company wrote. “The firm has a proven track record in assembling work projects from their inception.”
The company also noted that it has more than 50 years of experience working with “architects, builders, general contractors, architects, engineers, interior designers, contractors, electrical contractors, surveying contractors, environmental consultants, construction suppliers, consultants, financial advisors, consultants, insurers, and a worldwide network of sales forces.”
Rydon says it shipped its content, including insulated panels and cladding material, to Grenfell Tower for approximately 2,500 homes and businesses in the Chalcots Estate, as well as many other properties.
The company says it began installing the parts for Grenfell Tower in early 2016 and assured officials that the materials met all building and fire safety requirements, including building regulations.
In a statement, Rydon said it is still investigating and conducting its own internal investigation of what happened.
“We do not know what is causing this speculation to run rife. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to observe the principle of non-repetition,” Rydon said.
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