Reconstruction of the Grenfell Tower fire—Part 5: Contribution to the understanding of the tenability conditions inside the apartments following the façade fire

Eric Guillaume, Virginie Dréan, Bertrand Girardin, Talal Fateh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    98 Downloads (Pure)


    Summary: The serious fire incident at Grenfell Tower in London, involving a combustible façade system that was installed as part of a major refurbishment of the building, has raised concerns regarding the fire risk that these systems pose. The fire spread over the façade of the Tower was previously numerically modelled and this model was validated by comparison with observational data. This model was used to determine the fire behavior of the façade and the fire’s propagation into apartments through windows. In the present paper, impact models are used to evaluate tenability conditions inside the Tower, especially for the apartments in the first corner of the Tower that caught fire. The source of toxic effluents includes the components used in the refurbishment of the façade and the apartment furniture. Different hypotheses of gas yields are tested to assess variability and unknowns in the burning conditions. An extensive literature review was conducted to investigate the toxic yields to be considered in the simulations. Tenability conditions are assessed for each apartment during the fire spread over the façade. This leads to the quantification of the thermal and toxic environment inside the apartments. Two different models are tested for thermal and toxic threats, and the influence of the insulation material used in the façade is investigated. The results showed that the same conclusion can be made regardless of the input data for toxicity and the model used, within the limits of the studied dataset and conditions. Fires from the apartments quickly drive tenability conditions, independently of the dataset and model used, and even if mineral wool is used instead of poly‐isocyanurate as façade insulant.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1083-1110
    Number of pages28
    JournalFire and Materials
    Issue number8
    Early online date29 Jan 2022
    Publication statusPublished online - 29 Jan 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This reconstruction only uses publicly available Grenfell Tower Inquiry data or data published in the scientific literature. This work has been partially financed by Kingspan. The sponsor has not been involved in the results nor the conclusions of this paper.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2022 Efectis France. Fire and Materials published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


    • CFD
    • façade insulation
    • fire propagation
    • impact model
    • ISO 13571
    • numerical simulation
    • toxicity
    • ventilated façade
    • Metals and Alloys
    • Ceramics and Composites
    • General Chemistry
    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Polymers and Plastics
    • facade insulation
    • ventilated facade


    Dive into the research topics of 'Reconstruction of the Grenfell Tower fire—Part 5: Contribution to the understanding of the tenability conditions inside the apartments following the façade fire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this