SCOTLAND'S biggest health board says they will not consider removing inflammable insulation material used in Grenfell Tower which remains in place at Scotland's super-hospital despite concerns that there was "deceit" over its safety marketing.

The Herald on Sunday revealed that the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde while insisting the material used at the 197ft-high Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow was safe, applied to have it removed nearly three years ago.

Concerns have been raised that the Kingspan Kooltherm K15 insulation used at remains in place three-and-a-half years after the Grenfell Tower blaze that claimed the lives of around 80 people in June, 2017.

Retired Scots architect Robert Menzies who was involved in designs for the new children’s hospitals in both Glasgow and for Edinburgh has now questioned the legality of its use on a building over 18m in height.

He said the original fire rating of K15 "fails on all levels and at all heights" and should never have been installed on any part of the hospital facade in the first place.

K15 has never been replaced at the hospital after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said three years ago that Multiplex, the main contractor for the construction provided assurances the material was properly installed and met "Scotland's stringent building and fire safety regulations".

Evidence stating there was "deceit" over the marketing of the safety of the K15 insulation has been revealed to the disaster inquiry.

The health board said over three years ago that it had been assured by Multiplex, the main contractor for the Glasgow hospital construction that K15 was properly installed to meet building and fire safety regulations.

READ MORE: Health chiefs tried to remove 'safe' Grenfell insulation from Queen Elizabeth University Hospital three years ago

The Scottish Government also said it had been assured the insulation on the hospital which officially opened in July, 2015 was fitted correctly and met fire regulations.

Evidence provided to the Grenfell inquiry has heard that Kingspan marketed its K15 insulation with fire test certificates which did not represent the product being sold.

It has heard current and former staff of insulation manufacturer Kingspan tell about efforts they went to in order to convince the construction industry K15 was safe to use on buildings above 18m – despite a lack of genuine test data.


One former executive said that the firm was involved in a “deliberate and calculated deceit”, which involved marketing the product without solid test evidence.

Kingspan technical manager Ivor Meredith said he was uncomfortable with how the company’s K15 insulation was being marketed, and that he was "under pressure" to get test results that proved it was safe.

Kingspan has denied wrongdoing and said it did not know its material was being used on Grenfell.

The health board, when asked about the evidence produced about K15, said that there was no need to reconsider whether to remove the insulation.

A spokesman said: "The insulation was installed at the QEUH in accordance with stringent building regulations.

"At this time, there are no new requirements that necessitate the replacement of the Kingspan K15 insulation. However, we will, as a matter of course, ensure that we are responsive to any future changes in regulatory requirements. "As mentioned before the hospital is designed and equipped to the highest standards for fire safety. It has heat and smoke fire alarm systems combined with automatic fire suppression sprinkler systems fitted in all areas, is equipped with designated fire-fighting apparatus and has fire evacuation lifts."

Mr Menzies says that the original C-rating K15 fire designation from 2016 meant it was "illegal" on a building over 18m in height unless it has passed a BR135 fire test.

Mr Meredith in evidence to the inquiry said it was “common knowledge” that Kingspan was relying on a fire safety test certificate from “old technology” for the materials used on Grenfell Tower.

A newer version of combustible K15 sold from 2006 onwards was observed by Mr Meredith as having “burnt very ferociously” in one failed cladding test, but the firm persisted in using a 2005 test pass from an older version of the product to sell the newer one, the inquiry has heard.


In October, this year, it was confirmed that test certificates for K15 from the 2005 tests had been withdrawn.

Kingspan said: “It became apparent that the K15 manufactured in 2005 would not be representative of the product currently sold on the market from 2006 to today.”

By early-2015, a matter of months before the Glasgow super-hospital opened, the NHBC had placed ultimatums on Kingspan to provide test data to prove that Kooltherm K15 insulation was safe for use in buildings more than 18 metres tall.

A letter from housing insurers NHBC (National House Building Council) to the insulators in 2015 said: “The absence of evidence from Kingspan means we will soon be faced with having to decline to accept buildings currently under construction with K15 products” without further evidence to support it could be used in tall buildings.

A response from Kingspan’s solicitors, Fenwick Elliott, requesting more time to prove they can be compliant, promised further action.

Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh has warned workers that rebuilding trust will take time following the damaging revelations about the Irish insulation manufacturer at the inquiry.

A note from Mr Murtagh to workers says: “We have already implemented significant steps to ensure the weaknesses in our testing and marketing of K15 can never be repeated,” he says.

The Irish group said K15 made 5.2% of the rainscreen insulation boards used on the Grenfell Tower, had no knowledge of it being used and should not have been.

Mr Murtagh points out that the system used on Grenfell Tower was “not compliant with building regulations, should not have been built, and was unsafe regardless of the insulation used”.

Kingspan said: "The inquiry has highlighted historic process shortcomings and unacceptable conduct within a part of our UK Insulation business, for which we have apologised unreservedly and which we are treating with the utmost seriousness.

"These matters do not reflect the organisation that we are or aspire to be, and significant actions have been taken and are in progress, that further underpin our commitment to fire safety and to professional conduct. We continue to support the inquiry in its work and are determined to learn all necessary lessons."

The public inquiry into the Grenfell fire has finished its work for this year.

The Herald on Sunday revealed that on March 7, 2018 the health board put forward a building warrant application to remove the K15 insulation and replace with 75mm thick Rockwool Rainscreen Duo Slab insulation.

It also sought to remove and replace existing rainscreen cladding panels.

According to city council records, the application was later withdrawn and replaced in August, 2018 with applications to remove cladding, with no reference to removing the K19 insulation.

The health board, which was placed in "special measures" by the government amid criticism of its infection control procedures previously confirmed K15 insulation was part of the cladding systems and was not replace "as it does not pose a risk".

On Thursday in emerged that Kingspan director Peter Wilson has quit in the wake of evidence the firm used out of date fire tests.

Peter Wilson will stand down at the end of the year as managing director of Kingspan’s insulation boards division and as a director of the plc. He is the only board member to leave in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

Mr Wilson, 64, was in charge of the insulation division since 2001, during which time it launched K15.