The owner of Wing On Centre in Sheung Wan said it has hired a consultant to inspect the building’s cladding after it was reported that it had the same material used on the ill-fated Grenfell Tower in the UK, Ming Pao Daily reports.
At least 30 people were killed and many others still missing in last week’s fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington in west London.
Wing On Company International Limited (00289.HK) said in a statement the installation of the external wall at Wing On Centre at 111 Connaught Road was carried out by a registered contractor in 1995 and approved by the Buildings Department.
The company said the construction methods used in relation to the cladding on Wing On Centre were different from those reportedly used for Grenfell Tower, and Wing On Centre is likely to have a much lower fire risk as a result.
Wing On said if it is deemed necessary to replace the existing cladding, the expenditure to be incurred is not expected to have an adverse impact on the group’s financial position.
Sources from within the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS) suggested that the cladding design of Wing On Centre is quite different from that of Grenfell Tower.
The extensive use of fire-resistant glass panels on the building’s exterior could prevent fire from spreading upward quickly.
However, the HKIS has recommended a thorough inspection of the cladding material in terms of fire risks and whether there is the presence of the inflammable polyethylene, which is being blamed for the Grenfell Tower fire.
Apple Daily reported on Saturday that Wing On Centre had the same 4mm Reynobond insulating panels used on Grenfell Tower.
According to The Times, there are two models of the insulating panels. The Reynobond PE, which was used on Grenfell Tower and Wing On Centre, is the cheaper option because the inside of the panels is not fire resistant, while the Renobond FR is fire-resistant on both sides.
It was observed that the exteriors of the first four stories of Wing On Centre were covered by Reynobond PE panels, with no windows, Apple Daily said.
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