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What would happen if the twin towers had stone cladding?
Grenfell Tower

On 14 June a building in London was on one of the biggest fires in residential buildings in recent years, more than 200 apartments in central London were completely destroyed, resulting in many deaths in the accident.

Many unknowns emerged after the fire and, their possible causes. The main cause advocated by the experts is the use of a flammable material in the building's cladding. From what has been clarified, the building had been recently refurbished, which cost 11 million euros, and the cladding cost about 3 million euros.

Now it is estimated that 30,000 buildings have this material in its cladding, a cause of concern for the world. In the city of Dubai, it had already a have been a similar situation, due to the use of this material.

The cladding was the main factor that caused this tragedy, we wondered on the subject, " What would happen if the cladding of the building was in stone?". After an internal analysis, we conclude that the use of stone could be avoided this tragedy, or at least significantly reduced it. The natural stone is fire resistant and would prevent its spread from the remaining floors outside the origin of the fire.

London Fire - Grenfell Tower cladding

On the other hand, the after fire recovery of the building, more specifically, the stone cladding have lower costs than other materials. This is due to the fact that the stone is not destroyed when it is in contact with fire, which can be easily reused. The recovery process consists in redoing the finishing phase or, replace the tiles that cracked. Also, if the building uses stone cladding the fire would not have a propagation as dramatic as the one that occurred, the burned area would be much lower, so the recovery would be faster, with lower cost and, in a smaller area. 

After this tragic incident, we will have to rethink what materials should be allowed to buildings cladding. Thousands of people live in these buildings, safety must always be in the first place so that these tragedies are avoided in the future.

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