“Dangerous insulating materials?”
The devastating fire in London’s Grenfell Tower has sparked a debate over the risks of insulating materials in buildings - a key component of Germany’s energy transition in the construction sector - Silke Kersting writes on Handelsblatt Online. “There are constant suspicions that these materials pose a great fire hazard”, Kersting says. Kai Warnecke, head of real estate owners’ association Haus & Grund, said it was likely that “polystyrene-like insulants” played a decisive role in spreading the fire so quickly, leading him to call for an immediate ban on the material.
Germany’s Environment Ministry (BMUB) published a factsheet on insulating materials in the wake of the incident, saying that “as far as anyone can judge, such a catastrophe cannot occur” if existing security standards are respected. BMUB said only non-inflammable materials are allowed to be used in buildings higher than 22 metres in Germany.