Without the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, none of the revelations covered in our report would have come out. While the Inquiry with respect to Kingspan focused on Kooltherm K15, the Kingspan managers and employees responsible for its testing, certification and marketing were also responsible for a range of products. As far as the public record shows, it appears the government officials conducting the inquiry have not asked the company about the extent to which the problems they are examining could potentially implicate other products or product lines.  

Here is Inquiry testimony from Kingspan’s technical director, Ivor Meredith, who was in charge of large-scale fire testing:

Meredith: “…we are stretching the truth here and we are going into an area … where we cannot support the performance of the product.” 

Inquiry: “It’s right, isn’t it, that this was a deliberate and calculated deceit by Kingspan in which you had become embroiled?”  

Meredith: ”Yes, that’s correct.”  

Inquiry: ”And it was part of an overarching strategy to achieve the best possible sales of the product by every means available; that’s right, isn’t it?”  

Meredith: ”And that’s the strategy adopted for all the products, really. That is that everything that can possibly be done is done to achieve sales.” 

Meanwhile, some Kingspan managers who were implicated in the Inquiry, and continued to defend their past behavior, are still responsible for fire safety within Kingspan. For example, the following were all included in the email chain about “a bit of cheat:”
Adrian Pargeter (Director of Technical, Marketing and Regulatory Affairs, Kingspan Insulation UK), Adam Heath (Regulatory Affairs Manager for Fire, Kingspan Insulation UK), Dan Ball (Technical Project Leader at Kingspan Insulation UK), and Adrian Brazier (Technical Project Manager UK).

Philip Heath, as well, was responsible for the misleading certificate that said that K15 “can be considered a material of limited combustibility,” despite admitting in his November 2020 testimony that he knew at the time it wasn’t a product of limited combustibility. Heath said in testimony that he had never been investigated, disciplined, or even spoken to by anyone at Kingspan about his actions or about “whether the testing and marketing of that product was appropriate during the time you were responsible for that.” Moreover, Heath said that “I have been involved in the launch of K15 in North America” (in 2018).

Yet,  

  • The American Institute of Architects (AIA) continues to partner with Kingspan as a “collaboration partner,” giving the company credibility from an organization that purports to put fire and life safety above all else.  Kingspan also offers AIA/CEU courses, including the following listed on its website that focus on fire safety:

    Kingspan AIA CEU Fire courses

  • The US Green Building Council partners with Kingspan; indeed, Kingspan was one of two top-level platinum sponsors at USGBC Live 2021.
  • Industry conferences such as Facades+/ArchPaper and Zak’s World of Facades continue to allow Kingspan to sponsor, present, and exhibit and market its products at its conferences. 
  • Industry groups like Mindful Materials allow Kingspan to gain credibility by allowing its managers to play leadership roles on their board.  
  • Architects, specifiers and fire safety engineers specify Kingspan products.
  • Kingspan stands to profit from the push for greater energy efficiency, weatherization retrofits, and the tens of billions of dollars that will be spent on insulation arising from the bipartisan Infrastructure Deal passed in November 2021.
  • We still don’t have answers to basic questions such as:
    • Where and how has K15 been specified and used in the United States?
    • Did any of the issues that came to light in the UK also affect the testing, certification, or marketing of K15 in the U.S.?
    • Did any of the issues that came to light in the UK also affect the testing, certification, or marketing of any other Kingspan products in the U.S.?
    • Did Kingspan’s lapses in corporate culture around fire safety in the UK, and Kingspan’s apparent failure to hold anyone accountable for it, affect its U.S. operation?

U.K. Regulator for Construction Products Issues Recall Notice for Batches of Kooltherm K15 Manufactured after August 1, 2021

Read the full January 2022 “Regulatory Announcement” from the United Kingdom’s National Regulator for Construction Products, the Office for Product Safety and Standards.