RS5000 and Grenfell Tower: Celotex updates and information

IMPORTANT: On 23 June 2017, in view of the focus on components of rainscreen cladding systems, Celotex stopped the supply of Celotex RS5000, pending further clarity. Celotex does not currently supply an insulation product for use in rainscreen cladding systems on buildings over 18 metres tall.

Below you will find statements and information on RS5000 and our response to the Grenfell Tower fire. The material set out below is for information only.

Here you will find the latest statements and information focussing on our response to the Grenfell Tower fire


Celotex welcomes Phase 2 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.  As part of Phase 2, the Inquiry will be considering a large number of complex and inter-related issues in connection with the fire, including the design and installation of a multi-component rainscreen cladding system, of which insulation manufactured by Celotex, formed one element.  The first part of the Inquiry will focus on the primary refurbishment.

We endorse the need to find out what happened and to ensure it does not happen again. We are committed to assisting the Inquiry with its work and re-affirm our deepest sympathies to everyone who has been and continues to be affected by the fire.

As we approach the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, Celotex re-affirms our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the fire.

We are continuing to cooperate fully with the Public Inquiry, which will be considering in Phase 2, a large number of complex and inter-related issues concerning the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, including the design and installation of the rainscreen cladding system, of which insulation made by Celotex formed one element.  Celotex remains committed to providing all relevant information to the Inquiry to assist it in its work.

Celotex is a UK business and the Celotex insulation used at Grenfell Tower was manufactured and sold in the United Kingdom.  Celotex learned on Friday 7 June 2019 of an action being initiated in the United States against a group company, Saint-Gobain Corporation, and other parties, involving allegations in connection with Grenfell Tower. Saint-Gobain Corporation has issued its own statement. 

In January 2018, Celotex announced that its current management team had determined that there had been differences between the rainscreen cladding system which had been tested under BS 8414:2 in May 2014 (which included RS5000) and the description of that system in the report of the test published in August 2014.

Following this, we commissioned a further test under BS 8414:2, which aimed to mirror, as closely as possible, the system as described in the August 2014 report. The test was carried out on this specific rainscreen cladding system which uses cement boards amongst other products on 4 April 2018.

The test results show that the rainscreen cladding system tested (which included RS5000) met the performance criteria specified in BR 1351. The BRE Test Report for this test can be found here and the BRE Classification Report for this test can be found here. We are taking steps to notify the relevant bodies and contact our customers to inform them of the results of this test.

We understand that a rainscreen cladding system using RS5000 also passed the DCLG 2 test 5 3 in August 2017.

The decision to suspend the supply of RS5000 was taken on 23 June 2017 and remains in place.

We are following the independent review of building regulations and fire safety, and the comments from the industry and its stakeholders around testing. We continue to offer full cooperation with the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and related investigations.

1  BR 135 – Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi-storey buildings, Third Edition, 2013. BR 135 specifies the performance criteria for the test methodology outlined in BS 8414:2

2 Now known as the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government

3 BS 8414:1 

In 2014, Celotex launched the PIR rigid board insulation product RS5000 for use in rainscreen cladding systems for buildings above 18m. In advance of the product being launched, the company commissioned full system fire performance tests for a rainscreen cladding system which were carried out pursuant to BS 8414:2.

RS5000 was used as external insulation as part of the rainscreen cladding system in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower. We took the decision to suspend supply shortly after the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower and this suspension remains in place.

The company has been conducting a detailed review of the way RS5000 was tested and marketed. The current management team has only recently determined that there were differences between the system as tested for BS 8414:2 and the description of that system in the report of the test. These differences were carried through into our marketing of RS5000.

Our priority is to establish whether there are any safety issues arising from these differences. We have notified the relevant bodies and are taking steps to speak with our customers. We understand that in August 2017, a sample of the same product was used in a full rainscreen cladding system that passed the DCLG 1 test 2. Nevertheless, we are arranging further testing which will assist in clarifying the issue.

It is a matter of real regret for us that this issue has arisen: we fully recognise its potential seriousness and that it will give rise to concern. We are working hard to arrange the further testing as quickly as possible and we will make a further announcement once the results of that testing are available.

1  Now known as the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government.
2  BS 8414-1

We support the Government’s ongoing response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and the steps being taken to restore public confidence in construction methods, the selection of products and materials and the safety of tall buildings.

We continue to offer full cooperation with the investigations which are considering a broad range of factors, such as building construction and the fire safety measures in place. The Government is also undertaking large scale testing of aluminium composite material cladding systems, through the Building Research Establishment [BRE] which aims to establish how different types of ACM panels, in combination with different types of insulation, behave in a fire. We will be reviewing closely the results of the first test released on 28th July, together with the remaining tests in the series which will take place over the next few weeks.

We have been supplying PIR for over 40 years, and have always focussed on supplying safe insulation products to make better buildings.

Celotex is shocked by the tragic events of the Grenfell Tower fire. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this devastating human tragedy. We have been supplying building products for over forty years and as a business our focus has always been to supply safe insulation products to make better buildings.

We want to do everything that we can to support the Government’s ongoing response to the tragedy. We continue to offer our full cooperation with the investigations.
Celotex notes the comments made by Scotland Yard at this morning’s briefing in respect of the insulation used in Grenfell Tower. In view of the focus on rainscreen cladding systems and the insulation forming part of them, Celotex believes that the right thing to do is to stop the supply of Celotex RS5000 for rainscreen cladding systems in buildings over 18m tall with immediate effect (including in respect of ongoing projects), pending further clarity.

Celotex manufactures and supplies the insulation product RS5000 for use in multicomponent rainscreen cladding systems for buildings over 18m tall.  Safety testing was undertaken on RS5000 as part of a particular rainscreen cladding system and this is described in documents available on our website. As noted in those documents, any changes to components of the cladding system or construction methods used need to be considered by the relevant building designer.
Given the developments of the past twenty four hours, we wish to discuss with the authorities how we can restore confidence in the products that we supply to the above 18m market.

At this early stage, it would not be appropriate for Celotex to make any further comment at this time.

For all media enquiries please call: 07387 411972

As with the rest of the nation our thoughts continue to be with those affected by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower in London. On Wednesday, as soon as we were able to, we confirmed that our records showed a Celotex product (RS5000) was purchased for use in refurbishing the building. We wanted to provide an update to that statement and provide further information as we are able to.

It is important to state that Celotex manufacture rigid board insulation only. We do not manufacture, supply or install cladding. Insulation is one component in a rainscreen system, and is positioned in that system behind the cladding material.

As we previously stated, our records show a Celotex product (RS5000) was purchased for use in refurbishing the building. This product has a fire rating classification of Class 0, in accordance with British Standards. Celotex RS5000 is the insulation component specifically tested as part of a system to British Standard BS8414-2:2005. When the system is designed and installed in line with this, RS5000 meets the criteria set out in BRE Report BR 135 ‘Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi storey buildings.’

We will of course assist the relevant authorities fully with any enquiries they have.

Our thoughts are with those affected by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower in London. Our records show a Celotex product (RS5000) was purchased for use in refurbishing the building.

Full technical information on all of our products is available here on our website. If required, we will assist with enquiries from the relevant authorities at the appropriate time. Due to the nature of this developing situation it would be inappropriate for us to comment or speculate further on this tragedy.

After careful consideration, we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend supply of some of our 5000 product range in light of a recent and unexpected test result. This relates to Celotex FR5000, Celotex CG5000, Celotex CF5000 and Celotex SL5000 which share the same insulation core and facer.1

We recognise that this decision could have some practical implications for some of our customers for which we apologise. We hope in the present circumstances which are explained in further detail below, that customers will understand the reasons behind our decision.

A sample of our 5000 product was tested under Parts 6 and 7 of British Standard 476 (“BS 476”) in 2011 and achieved a Class 0 fire rating.2

In April 2017, we sent a sample of RS5000 for independent testing under both Parts 6 and 7 of BS 476. We were surprised when we learned, in August 2017, that whilst this sample continues to meet the standard for Class 1, the sample did not achieve a Class 0 rating. A sample of this product was used in a full system test for a rainscreen cladding system in 2014, where the system passed. We understand that in August 2017 a sample of the same product passed3 the DCLG test 54 for a full rainscreen cladding system.

All the products in the 5000 range share a core which is made of the same material (Polyisocyanurate or “PIR”). They are marketed under different names according to their intended application (CG5000, FR5000, RS5000 etc.). The sample tested in 2011 was of the product marketed as FR5000. We applied the 2011 test results in relation to Celotex RS5000, Celotex CG5000, Celotex CF5000 and Celotex SL5000. We do not currently know why the RS5000 sample did not achieve a Class 0 rating in these later tests, given the results from 2011 and we are investigating this. In light of this test result and the desire to act responsibly, we believe it is right to temporarily suspend supply of these 5000 ranges. We would like to reassure all of our customers that we will provide additional information once we are in a position to do so in respect of both the results and the applications of these 5000 ranges, and following engagement with the relevant third parties.

We appreciate that many uses to which a product from these ranges is put will not require it to have the Class 0 rating. However, in the current circumstances, we believe it is important that there should be clarity as to the applications the product can be used for with its revised rating. A temporary suspension of supply is the right thing to do in the circumstances and will, we anticipate, also help to achieve that clarity. We shall be making appropriate amendments to our marketing materials. We are recommending to our distributors that they do not sell existing stock in this period and we shall collect any relevant 5000 series products in its original packaging and will credit customers seeking to return such product with the purchase price with no restocking charge, regardless of when the product was supplied to the customer.

As a business, our focus has always been to supply safe insulation products to make better buildings. We believe that taking the time to understand and respond to the test results is in line with these values.

Further to the above additional Class 0 testing was undertaken on the 5000 product range. The test reports issued pursuant to those tests indicated all samples achieved the criteria for a Class 0 rating. Letters issued by the BRE certifying the achievement of Class 0 for the 5000 product range produced on both manufacturing lines can be found here.

1 The 5000 ranges not affected are Celotex FI5000 and Celotex GD5000, which are not marketed or sold by reference to Class 0.

2 As defined in Approved Document B (Building Regulations 2010, Fire Safety, Approved Document B (2006 Edition)). Part 6 relates to flame propagation and Part 7 relates to spread of flame.

3 As further described in the Rainscreen Cladding Compliance Guide on our website.

4 BS 8414-1