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FIRE-RISK CLADDING WAS USED ON STUDENT HALLS IN EDINGBURGH

Sanderson and Narwan state that “suspect cladding is being removed from a hall of residence at Edinburgh Napier University after it was found to be made of the same material used on Grenfell Tower.

The university said that it was taking down wood-style panels from Bainfield Halls, which cover about a quarter of the five-year-old building, as a precaution.

Other fire safety measures, including a sprinkler system and fire-stopped wall cavities, are in place.

The building is the first in Scotland to be confirmed as having the same cladding as Grenfell and a sample of the Napier cladding has been sent for testing. Yesterday Theresa May backed a major national investigation into what had gone wrong after the tally of buildings in England failing safety tests rose to 95.

Concerns at Edinburgh Napier were raised after a review of documents relating to the university estate. Panels were removed from the halls of residence on Monday morning.

Other Scottish universities have carried out their own reviews. Strathclyde, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Aberdeen, Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow Caledonian were among those to say they had found no issues with cladding. Dundee University found no concerns with its own buildings and is investigating the status of externally-owned student accommodation. Checks at Heriot-Watt and the University of the West of Scotland are being carried out.

Only 30 people are living in Bainfield Halls in the Fountain Park area of the city — the rest have left for the summer vacation. At full capacity it is home to 778. At the weekend, between 200 and 300 people are expected to be staying at the halls, which are let in the summer.

Gerry Webber, university secretary at Edinburgh Napier, said there was no need to evacuate the building, which was examined by firefighters yesterday.

Residents at the building, which opened in 2013, may not up posters in their rooms as they are considered a fire risk. The university charges up to £6,028 for a 39-week tenancy at the halls. The halls are leased to the university by Standard Life Investments, which owns them.

The company that installed the cladding, Lakesmere, said it was working with clients to address concerns but that the product had been used in “very few” cases. A spokeswoman added that the company complied with building regulations. The main contractor, Pochin, is aware of the situation but a spokesman said it is not involved at this stage.

The Scottish government is waiting for eight of Scotland’s 32 councils to confirm whether or not similar cladding to that used on Grenfell Tower featured on privately-owned buildings.”