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Kingspan Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kingspan Group plc
TypePublic limited company
HeadquartersKingscourt, County Cavan, Ireland
Key people
Eugene Murtagh, Chairman
Gene Murtagh, CEO
ProductsInsulated panels and facades, Insulation, Structural, Solar and Renewables Engineered Timber Systems, Access Floors, Wind Turbines, Septic Tanks
RevenueIncrease 4,372.5 million (2018)[1]
Increase 423.0 million (2018)[1]
Increase 335.8 million (2018)[1]
Number of employees
13,469 (2018)[1]

Kingspan Group plc is a building materials company based in Ireland trading in over 70 countries with over 100 factories employing some 13,500 people. The company operates with five divisions.[2]


Kingspan Head Office in Kingscourt, Ireland
Kingspan Head Office in Kingscourt, Ireland

Founded in the 1960s by Eugene Murtagh, the company floated on the Irish Stock Exchange in 1989 with a value of IR£20m.[3] It expanded into insulated panels and rigid insulation board via numerous greenfield plants, and acquisitions including the European insulation arm of CRH plc in 2010[4] and the construction division of ThyssenKrupp Steel in 2012.[5] The year 2010 showed the first growth in sales for three years.[6]

In August 2012 the company bought Rigidal Industries.[7]

Grenfell Tower fire

In November 2020, the official inquiry into the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire heard evidence from Kingspan ex-technical director Ivor Meredith that Kingspan insulation product Kooltherm K15 was used in the flammable cladding system mounted on to Grenfell Tower, despite Kingspan knowing that the product did not meet the required fire standard.[8][9][10] A previous version of the product had passed fire tests, but Meredith described a fire test using the version of the product used on Grenfell as a "raging inferno", with the insulation "burning on its own steam".[8]

Also in November 2020, the inquiry learned that Kingspan director Philip Heath had said, in 2008, that consultants who raised concerns about the combustibility of its product could "go f*ck themselves", and that they were "getting me confused with someone who gives a dam [sic]".[11]

Near the end of November 2020, it emerged that Kingspan executives had sold at least £6.5M of shares in the company shortly before Kingspan's inquiry hearings were due to start.[12] Kingspan's share price fell 15% over the course of the hearings.[13]

On 8 December 2020, the inquiry saw evidence that in November 2016, Kingspan technical staff had acknowledged internally that Kingspan was selling its Kooltherm K15 foam insulation product as less flammable than it really was.[14][15][16][17][18]

On 9 December 2020, the inquiry learned that after the Grenfell fire, Kingspan had invested in a smear campaign against rival companies' products. The campaign involved secretly using non-standard test rigs to artificially create the appearance that non-flammable rival products might in fact be flammable, and hiring lobbyists to push the results before policymakers such as the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and other MPs.[19][20][21][22]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Results 2018" (PDF). Kingspan. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Who are we". Kingspan Group. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Murtagh takes bumpy ride east with Kingspan". The Irish Times. 28 May 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Kingspan acquires CRH insulation unit for €120m". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Kingspan buys ThyssenKrupp Construction". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Kingspan sees first growth in three years". 28 February 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  7. ^ CW Staff. "Kingspan acquires Rigidal of Dubai in $38.6m deal". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Grenfell Tower: Cladding firm 'stretched the truth' on fire safety". BBC. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  9. ^ Hornall, Thomas (2020-11-30). "Kingspan insulation product used on Grenfell Tower failed 2007 fire test". The Irish News. Irish insulation manufacturer Kingspan changed the make-up of its Kooltherm K15 insulation after 2005 without amending the marketing material stating it was suitable for use on buildings over 18 metres and had passed a relevant fire test, the inquiry has heard. The new version of the phenolic foam insulation – referred to as “new technology” versus “old technology” in proceedings – failed a subsequent fire test in December 2007 held by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). Internal Kingspan analysis at the time noted: “The new technology phenolic is very different in a fire situation to the previous technology which has passed several similar tests. The phenolic burnt very ferociously and gave the top cavity barrier a serious hammering.”
  10. ^ "Kingspan exec admits delay in informing public of misleading fire certification at Grenfell inquiry". RTE. 2020-12-07. Kingspan sold its Kooltherm K15 insulation with an unrepresentative fire certificate based on a 2005 test which claimed it was safe for use on buildings higher than 18m. The product sold from 2006 onwards was different from that tested the year before, but the firm kept selling it using the old technology's test pass and only withdrew this certification in October [2020].
  11. ^ Weinfass, Ian (December 1, 2020). "Grenfell inquiry: Kingspan manager said fire consultants could 'go f*ck themselves'".
  12. ^ correspondent, Robert Booth Social affairs (November 27, 2020). "Kingspan directors cashed in £6m of shares before airing of Grenfell claims" – via
  13. ^ "Director of Grenfell firm quits after evidence it used outdated fire tests". the Guardian. December 17, 2020.
  14. ^ "Staff at insulation firm that supplied Grenfell Tower materials joked about product test 'lies'". The Independent. December 8, 2020.
  15. ^ Booth, Robert (2020-12-08). "Staff joked safety claims about material used on Grenfell were 'all lies', inquiry told". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  16. ^ Hopkirk, Elizabeth (2020-12-08). "Kingspan boss denies putting occupants of K15 towers at risk, Grenfell Inquiry hears". Building. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  17. ^ Dunton, Jim; Lowe, Tom (2020-12-08). "Grenfell Inquiry: Another uncomfortable week for Kingspan". Building. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  18. ^ "Grenfell contractors 'joked about "lies" over how combustible insulation was'". December 9, 2020.
  19. ^ Booth, Robert (2020-12-09). "Firm rigged tests of rival product after Grenfell blaze, inquiry told". the Guardian. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  20. ^ Staff, C. N. (December 10, 2020). "Kingspan lobbied MPs with 'rigged' fire tests".
  21. ^ Hopkirk2020-12-10T07:29:00+00:00, Elizabeth. "Kingspan hired lobbyists and 'gamed' tests in aftermath of Grenfell fire, inquiry told". Building.
  22. ^ Ing, Will (December 10, 2020). "Kingspan lobbied MPs with 'gamed' test results of rival insulation products".

External links

This page was last edited on 13 January 2021, at 02:16
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