Understanding RAAC and using Potter Raper’s expertise

Safeguard your buildings

Have you thought about the condition of your buildings, especially in light of the recent collapse of a RAAC beam in a school over the summer? The stark reality is that more than 170 schools in England now need to respond urgently to the presence of unstable concrete, known as RAAC, in their structures. But it’s not just schools, public buildings such as courts and hospitals have been built with RAAC and many of them now need to be refurbished or repaired.

Understanding RAAC

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) is a lightweight material that gained popularity between the 1950s and 1990s. It was predominantly used in flat roofing, as well as floors and walls. This cost-effective alternative to standard concrete is quicker to produce and easier to install. However, it comes with a caveat: RAAC has a lifespan of around 30 years and behaves structurally differently from traditional reinforced concrete. One of RAAC’s biggest weaknesses is its susceptibility to structural failure when exposed to moisture.

According to Loughborough University, tens of thousands of structures already in use incorporate RAAC panels and many of them are exhibiting signs of wear, tear and deterioration. The Health and Safety Executive now warns that RAAC has surpassed its useful lifespan and may collapse without warning. The government has been aware since 1994 that certain public sector buildings may contain potentially compromised RAAC. Monitoring efforts were intensified in 2018, but it’s clear that more comprehensive assessments are needed.

Potter Raper can help with all temporary and permanent works required to de-risk, make safe and remove RAAC.

Trust in Potter Raper

If you are concerned about the condition of your building, whether that be RACC or something else, trust in Potter Raper’s expertise. As a well-established, highly-respected multi-disciplinary construction consultancy with over 50 years’ experience in the industry, we have the skills, knowledge and expertise to assess the condition of your building, support you through the repair process and resolve any issues. With in-house building surveyors, quantity surveyors, health and safety consultants, a sustainability team and a laser scanning and CAD department, we provide the guidance and comprehensive support from start to finish. In addition, we have CIF specialists adept at reviewing educational buildings and can help maximise your chances of obtaining funding and realise the full potential of your facilities. More on CIF here.

Don’t leave the safety of your buildings to chance. Contact Potter Raper today and let us work with you to ensure the longevity and safety of your buildings.

Contact us HERE.

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