New Guidance Document for RAAC
The Department for Education (DfE) has recently published a document that provides non-statutory guidance to help Responsible Bodies from the education system (school and college leaders, staff and governing bodies) understand the process of assessing, investigating and developing a Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) management and remediation strategy. It also provides guidance on the level of information to be provided by specialists, to ensure a consistent approach to the assessment of RAAC.
Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) is a lightweight form of concrete. The Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) has noted that: ‘Although called “concrete”, [RAAC] is very different from traditional concrete and, because of the way in which it was made, much weaker. The useful life of such [panels] has been estimated to be around 30 years.’ (SCOSS Alert, May 2019).
RAAC was more commonly used in the UK from the 1950s until the mid-1990s in schools, colleges and other building construction. It may therefore be found in any school and college building (educational and ancillary) that was either built or modified in this time period.
Where unsure of the date of construction and/or modification of buildings, it is advised to assess all buildings thought to be constructed between the mid-1930s and mid-1990s.
If RAAC is suspected, a specialist Structural Engineer should be appointed. If RAAC is confirmed, the specialist should undertake a detailed assessment to inform a management and remediation strategy.
Bailey Partnership (Consultants) LLP are on the Institution of Structural Engineers list of professionally registered Chartered Engineers with a wealth of experience of providing solutions for managing RAAC panels.