Recent reports have highlighted the potential danger that this material possesses due to possible deterioration.
RAAC In Public Buildings and UK Schools
Reinforced Autoclave Aerated Concrete, or RAAC for short is a building material produced from a mix of cement, lime, water and an aeration agent.
Recent reports have highlighted the potential danger that this material possesses due to possible deterioration, which has subsequently forced many public buildings and schools throughout the UK to close as preventative safety action is taken while the risks are evaluated.
There are known to be at least 156 schools and 34 hospitals (at the point of writing) amongst the buildings listed that were constructed with this weaker form of concrete.
Of the 156 schools listed, 52 schools had already implemented safety measures whilst the remaining 104 will not be able to open as the new school year is set to begin.
Due to its makeup, RAAC is highly vulnerable to crumbling as a result of the volume of air concentrated within, which in turn, allows more moisture to penetrate the material – ultimately reducing its tensile strength over time.
Why is RAAC Becoming an Issue Now?
Reinforced Autoclave Aerated Concrete is a less expensive building material compared to traditional concrete, however, due to the strength properties within this product, RAAC has a lifespan of around 30 years, not a substantially long period of time when used in the construction of buildings.
The buildings that have been highlighted as being at risk are now passing their 30 year lifespan and there have been structural failures reported at an increasing rate in recent years.
While RAAC has been identified in 156 schools in England, the number is expected to grow in the coming months as risk assessments increase further throughout the UK including Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
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