With the school year quickly approaching, the last thing parents want to hear is that their children’s schools might be shut for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, this is the case for 104 educational institutions in the UK, as it has come to light that the RAAC used to build the school buildings in the 1950s is unsafe, and set to collapse. They only option to ensure a safe environment is Raac demolition and a rebuild.
What is RAAC?
RAAC stands for ‘Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete’ that can be found in any educational building that was either built or modified between the 1950s and the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, a large number of schools within the UK fall within this category. The Standing Committee on Structural Safety has said that the material is very different from traditional concrete, and is much weaker.
Tentative investigations have been made into the structural integrity of RAAC when a primary school roof in Kent collapsed in late 2018. At the time, the Institution of Structural Engineers said that RAAC should be removed and replaced only if deemed in poor condition and was high risk, otherwise it can be managed in place.
However, the Government has recently announced a change in their approach to dealing with RAAC after more recent cases have led them to believe that more school buildings can be potentially dangerous to reopen. Some of the schools affected have to shut down for days to repair any damages and ensure the safety of the students and staff, but some schools will need to be shut for months while RAAC demolition works ensue to remove any of the weaker concrete.
RAAC Demolition: the safest solution
Because of the way RAAC is made, it is inherently weaker than standard concrete. It lacks the structural integrity and internal strength to stand the test of time. While there are some cases where schools are minimally disrupted, there are many schools that have been built with large amounts of RAAC. These schools will have to totally remove RAAC to ensure the safety of everyone on the premises. The safest, and easiest way to do so is to demolish the weaker concrete and rebuild with standard construction concrete. The complex elements of these demolition jobs will be removing RAAC while keeping the rest of the buildings as intact as possible to mitigate and reduce any unnecessary damage to school buildings.
At Feltham Demolition, we have years of experience with various types of demolition jobs (including RAAC Demolition), and have the machinery and tools to safely and efficiently approach every type of demolition job. If you are a school or other educational establishment suffering from RAAC issues, we can remove it quickly and safely, so you can become fully operational again.