RAAC which stands for Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete is making the news at present. In short, it is a lightweight type of concrete that was used from the 1950’s to the 1960’s because it was lighter, cost less and had good fire resistant properties. 

Experts advise that the lifespan of this type of concrete is typically 30 years from initial construction. The issue now is that in almost all cases its lifespan will have already run out, based on the these dates. 

It is thought that around 15,000 schools were built during this period and many of them, as well as other public and commercial buildings, still have RAAC in their construction. The concrete these buildings contain is now, anything between 5 and 40 years past its predicted expiry point and should have been replaced.

The Government’s present policy is that it will only pay for emergency mitigation work that is required in schools in terms of alternative locations and transport. And, at the present time, there is no indication where more significant funding may come from as the majority of local authorities are not in a position to fund substantial rebuilding works on top of their other financial commitments.