Managing risk from reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC)
This guidance is for those who have a legal duty to manage buildings – the ‘dutyholder’. This could be the:
- building owner
- landlord for the premises
- person or organisation with clear responsibility for the building's maintenance or repair
Owners or managers of these buildings should identify reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in their buildings and seek specialist advice to assess it and develop a management plan.
The Institution of Structural Engineers information on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) provides authoritative guidance on RAAC.
RAAC is a lightweight form of precast concrete, commonly used in buildings in the UK between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s. It is mainly found in roofs, although occasionally in floors and walls.
It is less durable than traditional concrete and there have been problems as a result, which could have significant safety consequences, that is, its liable to collapse.
Identify, assess, manage
If you are responsible for the management, maintenance or alteration of buildings you should first establish whether your buildings contain RAAC and then take steps to manage and control risk.
If you confirm or suspect the presence of RAAC planks you should seek guidance from a competent structural engineer to assess it and develop a management plan.
The Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) Investigation and Assessment – Further Guidance from The Institution of Structural Engineers (istructe.org) contains guidance in sections 5 and 6 of on what you should do to manage the risk.
Our guidance on managing risks and risk assessment at work contains practical steps for carrying out a risk assessment under health and safety law.
If asbestos is also present, a collapse or remediation activity related to RAAC could disturb it. Duty holders must identify, assess and manage risk from asbestos in their premises. You must share any information on the location, type and condition of asbestos in a building with anyone who is liable to disturb it such as contractors, emergency services.
All building owners or managers
The CROSS-UK safety alert, Failure of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) planks is available on cross-safety.org. This website provides free safety information for the built environment, from the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
The Institution of Structural Engineers information on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) on istructe.org.
Education (including schools), government and local authority buildings
From the Local Government Association Office of Government Property: RAAC Safety Briefing Notice and Information on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) on local.gov.uk
For England: Department for Education collection on reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete in education settings including Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete: guidance for responsible bodies and education settings with confirmed RAAC - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete: identification guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk).