RAAC Concrete: Finding the Right Structural Engineer

RAAC Concrete: Finding the Right Structural Engineer

RAAC Concrete: Finding the Right Structural Engineer

Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), once a popular construction material, has gained attention due to safety concerns, particularly in public sector buildings. If you’re unsure whether RAAC was used in the construction of your building, it’s important to understand the potential implications and necessary actions, meaning finding the right structural engineer is essential.

RAAC Concrete Issues

One of the primary issues with RAAC concrete in the UK revolves around its potential poor durability which can affect its structural integrity. RAAC concrete planks have voids, allowing for water ingress which can erode reinforcement, causing cracking, spalling and even collapse in extreme cases. These concerns highlight the importance of thorough structural assessments and inspections to determine the condition of the planks to ultimately prevent failures.

RAAC Surveys

Initially records and building control documentation are assessed with the aim to formulate a comprehensive understanding of the site’s specifics. Following this an on-site RAAC survey is conducted where engineers inspect the entire building to identify any RAAC elements, and establish the extent of  cracks, delamination and reinforcement corrosion. If RAAC is detected, a risk assessment is conducted offering guidance on available options and subsequent steps. This process should always be executed in accordance with guidelines outlined by the Institution of Structural Engineers and government directives.

Where was RAAC used?

RAAC found its niche primarily in public buildings; social housing, schools, universities and healthcare. The main reason for this was its cost-effectiveness and versatility. Its lightweight nature and ease of installation made it an attractive choice for large scale projects where both efficiency and affordability were paramount. These structures benefitted not only from RAAC’s economical aspects but also from its durability and insulation properties.

Can RAAC Concrete Be Repaired?

Discovering RAAC within your building can be concerning. It’s important to note that there’s no one size fits all solution. There may be circumstances where no structural intervention is required, but frequent monitoring would have to be undertaken. Sometimes a replacement is the only option with sturdier, more resilient materials. But there are alternative solutions too such as carbon fibre plating to bolster the structure and enhance the concrete’s strength. This material is lightweight, simple to install, resistant to corrosion, cost effective, and under certain conditions offers a maintenance free solution in the medium term.

Another approach involves incorporating new steel beams between the current columns and beams to provide support for the RAAC, provided they remain undamaged and consistently dry.

RAAC Structural Engineers

Finding the right RAAC structural engineer is essential, whether you’re assessing RAAC concrete in schools, hospitals or residential. As a leading structural engineering firm, we offer RAAC surveys across the South, including Hampshire and Somerset. If you suspect RAAC in your building, please get in touch for an initial discussion on what to do – 01794 524447.

Why choose AWA Engineers

AWA is a structural engineering and civil engineering consultancy established in 1987, with a hard-won but deserved reputation for delivering excellence in our profession.

Our philosophy is simple: we put people first. This has resulted in a high number of repeat clients and an impressive track record of successful award-winning projects. We are proud to be professional, and approachable; we believe this makes us the ideal partner for your project.

AWA has chartered engineers in our offices located in Romsey, Hampshire and Bath, Somerset. We deliver services to clients across the South, South East and South West.

Our team includes both chartered structural engineers and chartered civil engineers committed to continuous professional development ensuring you benefit from up to date industry expertise, whatever your project entails.

Contact us today

To find out more about how AWA can help with your project, get in touch today. Call 01794 524447 (Romsey) or 01225 251498 (Bath)  to speak to a member of our team. Alternatively, email and one of the team will be in touch.

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