Council’s position on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC)

249 days ago

Carmarthenshire County Council has a paramount commitment to the safety and well-being of our building users, which is without compromise. 

This information page has been set up to provide the latest information and updates from Carmarthenshire County Council on matters relating to Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).

Background

RAAC is a construction material commonly used in buildings from the 1950s to the 1990s. Its presence has been confirmed in various public sector properties, including schools and hospitals, throughout the United Kingdom. Governments in the UK have been aware of the vulnerabilities associated with RAAC since the 1990s, and collaborative efforts have been in place since 2018 among the UK Government, Devolved Governments, and local authorities to manage RAAC effectively. The guidance for managing RAAC in buildings has been considered robust, prioritising the safety of building occupants.

In Wales, local authorities were alerted to the potential issues with RAAC in February 2020 by the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) following a safety alert issued by the Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) in 2019. Local authorities have a statutory duty to assess the condition and safety risks of all buildings in their school estate and maintain comprehensive records.

 

Carmarthenshire County Council's Response for Non-Housing Properties

Carmarthenshire County Council has a dedicated stock condition surveying team and programme in place to conduct detailed surveys of all properties within an agreed schedule. Initial desktop inquiries have been conducted across our maintained property estate, and I am pleased to report that these preliminary assessments have not identified any RAAC within our properties.

 

Carmarthenshire County Council's Response for Housing Properties

The known use of RAAC in housing properties is rare and we are not aware of any homes in our stock where it has been used. Most of our homes and sheltered schemes are of traditional construction and our non-traditional homes have already been renovated under previous planned programmes. 

We have an ongoing housing stock condition programme and to date RAAC material has not been identified. A small number of non-traditional homes have been built using concrete, but most of these were constructed prior to the 1950s in advance of the period when RAAC started being used.

 

Update: 15/09/2023 - Investigations continue.

Carmarthenshire County Council will continue to keep headteachers, education staff, pupils and parents informed of the latest information and update on the status of their respective school’s estate.

The following letter has been communicated to parents via schools on 8 September 2023.

Our unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our buildings persists. Following our initial inquiries, we plan to validate these preliminary results through additional extensive surveying efforts. While we do not anticipate finding signs of RAAC, if its presence is detected in any of our properties during these follow-up assessments, please be assured that we will promptly and decisively address the situation. Our utmost priority is to safeguard the safety and well-being of our building users and Housing Occupational Contract-holders.

Carmarthenshire County Council will continue to work in collaboration with the Welsh Government to closely monitor the situation, prioritise safety, and implement appropriate measures in response to any concerns that may arise.

There is now a task force of senior officers meeting weekly to monitor the position and ensure our further survey work remains of high priority and happens at pace.

The safety and the well-being of our building users remain our upmost priority.