Diamond Build Group has completed repair works to a London-based school following the discovery of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).
The project was handed over within seven weeks to minimise disruption for students and staff.
Following the isolation of mechanical and electrical services, the existing ceiling and timber supports were removed from the top floor of a building. Timber and steel joists were then installed to support the RAAC panels and improve the load bearing capacity.
Prior to reinstating power, data cabling and fire alarm systems, new lighting and heating equipment was installed. A new suspended ceiling system was then fitted, completing the works.
David Lott, Operations Director for Diamond Special Works, part of Diamond Build Group, said: “When RAAC is identified, speed is of the essence. Corrective measures and repairs must be carried out quickly and effectively to rectify the issue, ensuring the safest possible environment.
“As a specialist refurbishment contractor for the public sector, our team was able to mobilise quickly to help the school and complete the urgent RAAC repairs. Most of the work was carried out during the summer holidays to minimise disruption. With vast experience of refurbishing occupied sites, we were able to complete the final part of the project when the pupils returned to school, eliminating the need for any closure.”
Mainly found in roofs, RAAC looks like traditional concrete but is lighter and less durable. According to the Health and Safety Executive, RAAC was frequently used in public sector buildings from the mid-1960s to mid-1980s and is now beyond its lifespan. The government agency advises all those responsible for managing, maintaining, and altering government buildings to assess RAAC and seek specialist advice to develop management plans.