Concrete crisis: Which buildings in the region are at risk of collapse?

Hinchingbrooke Hospital must be entirely rebuilt due to the use of RAAC.
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Over the past few months Peterborough City Council has been carrying out surveys on its building stock to find out if any are at risk of collapse, having been built with RAAC.

Across the country, 156 schools have been found to be at risk due to the material and only 52 have so far been supported to tackle the issues.

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A further 104 schools will not be able to return after being advised not to by the Department of Education.

The proposed look of Hinchingbrooke Hospital's new operating theatre.The proposed look of Hinchingbrooke Hospital's new operating theatre.
The proposed look of Hinchingbrooke Hospital's new operating theatre.

The department is still said to be waiting on the survey results of over 1500 schools as well.

What is RAAC?

It stands for einforced autoclaved aerated concrete and was a lightweight building material that was used in throughout the 1950s and 1990s; mostly in flat roofs but also in floors and walls of buildings.

It was a cheaper, quicker to produce and easier to install alternative to standard concrete.

Why is it a hazard?

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Due to the nature of its make-up, it is less durable than standard concrete and is believed to have a lifespan of only around 30 years.

it is also susceptible to structural failure if enough moisture is allowed into air bubbles in the material.

Planks of the concrete can then become prone to sagging and steel reinforcements may not extend far enough to hold its weight.

What is the situation in and around Peterborough?

A council spokesperson has confirmed that none of the council’s education sites have come back with any concerns about RAAC to date.

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They have also been undertaking surveys of other council-owned buildings whish have also not shown any concerns as of now.

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In the area, however, Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon has been named by NHS providers as one of 14 hospitals constructed “either wholly on in major part” with RAAC.

There hospitals have been described as “critical” and not fit for purpose beyond 2030.

Therefore, the hospital is to undergo a complete rebuild as part of a £20 billion investment in hospital infrastructure.

More buildings of concern are expected to come light across the country and surveys continue to be carried out.