Hotels And Libraries Join List Of Buildings Affected By Raac

Portakabin 2 bay modular building internal 1

The list of buildings affected by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) has been growing over the last few months. The issue first hit the headlines back in September when over a hundred schools had to close at the beginning of term due to unsafe concrete in roofs, walls, or floors.

Raac is a lightweight building material that was widely used in the UK and worldwide from the 1950s to the 1990s. It has a textured bubbly centre, much like an Aero chocolate bar, which makes it much lighter than conventional concrete. However, the air bubbles make it more susceptible to water damage, which can make it weak and prone to crumbling.

Many of the buildings constructed of Raac in the UK have reached the end of their natural lifespan and are showing signs of wear and tear. Initially, the focus was on schools and hospitals, but now it is becoming apparent that the problem is more widespread, with hotels, libraries, theatres, and shops also hitting the headlines in recent weeks.

Furthermore, The Mirror reports that at least 600 schools are likely to contain Raac that has not yet been identified. 231 schools have been officially identified so far, and the newspaper reports that officials have said privately that the issue will take several years to resolve.

There is still a lot of uncertainty about how the repairs will be funded and how long it will take. One solution for some schools and other institutions affected by Raac has been to install portable accommodation such as modular buildings. These can be in place within a matter of days on any solid level surface.

Modern portable buildings are very different from the draughty and ugly prefabs of yesteryear. They are constructed of durable and weatherproof materials and are highly energy efficient and easy to heat. They can be constructed up to three storeys high and adjoined side by side to create flexible spaces.

Furthermore, the interiors can be fitted with a range of materials and fixtures that make them highly versatile. For example, they can be adapted for use as hygiene facilities, storage units, canteens, staff rooms, offices, and more.

Elsewhere, the Peterborough Christmas panto nearly hit the buffers due to Raac being discovered in the roof. The Key Theatre closed in September following a survey, and a temporary solution was put in place to provide a secondary roof structure. This allowed the theatre to open just in time for its production of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp.

Meanwhile, in Dorset plans have been put on hold after workers discovered Raac in a former Marks and Spencers building that was being converted into a hotel, and Todmorden Library in Yorkshire will be closed for Racc-related repairs until January.

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