Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC):Cross Sector Working Group minutes – 11 October 2023

Minutes from the meeting held on 11 October 2023.

Note of last meeting (27 September) and actions

Update on previous actions: 

Action point 2.1

On the lifetime of RAAC a separate meeting with NHS Assure and IStructE colleagues has been held since the previous meeting and this will be discussed at agenda point 7.

Action point 2.6

All members to make sure that Scottish Government has your details if you want to be included in the meeting.

Action point 5.1

To gather further details relating to requirements for temporary buildings, their location and the duration of their use. Following discussion with local authorities and planning colleagues in Scottish Government no issues have been reported, but we will monitor.

It was agreed that these actions are now closed. 

CSWG terms of reference

The meeting noted the terms of reference which were shared in August. The Chair had invited comments at the time but aware that people may not have had time to consider. The group was asked to review these terms of reference and consider if there is anything that needs to be revised given the changing scope and frequency of the meetings.

Overview of RAAC situation, including Local Government, Housing and Planning (LGHP) committee session feedback

  • it was noted that there was still media and public interest in RAAC, but it has reduced in recent weeks
  • update given on LGHP Committee and it was noted that the official report of this is now available for which the link will be circulated with the minute of this meeting. Thanks were extended to the stakeholders who attended the committee as it is helpful for MSPs to hear from people who know about buildings, property maintenance and materials performance 
  • noted that in the stakeholder session the issue of a building register was discussed
  • a letter from IstructE to the UK Government has been shared with the Scottish Government. We would plan to share with the Group
  • a recent SHOPS meeting covered topics of replacing roofs and living with RAAC. There is no need for new forums but it is worthwhile to utilise the forums we have, such as this group, to share experiences and bringing forward good practice for replacing RAAC or managing it in situ
  • a further suggestion was made about looking at the trigger for people to take action such as legislation around health and safety when trying to engage building owners  

Sector updates

Local Authority buildings (excl. schools and housing)

  • it was noted that there have been some meetings with Scottish heads of property and COSLA 
  • a questionnaire will go out at the end of the week to ask where they are on discovery work on their estates to build an initial picture for further 


  • it was noted that the number of schools containing RAAC has been reduced from 41 to 37 after further assessment in one local authority 
  • of 32 councils, only 7 have still to complete all assessments they would need to
  • there is a commitment that those will be completed by end of October. Four of the schools include early learning and childcare

Higher Education

since last meeting further questionnaires have been returned - out of 24 colleges six confirmed presence of RAAC which accounts for seven buildings with 1 fully closed and three partially closed 
of 19 universities 10 confirmed to have RAAC and two are still to be confirmed  


  • Scottish Government and the Scottish Housing Regulator are looking at issuing a data collection by the end of the week to collect data from Local Authority and social landlords asking for presence of RAAC and additional information
  • where RAAC is identified a follow up data collection will go out which goes into more depth. It is planned to have the initial data collection back by the end of October


  • officials updated that 254 properties have high or medium likelihood of RAAC.
  • of 43 intrusive surveys conducted 20 have found RAAC most of which are in okay condition and just require additional monitoring
  • one hospital has some water ingress and the board will go through the triage process
  • officials are confident that they will complete original properties by end of November, there have been additional requests to inspect buildings


  • for Police and SFRS it was noted that police and fire situation is stable 
  • for Prisons the discovery stage has been completed and there is only one site with RAAC present but it is in a reasonable condition
  • for Courts there is still some discovery ongoing but most court buildings predate RAAC

Public bodies

  • officials noted that they have had responses from half of the public bodies (excluding health) 
  • of those that have responded, four public bodies have confirmed RAAC, but three of these are already reporting directly to the group
  • officials plan to write to the public bodies who have not responded and stress that the response does not need to wait until the completion of the discovery process and seeking initial responses by the end of October

Private sector

  • the Scottish Property Federation are trying to engage with members to assess if RAAC is a problem in privately owned public buildings such as shopping centres and office builder and some developers have fed back that they are in the process of going through their portfolios
  • it was noted that in private housing sector Homes for Scotland are getting feedback from developers on a regular basis and so far this doesn’t seem to be a problem, follow ups will continue  

RAAC research: Loughborough University

A presentation was received on the Loughborough University research project on RAAC, which has been funded by NHS England. Topics covered included the following:

  • overview
  • modelling
  • monitoring and surveying
  • further research

The slides from this presentation will be shared along with the minute of this meeting.

  • A question was asked about further research into the ‘known unknowns’ and if this is expected imminently. Loughborough advised the UK Government is currently discussing how to fund this, but the NHS have advised that if there is not a timely response they will fund it themselves. It was noted that due to the rolling updates that have been coming out of the research project to inform current investigations into RAAC there will be no surprises at the end of the research
  • It was noted that there is particular concern around the unknown history of roofs, for example when a roof has had no leaks or repairs previously then the roof might externally look fine.  It was noted that this means that more intrusive testing needs to be done to determine the condition as a visual inspection may not always be sufficient 
  • There was a comment that sections of the media are of the opinion that all RAAC needs to be replaced and it may be beneficial to get health and safety or building regulators to come to future meetings to discuss risk management approaches 

RAAC lifetime and messaging

Due to the volume of questions from the presentation, this item was moved to the next meeting to allow sufficient time for discussion.

Any other business

There was no other business to be discussed.

Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting is 25 October 2023. 

Actions arising from meeting

Action point 6.1

Update given on LGHP Committee and it was noted that the official report of this is now available for which the link will be circulated with the minute of this meeting.     

Action point 6.2

For group members to send comments on the ToR by next meeting so that these can be finalised and published. 

Action point 6.3

To set up a meeting to discuss issues with RAAC in commercial, non-public sector buildings to assess risk.    

Action point 6.4

To extend meeting invite to HSE colleagues.

Attendees and apologies

The Scottish Government

Building Standards Division (Chair)
NHS Strategic Capital Investment
Improving Social Care Support Standards and Quality
Property and Construction
Housing Standards and Quality
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service/ SFRS
Scottish Housing Regulator
Criminal Law, Practice and Licensing
Estate Strategy and Planning
Health Infrastructure and Sustainability
Community Justice
Planning, Architecture and Regeneration
Local Government and Analytical Services
Strategy, Finance and Communications

External Stakeholders

Local Authority Building Standards Scotland
Loughborough University
NHS Scotland Assure
Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
Scottish Prisons Service
Scottish Courts Service
Built Environment Forum Scotland
Scottish Funding Council
Homes for Scotland
UK Finance
Historic Environment Scotland
Falkirk Council
Dundee Council
Scottish Property Federation
West Dunbartonshire Council
Scottish Funding Council
Scottish Futures Trust
Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers
Fife Council
Institute of Structural Engineers
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities

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