Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC):Cross Sector Working Group minutes December 2023

Minutes from the meeting held on 20 December 2023.


Attendees and apologies

The Scottish Government

  • Building Standards Division (Chair)
  • Education
  • Health and Social Care
  • Housing Standards Unit
  • Facilities Services
  • Education and Justice
  • Estate Strategy and Planning
  • Courts and Tribunals
  • School Funding, Infrastructure and Organisation

External Stakeholders

  • Police Scotland 
  • Fire Scotland
  • Scottish Futures Trust
  • Health and Safety Executive 
  • Scottish Courts Service
  • NHS Scotland  
  • East Ayrshire Council
  • British Property Federation
  • Built Environment Forum Scotland
  • West Dumbarton Council 
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Scottish Housing Regulator
  • Homes for Scotland
  • Scottish Funding Council 
  • Fife Council
  • Edinburgh Council
  • Manufacturing Technology Centre

Items and actions

Update on previous actions

Action point 8.1  

The British Cost Information Service (BCIS) report is available to members of the Group via Objective Connect. 

Action point 8.2

The proposed RAAC management, mitigation and replacement sub-group has had some volunteers (with others approached) although more would be welcome. 

Action point 8.3

Communication planning work is ongoing. CSWG minutes are being uploaded to the Group’s webpage on the Scottish Government website with addition material, including to Health and Safety Executive guidance, will be posted in due course. 

Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) presentation

Guests from the Manufacturing Technology Centre delivered a presentation on the Centre’s ‘RAAC Impact Programme’. Key points of the presentation were noted. 

  • MTC is bridging the gap between university based research and the commercialisation of industrial solutions to deliver impact through transformational change. MTC is central to industry wide co-ordination of a RAAC impact delivery programme and has a wealth of experience of Non Destructive Testing (NDT) 
  • MTC has developed a programme to collaboratively support estate owners through the use of Non Destructive Examination (NDE) technology which is a less invasive way of identifying RAAC and which will help with decisions around prioritising maintenance and monitoring 
  • the technology employs a number of digital techniques including ground penetration radar and ultrasonic testing with the aim of enabling the industry to apply the correct methodology to effectively assess the condition of RAAC
  • MTC are also developing a training pack and ‘RAAC playbook’ which will potentially be available at the end of April   
  • to help progress their work there is the need for senior buy in and support, particularly at the governmental level 
  • the potential for an accelerated risk of RAAC failure due to climate change was noted 

The presentation will be made available to members of the CSWG via Objective Connect. 

Sectoral Updates – focus on longer term planning 

Education

  • all 32 Local Authorities have now completed their desktop and visual assessments. Officials will begin working with councils concerning the schools where RAAC has been identified in early 2024. It was noted that a number of these schools have already put long-term remediation processes in place including removal of RAAC
  • the Registrar of Independent Schools has confirmed there are seven independent schools which have confirmed the presence of RAAC
  • 69 independent schools have confirmed no RAAC and 15 schools are awaiting the results of a survey or are currently conducting surveys

Health 

  • assessments including surveys of buildings rated as high, medium and low risk are expected to conclude by March 2024 
  • the next stage will be to consider how to put in place effective longer-term remediation measures in a live patient environment with minimal disruption

Housing

  • the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) continues to publish information as part of its ongoing data collection exercise. With assessments continuing, to date, 10 social landlords have identified RAAC in some of their properties. SHR will release a full data set in due course 
  • there is still very little evidence of the extent that RAAC might be prevalent in the private sector (though this is not considered likely to be significant) 

Local Authorities (non-schools/non housing)

  • all 32 Local Authorities have now responded to the request for information on the identification of RAAC in their non housing and non school estates
  • the majority of the initial assessments (both desktop and visual) of the approximately 7,500 buildings assessed as being within scope of the exercise have been completed with the number of buildings found to contain RAAC being to date in the low 30s
  • monitoring, mitigation and remediations measures are in place as necessary 

Public Bodies

A final call for information has been sent – via Public Bodies Unit colleagues – to those Public Bodies yet to respond to earlier requests for information about their estates (whether owned or leased).  

Justice 

  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service continues to monitor and mitigate affected properties as appropriate, as does Police Scotland 
  • appropriate mitigation measures continue in place in respect of Airdrie Sheriff Court with some areas closed 
  • remediation measures are being put in place as necessary in the prison sector though assessment suggests the RAAC appears to be in good condition 

Support for Testing

Following the sector updates, Manufacturing Technology Centre guests expressed their interest in the results of survey work being undertaken across the various sectors and reiterated their offer to support non destructive testing of buildings (for which funding was available).     

Future work of the group

This item was not discussed due to pressures of time but would be rescheduled for the next meeting.

Any other business

There was no other business to be dicussed.

Date of next meeting

Officials would identify a date in January for the next meeting – as well as for meetings in February and March.   

Actions arising from meeting

Action point 9.1

To set up monthly meetings for Q1 2024.      
 

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