Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC):Cross Sector Working Group minutes – January 2024

Minutes from the meeting held on 23 January 2024.

Attendees and apologies

Internal stakeholders 

  • 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 
  • Falkirk Council
  • Scottish Futures Trust
  • Scottish Courts Service
  • NHS Scotland  
  • North Ayrshire Council
  • Built Environment Forum Scotland
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Scottish Funding Council 
  • Dundee University

Items and actions

Note of last meeting (20 November) and actions

Update on previous actions 

Action point 9.1

Meetings for Q1 are still to be put in calendars due to discussions around the direction and frequency of the group.

Attendees also noted that the MTC Presentation from the previous meeting had been shared and, for information purposes, were also directed to the Aberdeen City Council RAAC Council Housing FAQ webpage. 

Built environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) presentation 

BE-ST delivered a presentation on their work with Interface - an agency within the Scottish Funding Council which works with industry, public sector and academia.

Key points of the presentation included

Engagement to identify interest in research opportunities would be useful as long as this does not duplicate action elsewhere. BE-ST are looking at potential new projects concerning RAAC and Best Practice for Inspection and Rectification where the expertise lies within Scottish universities. The project is framed as a research and development (R&D) activity. To gauge interest, Interface reached out across the university sector with seven universities expressing interest.

Summaries in respect of two of these Universities were provided

  • The University of Dundee - Currently finalising plans with a contractor in relation to RAAC within the university estate. If funding could be unlocked, it would give the University of Dundee an opportunity to look at the recovered material in detail, including reuse or recycled applications with connectivity to other R&D activities. More information to follow, resourcing the testing of the 100s of planks the University of Dundee have on various buildings. Also requests for remote scanning technology, potentially interesting as a test bed.
  • The University of Edinburgh - 8 out of 490 buildings have RAAC and relevant floors have been evacuated as a result. Structural engineer surveys being coded Green, Amber and Red in terms of priorities. Estates are working around retainment of RAAC until end of life of asset, therefore working with a timber engineer company that specialises in fireproofing timber framed systems, to explore application of pre-assembled flitch beamed systems to act as a secondary support for existing RAAC structures, creating a frame within a frame of fire treated steel plated beams. All of this exploration is with the acknowledgement that building standards will be engaged throughout when there is maturity in the concept, and at the moment developing that concept within both a classroom and lecture theatre context within the UoE estate. Currently just at design concept stage.The possibility of the use of computer aided AI regarding a less invasive approach on the inspection of RAAC to shorten the inspection process was also noted.  

In summary, a range of expertise is available but direction on useful areas to develop - along with the issue of funding - would need to be considered. 

Comment from the group included interest in action that would assist in verifying RAAC end bearing without invasive inspection. 

An outcome document from the pilot study, shared with BSD, will be made available to members of the CSWG via Objective Connect. 

Future work of group

  • as it had now been six months since the establishment of the Cross Sector Working Group, discussion was welcomed on the ongoing function and value of the group. 
  • it was noted that the focus of the Group was on sharing/feeding back information on experiences with RAAC, not about creating advice or new guidance.  Attendees also noted that there were now two sub-groups in operation, covering Housing issues and RAAC Management.
  • attendees considered the frequency with which the Group should meet and whether it should have more of a directive role, including in terms of the work of the sub-groups. 
  • it was noted that the work of the Group had so far been found useful to each sector and had led to the formation of the sub-groups. The sessions were seen as informative as the ideas and experiences could be taken and applied to various sectors when necessary. 
  • attendees considered that the group remained useful as a RAAC focussed community and network. However, there was a view that meetings could be less frequent and perhaps also complement the work of the sub-groups.

Sector updates (exception only) 

No updates were offered.

Any other business

No items were raised. 

Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting has still to be confirmed. 

Actions arising from meeting

Action point 10.1    

To circulate the BE-ST summary report.      

 Action point 10.2 

Attendees requested to share feedback regarding the future work of the Group and the ToR.

Back to top