Posted: Fri 8th Dec 2023

Wrexham Council continuing its investigation into presence of RAAC in public buildings for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Friday, Dec 8th, 2023

An update has been provided on investigations into the presence of a potentially dangerous type of concrete in public buildings in Wrexham.

Concerns were raised about reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) earlier this year as it was assessed as posing a risk of collapse in buildings where it has been used.

RAAC is a lightweight form of concrete and was used in the construction of schools, colleges, and other buildings from the 1950s until the mid-1990s. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌​​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌‌​​‌‌​‌‍‌‌​​‌‌​​

Its presence has been confirmed within a range of public sector properties across the UK, with a number of schools in North Wales being closed as a precautionary measure.

Wrexham Council has provided an update on its own investigations and says no RAAC has been discovered in public buildings locally.

Cllr David A Bithell, deputy council leader and member with responsibility for corporate health and safety, said: “We are currently investigating the situation with our public facing buildings and to date no RAAC has been found.”

In an update previously provided on the wider issues with RAAC in Wales, a Welsh Government spokesperson said: “To fully understand the scope, the Welsh Government has been working with the wider public sector, including local authorities and NHS Wales, to review buildings and estates to identify any areas suspected of containing RAAC.

“The risk associated with the presence of RAAC in public sector buildings is not a new issue in the construction sector and work has been underway over time in Wales to ensure that risks are managed and, where required, remedial work and mitigations have been put in place.

“The Welsh Government has asked local authorities and other public bodies to assess the wider public estate for the presence of RAAC.

“It has also asked stock holding local authorities about the presence of RAAC in social housing. Registered Social Landlords have been asked to assess their stock via Community Housing Cymru.”

“Following the recent concerns about the safety of buildings containing RAAC, as part of estate management duties, building owners must be able to identify if RAAC exists and ensure that measures have been out in place to properly identify, assess and mitigate any risks associated with RAAC.

“Building owners and/or estate owners, landlords and/or those responsible for managing the premises, are responsible for keeping up to date with emerging guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and The Institute of Structural Engineers.

“The Welsh Government invests in the public estate through strategic capital investment programmes such as the Sustainable Learning for Communities Programme and the NHS All Wales capital programme.

“The Welsh Government has provided Hywel Dda University Health Board with £12.8 million from the NHS All Wales Capital budget to manage and remediate RAAC issues identified at Withybush Hospital, in Haverfordwest.

“Safety remains the top priority and it is the main responsibility of all public bodies to maintain their buildings in a safe condition.”

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