Are RAAC planks a problematic material that is being overlooked ?

Robert Hilman, Director

Since late 2018 the long-term problems associated with RAAC planks, often called “rack planks” in conversation, have been better reported on. However, only recently is the wider property market becoming more knowledgeable about this now recognised problematic material. Do you know if you have this material in your portfolio?

Whilst some parts of the public sector have been tackling this potential risk overtime, this is by no means complete. In the recent Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety (CROSS) newsletter from April 2020 it is identified that structural engineers dealing with such matters comment that “planks are becoming more defective with time. They have also found that many schools do not even know that their roofs are constructed using RAAC planks and are therefore not aware of the risks”. The full original alert report was published as a SCOSS Alert in May 2019 “Failure of Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) Planks” by the Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS).

This material is still widely used in parts of Europe and indeed continues to be manufactured in Belgium. For the UK it is widely known to be present in both educational and healthcare buildings as well as many others.

Given this remains an issue, the first stage is to clearly identify if this material is present and then manage its risk/condition or its potential replacement. Given this material has been widely used in flat roof decks areas of buildings this is not to be underestimated.

Watts has sound knowledge of such property and asset surveys and can advise on mitigating and managing such risks associated with RAAC planks. Please contact either our technical director Trevor Rushton or our operations board director Robert Hillman, if you would like an initial no cost consultation, to better understand the risks associated within your own property/portfolio.



Robert Hillman BSc (Hons) MRICS
National Director
Operations Board

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