Exploring Commercial Real Estate Investments in Light of RAAC Concerns

Exploring Commercial Real Estate Investments in Light of RAAC Concerns

The recent spotlight on the risks associated with Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) has raised important questions for commercial real estate investors. The UK Government has taken active measures to address apprehensions surrounding RAAC's use in schools and public buildings.


It's imperative for none Public / Government investors to grasp the implications and taken action themselves.

What isRAAC?

RAAC is a concrete construction material that gained prominence during the period spanning from the 1950s to the mid-1990s, primarily for flat roof construction.While it was predominantly used in public sector buildings, some commercial properties also employed this material. Consequently, investors must evaluate their exposure to this substance.

RAAC was favoured for its cost-effectiveness and rapid installation, leading to a surge in public sector construction projects in the UK from the 1950s to the early 1990s. However, concerns about its long-term performance led to its discontinuation in the UK, as reported by RICS, though it continued to be used until the mid-1990s.

The identification of material and construction deficiencies associated with RAAC has raised doubts about its structural performance compared to traditional concrete. Given its approximate 30-year lifespan, there is a growing imperative to pinpoint and rectify properties with RAAC panels and like many manufactured concrete products it does not mix well with water, which is the irony of the situation when you consider its used in roofs often.

While several public sector buildings still feature RAAC, commercial properties with this concrete type are less common due to the typical redevelopment cycle.Properties constructed before the 1950s or after the 1990s are unlikely to be affected.

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Risk Management

Due to its RAAC high profile now longer can property owners, occupiers or advisors plead ignorance to the materials risks.

Do not panic,deploy a risk management plan and all will be fine.

Fail to show reasonable intent to sufficiently identify RAAC and if found its condition yourisk taking the blame if a collapse occurs.

Like asbestos if found RAAC does not always need to be removed, instead managed.

Certain concrete structures do not mix well with water and RAAC is just that which is where the irony of its use takes hold.

Risk areas are often flat roofs including canopies to shop fronts, have these and any suspected areas investigated at your identified risk sites.

High risk areas are often flat roofs such as canopies to shop fronts. As the saying goes (somewhat) if it’s raining it could be failing. A wet RAAC structure is likely to be an unsafe one.

For further information, please reach out to:

Paul Wood MSc FRICS ACIArb ImaPS paul.wood@vantagebc.co.uk

Phil O’Brien MRICS phil.obrien@vantagebc.co.uk

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