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RAAC Concrete Found in Houses of Parliament

RAAC Concrete Found in Houses of Parliament
12 September 2023

A government spokesperson has confirmed that reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete has been found in one part of the Palace of Westminster.

According to the spokesperson, it poses no "immediate risk” and was found during a routine investigation. They said that “structural engineers have confirmed there is no immediate risk. Where RAAC is found, mitigations will be put in place as necessary.”

It’s well-known that the parliamentary estate is in need of extensive refurbishment. Since 2016 there have been eight asbestos incidents in the Palace of Westminster and wider parliamentary estate. In 2022, MP Andrea Leadsom highlighted the urgency of the Houses of Parliament refurbishment by claiming that a fire similar to Notre-Dame cathedral could happen “any day.” Speaking on Radio 4, she said: “It’s extraordinary, it could burn down today, tomorrow, any day and we’ve got to make that decision and get on with it."

In May 2023, The Public Accounts Committee criticised the plan to repair and restore the Palace of Westminster, predicting that the building would be destroyed by “a catastrophic incident before the work is done”.


Commercial Landlords Prepare for RAAC Checks


Since the announcement that over 100 schools would be required to close certain buildings that contain RAAC, commercial landlords have been keen to reassure their tenants by embarking on inspections of their own.

Landsec, who owns 24.6 million sq ft of commercial real estate in the UK, told the Financial Times that it would be looking into buildings in its portfolio for the presence of RAAC, focussing on those built in the 1970s.

Picture: a photograph of the Houses of Parliament at night, taken from the riverside. Image Credit: Pixabay

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 12 September 2023


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