Following the award of our first official contract as part of the Trust’s extensive estates and maintenance programme, we have successfully delivered a variety of projects of around £18m in total including initial remedial works (temporary propping, timber end bearing supports), main failsafe support works, RAAC panel works and anode installations around the hospital.
Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC)
RAAC is a lightweight form of pre-cast concrete, which gained prevalence in the 1950’s and was commonly used in the construction of roof and wall panels in schools, offices and hospitals until the mid-1980’s.
It differs from standard concrete during the production process where a fine aggregate and gas producing chemicals to create bubbles in the mix which are cured using heat, with no coarse aggregate used.
Some key issues with RAAC, which are currently being brought into the spotlight include:
The specialist works that we have completed to date have served to strengthen the existing building and preserve its structure ahead of its re-location to the new facility on the Hardwick Manor site in 2030.
Challenges Faced and How we added value
Given the specialist nature of the works, we encountered several challenges requiring a swift resolution from our delivery team. This included:
We are extremely proud of all elements of our RAAC panel works at West Suffolk Hospital and thoroughly believe that the expert knowledge we have gained through the delivery of all relevant projects can be applied across sectors to assist with the growing concerns associated with the presence of RAAC panels.
We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue delivering projects at West Suffolk Hospital in the future and, following a recent contract award, be extending our specialist knowledge and experience to Queens Hospital in Kings Lynn, who are continuing their own RAAC panel structure and support works.
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