The Manufacturing Technology Centre has secured a £3m government grant to develop new technologies to identify and quantify the condition of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete across a range of public buildings.
The intention is that this will lead to the development of a UK mass-produced solution for a RAAC replacement programme.
Steve Nesbitt, chief technologist for built environment at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, said: “Securing £3m from Innovate UK enables further vital research into reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC). By gaining a better understanding of its integrity, buildings which are in the most urgent need of repair can be identified, ensuring the safety of occupants.
“The funding will be used to facilitate industry collaboration into using non-destructive testing (NDT) to identify RAAC in buildings and assess its condition. We will also develop an automated way to collect and analyse data about RAAC so that cases can be assessed rapidly and more cost-effectively. Our work will enable solutions to be developed for replacing or monitoring RAAC, for a training programme to be created, and a ‘rulebook’ to be produced for dealing with the material.
“This project builds on our capabilities in NDT and metrology, data analytics and informatics, as well as our previous work completed as part of Innovate UK’s Construction Innovation Hub – a programme which we led in partnership with the Building Research Establishment (BRE). With this wealth of experience and knowledge, we are ideally placed to equip building owners and industry with vital and verifiable intelligence about RAAC on their premises, and the solutions needed to tackle the problem.”