Update on RAAC on campus

Update on RAAC on campus

5 September 2023 update

Given the extensive media coverage of the discovery of the use of lightweight concrete material known as RAAC - Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete - in a range of buildings including schools and hospitals across the UK, here is an update on the University of Aberdeen position. 

Earlier this summer following proactive inspections of buildings on our campus, RAAC was identified in some roof spaces on our Old Aberdeen, Foresterhill and Hillhead campuses and precautionary action was taken immediately. 

This included closing buildings or cordoning off areas and bringing in specialist surveyors in line with guidance from the Institution of Structural Engineers. Every single one of our buildings has been investigated. 

Since then, a huge amount of work has taken place to reopen spaces where it is safe and possible to do so, including the Regent Lecture Theatre and ground floor office and learning space within the Regent Building.  Work continues to develop solutions for other impacted buildings. 

Our areas affected by RAAC are what we class as non-specialised teaching spaces, which means activities can be moved to equivalent spaces elsewhere. These are not laboratory or other specialist spaces needed for student practical work and this means that all teaching will go ahead as planned. 

This is the current situation regards parts of our campus where RAAC has been identified: 

  • Upper floor Regent Building - Old Aberdeen. Following further specialist surveys, only the upper floor of the building is closed. Our Language Centre and International Study Centre housed in the building are now able to make use again of the ground floor following temporary relocation over the summer and have been provided with use of teaching spaces in other buildings. 

  • Some parts of the Polwarth complex, Foresterhill, including West Block where occupancy includes offices, IT rooms and teaching spaces - activities have since been relocated elsewhere to minimise disruption to staff and students. Polwarth Auditorium, Polwarth Lecture Theatre and Polwarth MedChi which have been closed with teaching transferred to Old Aberdeen. 

  • Part of the central Building at Hillhead Student Village (known as the Headspace building). Following extensive inspection part of the lower ground communal areas have been reopened and the majority of activities and services are available to residents. Other services such as the reception and study spaces have been relocated elsewhere on the Hillhead Site.  

  • Hillhead Boiler House - which is accessible only by our technical staff and not open to staff or students. 

The safety of our community is paramount which is why we have taken a very risk averse approach to managing our situation. Please be assured that where there would have been impact on teaching because of RAAC, classes have been re-timetabled and will take place elsewhere on our campus.