Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has called on academy trusts and councils to participate in a survey on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (Raac) in schools, expressing frustration at the lack of response from 5% of responsible bodies, and hopes that increased publicity will encourage these bodies to take action.
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VolkerWessels UK reported a 39% increase in pre-tax profit to £37.7m in 2022, accompanied by a 17% growth in revenue to £1,349m and an improved profit margin of 2.8%. However, the company faced a legal dispute with HM Revenue & Customs, resulting in a payment of £14m in tax, impacting its after-tax profitability. Despite this, VolkerWessels UK demonstrated strong financial performance and experienced growth across all sectors, with rail projects playing a significant role in revenue generation.
Department for Education Issues Urgent Alert on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in Schools
The Department for Education (DfE) has issued an urgent alert about the potential risks of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in schools across England.
The UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) recorded a slight decline in August, primarily due to a slump in house building, but the overall index remained positive, indicating ongoing growth in the sector. Resilient demand for commercial work and infrastructure projects helped offset the decline in residential activity, although concerns about the near-term economic outlook and rising risk aversion led to reduced optimism for future business activity.
Over 100 schools in England have been ordered to partially or fully close due to safety concerns surrounding the concrete used in their construction.
Cardo Group has acquired Osborne Property Services Limited (OPSL), a company specializing in repairs, planned works, and asset management contracts for social housing landlords. The acquisition is part of Cardo Group’s strategic expansion plans in the south-east region, allowing them to operate from the south coast to London and the home counties. The acquisition is expected to enhance Cardo Group’s ability to provide social housing solutions across a wider geographical area. The financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
More than 100 schools across England and Wales have been ordered to either fully or partially close due to the risk of collapse from reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac).
Mitie, a leading facilities management and professional services company, has completed the acquisition of JCA Engineering, a Stevenage-based company specializing in complex engineering projects. The acquisition is set to enhance Mitie’s project capabilities and expand its client base across various sectors.
The Department for Education has issued new guidance to teachers regarding closures due to the use of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in construction, stating that all areas and buildings with RAAC must be closed, irrespective of previous risk ratings, following recent incidents that have resulted in a loss of confidence in buildings containing RAAC.
Safety Concerns Surround Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in Schools and Public Buildings
Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), a commonly used material in schools and public buildings, has raised safety concerns due to its limited lifespan. The government has issued warnings and initiated surveys to assess the extent of RAAC usage and identify affected buildings. Closure of buildings with RAAC has been mandated, and immediate stabilization works are being funded. However, long-term funding and minimizing disruption to education remain challenges.