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Hundreds of schools closed in UK – risk of concrete collapse

Hundreds of schools closed in UK – risk of concrete collapse

Before the start of the school term for thousands of students in the UK, shocking news came that many schools would have to close. Within days, the number had risen from around a dozen to several hundred schools that would have to close at least partly, according to British media reports.

The reason is that the schools were built with a type of lightweight concrete called RAAC (reinforced aerated concrete) which was found to be at risk of collapsing without warning.

The British government says the reason for its response now is that several roof panels, which appeared to be in good condition, suddenly collapsed.

“This has made us less confident that buildings containing RAAC should remain open without additional security measures,” the UK government said in a statement on Thursday. Watchman.

– This may come as a shock and potentially disruptive, but the safety of students, pupils and staff is our priority.

It is unclear how many schools were affected.

There is still uncertainty about the exact number of schools that have been built with concrete, but so far at least 156 have been confirmed to have been involved. The government announced on Thursday that in addition to the 52 schools that have already had to close parts of their operations, another 104 “environments” have been found to be affected.

British Education Minister Nick Gibb said on Friday Sky News That in most cases, “only a few buildings” or rooms in schools will be closed, but “in some cases it will be the entire school.”

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Moreover, he said that not all affected schools had enough time to be contacted.

About 20 schools have been built in large quantities from RAAC which now means all students and teachers will have to be moved to temporary premises. But more students may need to be taught remotely for a period of between a few days and a few weeks.

The national union representing teachers at the UK's Near East University described the situation as “utterly disgraceful” and warned it would mean “massive disruption to the education of thousands of children”.

Hospital buildings were built with the same material.

Later Thursday evening, the government office confirmed that the same type of concrete had been found in 34 other public buildings.

At least 24 of these are hospital buildings that used RAAC for all or significant parts of their construction. Seven of them will need to be completely rebuilt before 2030.

RAAC concrete has been widely used in schools, but also in other buildings, built between 1950 and 1990 and has an estimated service life of about 30 years. Compared to conventional concrete, RAAC is weaker.

RAAC is still manufactured in hundreds of factories around the world, and is still used as a building material in many countries, said Chris Goodyear, professor of construction engineering and materials at Loughborough University. BBC.

– The UK seems to be at the forefront of recognising this problem, he tells the BBC.

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