Group will be drawn from industry experts and professional bodies across the construction sector

The Construction Leadership Council will establish a technical expert panel to advise the government on fixing issues with failing concrete in public sector buildings.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) met today to discuss how the industry should respond to the crisis over reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), a lightweight material used in hundreds of buildings from the 1950s to the 1990s but which is prone to collapse.

The expert panel will be drawn from professional bodies across the construction sector, as well as industry experts, to provide a single agreed approach to the issue.

It will be coordinated by Construction Industry Council (CIC) chief executive Graham Watts, who also co-leads the CLC’s building safety workstream.

Mark reynolds mace

CLC c-chair Mark Reynolds said the industry had a responsibility to ensure the safety of the public

The panel will develop a plan to address some of the immediate support required, including the provision of temporary buildings, and the availability and competence of inspectors.

The support will be provided in two phases, an assessment of the current situation and risk levels, and then supporting the design and delivery of any required remediation programmes across public sector estates.

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The work of the expert panel will be supported by a communication and external engagement group to ensure that accurate information and guidance is provided to the industry and building owners, the CLC said.

CLC co-chair and Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds said the industry has “a responsibility to ensure the safety and the confidence of the public in the buildings that are a part of the fabric of their daily lives”.

He added: “The CLC is working to coordinate a cross-sector response, marshalling technical expertise and industry capacity to support the government and building owners to develop an effective programme to assist with prioritising and mitigating the risks, and developing plans to remediate buildings where required,” Reynolds added.

Watts said that while the CLC expects most buildings containing RAAC to be safe, he said there was an urgent need to identify and fix any risks.

“As an industry we will support the programme of expert assessment of structures, both public and private, to identify where RAAC has been used and to deal with it to make it safe,” he added.

In June, the government told all departments to investigate their estates to identify where RAAC may be present. Its use is thought to be most widespread in school buildings and hospitals, although some prison buildings, universities and social housing could also contain the material.

Yesterday the Ministry of Justice ordered an urgent expansion of surveys into court buildings to cover those built in the 1990s after a site not included in initial investigations was found to contain RAAC.

Harrow Crown Court, which was built in 1991, has been told to close indefinitely for repairs because it contained the material. Initial surveys only covered the 1960s, 70s and 80s.