RAAC replacement solutions developed for St Catherine’s College

St Catherine’s College is pleased to announce that it has submitted the Planning and Listed Building Consent Application to address the use of RAAC in several of its Grade I listed buildings. The application, which was developed after an extensive pre-application process with Oxford City Council, Historic England, Twentieth Century Society and the Historic Parks and Gardens Trust, proposes the replacement of the affected roof structures to ensure the longevity of the College site by mitigating harm and preserving its iconic Jacobsen design.

Since September 2023, the College has restricted access to various areas within the College due to the presence of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in the College’s roof structures, principally the original Arne Jacobsen site. This included the Kitchen, Dining Hall, JCR, SCR, Administration Block, Wolfson Library, the Bernard Sunley Building and the top floor of the Accommodation Blocks Staircases 1 to 16.

The proposed remediation plan would begin with the Kitchen, JCR, SCR, Dining Hall, followed by the Bernard Sunley Building and Library, all forming the initial phase of the project, with works scheduled to commence in August, subject to Listed Building Consent and planning permission. A second application will follow to address remediation of the Accommodation blocks.

Our thanks go to the many teams involved in the development of our proposal, including: AtkinsRéalis, Oxford Architects, Pendery Architecture & Heritage, Edgars, Colvin & Mogridge, Ingleton Wood, AKS Ward, Bentley Consulting, MKA Ecology, Tree Frontiers, Beard Construction, Oxford City Council, Historic England, Twentieth Century Society, the Historic Parks and Gardens Trust, St Catherine’s College Governing Body, as well as to the teams on-site who have worked hard to keep the College an open and lively home for our community.

Commenting on the proposals, Finance Bursar Professor Byron Byrne said: ‘Removing and replacing the entire roof from a Grade I Listed Building is a huge challenge, but the robust interrogation and hard work of all teams involved ensures that we have found an optimal solution to address the problem of RAAC at St Catherine’s College. We as a College are grateful to our partners in this project and look forward to restoring the historic Jacobsen Campus to full operations over the coming year.’

The College will soon be announcing a major capital campaign to address the costs of the remediation project. For more information, or to discuss opportunities to support the campaign and associated naming opportunities, please contact Director of Development, Anna Fowler (

Further details about the RAAC remediation project, including the design and access statement and the heritage statement, can be found on a dedicated page here: RAAC at St Catherine’s College.