Schools, Colleges and Universities

Asbestos in our schoolsMany UK schools, colleges and universities contain buildings that were constructed before asbestos was finally banned in 1999. Consequently it’s extremely common to find asbestos containing materials within the fabric of school buildings where it was used as a fire retardant. Many of these buildings are now being renovated or demolished and it is vital that the asbestos materials contained within them are properly removed and disposed of prior to any building work commencing.

It is estimated that more than 14,000 schools were built between 1945 and 1975 when the use of asbestos was at its height, and many others were refurbished. More than three quarters of schools have some buildings which contain asbestos.

Department for Education Guidance

The Department for education have issued guidance on asbestos for headteachers, school governors and school management teams. This outlines specific responsibilities with regard to asbestos and the safety of staff, students, visitors and any contractors used on-site. This guidance states that the school management body must be aware of the presence of any asbestos containing material prior to any building work commencing. Further the guidance states that any work likely to affect asbestos-containing materials must be carried out by qualified organisations.

NIC carry out asbestos removal contracts in a range of schools, colleges and universities. Our case studies include specific examples of work carried out at organisations ranging from local primary schools to Manchester University. Most of these projects involve the removal of asbestos containing materials from a part of the school prior to renovation work commencing. 

Asbestos Risk

Asbestos fibers only become a risk to human health when they are released into the air and breathed in. The types of maintenance, repair work and improvements that might disturb asbestos include: 

  • Installation of new ICT equipment and cables
  • Window replacements
  • Alterations to classroom structure and installing display equipment
  • Refurbishment projects

Asbestos fibers can also be released through vandalism or accidental damage, or as materials deteriorate as they age.

Minimal disruption 

asbestos in schoolsNIC are very familiar with the need to minimise disruption and for work to be carried out efficiently and speedily. We are frequently commended for the smooth running of our contracts and the minimal disruption that our work has on the school timetable. Very frequently our teams carry out projects in schools, colleges and universities during holidays although due to the timetable of any renovation works this isn’t always possible.

Whatever the size of your project it’s very likely that NIC have carried out similar work within a similar organisation at some point. Take a look at our case studies or call us to discuss a specific project.


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