Buildings at a university campus in Brighton have panels with unsafe concrete, it has been confirmed.

The University of Sussex has said work taking place to replace a number of roof panels in campus buildings to get rid of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

The concrete was commonly used in the construction industry at the time the university opened in the 1960s, but is now believed to be at risk of collapse following incidents over the summer.

A number of stairwells have been closed in Bramber House, which houses a Co-op, restaurant and a number of seminar rooms, while some of the affected panels are replaced.

The university has said the work is expected to last several months.

Four other campus buildings are also confirmed by the university to have RAAC panels; namely Chichester I, Chichester II, Arundel and the John Maynard Smith building. Each of the buildings is home to seminar rooms and, in some cases, lecture theatres.

The Argus: Bramber House was among the buildings found to have panels of the unsafe concreteBramber House was among the buildings found to have panels of the unsafe concrete (Image: Google Maps)

The university has told The Argus that RAAC was discovered in the buildings in June of last year and was immediately made safe.

A process is now under way to remove the concrete from each of the affected buildings, with teaching for the new academic year not impacted by the situation.

The university also confirmed that no lecture theatres or seminar rooms have been closed as a result of RAAC.

A spokeswoman for the University of Sussex said: “Following an inspection last year, reinforced aerated autoclaved concrete (RAAC) panels were found.

“We proactively undertook an extensive assessment of campus buildings and found that five had roof panels containing RAAC.

“The majority of these panels were assessed to be structurally secure. Where defective panels were found, we immediately commissioned work to make the buildings safe, which has been completed.

“Additionally, work has already started to replace the RAAC panels on the first of the affected buildings with minimal disruption.

“The safety of our community remains our top priority and we continue to monitor and assess the buildings affected. Throughout, we have communicated transparently with our community about this.”

The University of Brighton told The Argus it is currently unaffected by the issues regarding unsafe concrete.

A spokesman for the university said: “The most recent survey of our estate, which took place over the summer, did not highlight any obvious use of RAAC in any of our buildings constructed between the 1950s and mid-1990s.

“We are now assessing other buildings where modifications or extensions have been added to ensure that no RAAC is present, though we consider the overall risk to be low.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will engage structural engineers if further surveys highlight any areas where RAAC has potentially been used.”

It comes after two schools in Sussex confirmed cases of RAAC earlier this week.

Langney Primary Academy in Eastbourne said that RAAC was found on some external parts of some buildings, with Greenway Junior School in Horsham closing a corridor and adjacent toilets due to the dangerous concrete.

Pupils at both schools have been able to continue attending classes in person.

More than 100 schools and colleges across England have been forced to make full or partial closures due to RAAC, just as pupils were due to be welcomed back for the start of the new academic year.

Education secretary and MP for Chichester Gillian Keegan made a discreet visit to a school in Essex affected by the crumble-prone concrete yesterday after hitting out at “sensationalists” who asked questions about the crisis.

At a drinks reception in Westminster on Wednesday, Ms Keegan insisted that critical coverage of the government’s handling of RAAC “really hasn’t bothered me that much” and said: “If you know you’ve made the right decision, but they don’t know you’ve made the right decision, and you also know you can manage the implementation, execution of what you need to do, they’re sensationalising it.”