Reema (Hollow Panel) Type PRC Houses

1940's reema hollow panel

Reema (Hollow Panel) Type PRC Houses

Classified aS ‘Defective’ by the Secretary of State under Part XVI of the Housing Act 1985, in England & Wales unless subject to approved repair.

Manufactured by Reema Construction Ltd of Salisbury Wiltshire was formed in 1948. Approximately 17,600 houses of this type were known to have been built between 1945 and 1966 (16,000 England, 1,600 Wales) in both house and bungalow format. The system was also used to construct low and high rise flats.

Reema Construction Ltd created a number of different designs including :

1940's reema hollow panel
  • Reema Hollow Panel: DEFECTIVE 
  • Built 1945-66    
  • Qty: 17,600   
  • AKA: Bourne, Nadder, Stour, Wylye.

Reema Contrad house
  • Reema Conclad:  Not Defective:
  • Built: 1967 – 1970s    
  • Qty: N/K 
  • AKA: Coffered Panel – Waffle Panel.

Reema (Hollow Panel) Type PRC Houses 1
  • Reema Contrad: Not Defective:
  • Built: 1969 – 1970s    
  • Qty: N/K     
  • AKA:  Engineered Homes, Reema.

The Hollow Panel system comprises storey height panels of mildly reinforced concrete. The panels are linked together with reinforced in-situ columns and tied together at first floor and eaves level by reinforced in-situ ring beams. The reinforcement within the panels is of a light gauge steel which was used primarily to control shrinkage cracking and handling/erection stresses.

The panels are hollow, double-skinned components, with channel-shaped rebates cast in their upper and vertical edges. The rebates act as permanent shuttering for in-situ concrete columns and ring beams (at first floor and roof level) which together provide jointing and structural support for the panels.
The external walls are formed with large coffered, storey height concrete panels with an exposed aggregate surface.

1940's reema hollow panel
Original 1940’s Reema Hollow Panel Houses

Corrosion of the reinforcement is unlikely to have any effect on the overall structural integrity of the panels or dwellings. The overall stability of the Reema system relies on all the wall units acting together as one complete unit. Whilst this occurs, the structure remains stable.
The potential for structural failure is more significant in the in-situ wall columns and ring beams and precast floor beams. The beams in particular were often made using high concentrations of chloride based admixtures, thus increasing their potential vulnerability to corrosion.

Heavy-gauge (3/8″ to 1/2″) steel has been used to reinforce door heads and architraves, which were separate precast reinforced concrete components incorporated in the panel during casting. Door sills were cast integral with the panel. Lifting hooks comprised similar reinforcement which extended the full height of each end of the panels. Corrosion of this heavy-gauge steel may lead to localised cracking or even spalling, but  again,this is unlikely to affect the overall stability of the house. Its corrosion will, however, provide warning of potential deterioration elsewhere in the component affected.

The proximity of the reinforced in-situ columns to driving rain at the panel joints also increases the risk of corrosion of steel if the concrete in these components is not dense.

  • Party walls consist of hollow panel units, similar in design to those for the external walls with a plasterboard finish. At the party walls and corners, external precast concrete cover pieces and quoins provide the shuttering and external surface.
  • The internal finish is of timber framing and plasterboard. At the junction of each concrete panel there are reinforced concrete columns which were poured on site.
  • Load bearing internal partitions are formed using 100mm thick pre-cast panels, otherwise these are usually built of timber studwork.
  • The ground floor is typically of solid in-situ concrete construction, thickened around the perimeter to bear the extra load of the  external and part walls. The first floor is built off hollow pre-cast concrete beams overlaid with tongue and grooved boarding. Timber joists and a plasterboard ceiling.
  • The pitched roof construction comprises timber rafters and purlins, sarking felt, battens and concrete tiles.

A number of structural variations have been found amongst various builds and forms.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Panels cast with integral window sills instead of cast flush openings to receive window frames;
    Flank walls have been found to be recessed relative to the gables instead of being joined flush at the corners;
  • Gable walls formed by abutting triangular panels (Fig 2) at wall-plate level.
  • Panels of some houses received applied coatings to the textured concrete face whilst others  had panels with exposed aggregate finishes;
  • Timber joists were used for detailings on landings et;
  • Individual precast concrete floor beams were sometimes used in place of  twin-beam units;
  • Panel joint detail changed during the 1950s to include felt gaskets, associated with absence of a nib at the inner edges of panels but they were still pointed externally;
  • Floors of flats were constructed with precast hollow reinforced concrete units.

Surveyors Notes

  • Localised corrosion of the limited reinforcement inside the panels and the light-gauge
  • (3/16″) steel in the ring beams may not always be obvious. It is unlikely that
  • serious structural deterioration would occur from localised corrosion but this may result in some visible local spalling and cracking.

Many of these properties have since been refurbished and over-clad with a proprietary insulation and render system.
Reema properties are reportedly difficult and expensive to heat efficiently, therefore external wall insulation is considered to be a worthwhile improvement toward making these properties warmer and more efficient.

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Further Information Reema Hollow Panel Properties

There are a number of approved licenced repair companies that undertake work to Defective class, Reema Hollow panel houses. PRC Repair Co, is one such company who offer this service and who are the creators of the below video. Once repaired and certified, a Reema Hollow Panel property is considered suitable for mortgage lending purposes. Always approach a lender who who offers mortgages on non-traditional constructed homes as not all do. Always check the lenders published lending criteria before making a mortgage application as it will state if non-traditional lending is provided.You can find out more about PRC Repair Co and the processes offered by visiting the link provided HERE

Only a full structural survey can confirm the construction type and condition of your home. A survey should also identify if you property is a defective Reema Hollow Panel house or a non-defective Reema Conclad or Contrad.

If your home is identified as a Defective property that has not been repaired under an approved repair scheme, you are unlikely to obtain a mortgage but you could still purchase the property if you are a cash buyer.