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RE: Concrete Specifications

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I must confess that I too have violated some of the following "rules" for 
using ACI documents, but the following should be noted as to the use of 
various ACI publications: 
In ACI 301, the Preface to the Specifications Checklist states: "P1.
Specifications ACI 301 is intended to be used by reference or incorporation
its entirety in the Project Specifications.  Individual sections, articles,
paragraphs shall not be copied into the Project Specifications, since taking 
them out of context may change their meaning.  P2. If sections or parts of 
Standard Specifications 301 are edited into project specifications or any 
other document, they shall not be referred to as ACI Standards, since the 
Standard Specifications have been altered." 
Thus "portions" of ACI 301 technically should not be referred to from
specifications - the full document must be referenced, if used.  To 
incorporate ACI 301 into project specifications which are in CSI format, I 
would recommend the following: put a requirement in each CSI concrete
under "Quality Assurance" which reads as follows "The work of this Section 
shall conform with ACI 301, except as modified herein."  
In ACI 350R, a special box in the front of the document states: "ACI
Reports, Guides, Standard Practices, and Commentaries are intended for 
guidance in designing, planning, executing, or inspecting construction and
preparing specifications.  Reference to these documents shall not be made in 
the Project Specifications.  If items found in these documents are desired
be part of the Project Documents they should be phrased in mandatory
and incorporated into the Project Documents."  
Thus "reports" such as ACI 350R should not be referenced from project 
specifications but appropriate requirements should be defined directly in
project specifications. 
As I see it, the intent is similar to a local building department adopting
UBC with specific amendments - if one is familiar with the general code 
requirements, then only the changes to the general requirements need to be 
spelled out.  Similarly, if a contractor is familiar with ACI 301, project 
specifications should only need to spell out variances from ACI 301.   
Regarding ACI 318, ACI Committee 301 is currently seeking to place greater 
emphasis on the difference between the "code" and the "standard 
specifications".  The intent is that ACI 301 should be the controlling 
document to define the minimum acceptable standards of construction
There is some discussion of this in the Introduction to ACI 318 which
"General references requiring compliance with ACI 318 in the job 
specifications should be avoided since the contractor is rarely in a
to accept responsibility for design details or construction requirements
depend on a detailed knowledge of the design.  Generally, the drawings, 
specifications and contract documents should contain all of the necessary 
requirements to insure compliance with the code.  In part, this can be 
accomplished by reference to specific code sections in the job
 Other ACI publications, such as 'Specifications for Structural Concrete for 
Buildings' (ACI 301) are written specifically for use as contract documents 
for construction."   
Thus, ACI 318 should not be referenced in general from project
but specific code sections may be referenced for specific items. 
I must also point out a "pet peeve" I have with many project specifications
have seen.  I have often seen standards listed in a spec section under 
"References" but no mention of the referenced standard within the text.  Per 
"This article does not require compliance with standards, but is merely a 
listing of those used."  Thus a standard listed under References also needs
be defined as to its applicability elsewhere in the Section or it has no
standing with respect to the work of that Section.