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RE: No special inspection of CMU walls

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"If the quality is there, the samples should test ok and I'd think you might
be willing to assume responsibility.... but I think that's an important
element... what additional responsibility you are willing to assume to make
up for the contractor's oversight."

There is a big difference between flexiblity in what evidence you require
that your design intent has been met and assuming responsibility for the
final product.  I can't imagine many occassions where you would want to do
the latter.  The former is generally acceptable if you can come up with
something that all concerned parties (the owner, city, etc.) are happy with.
Quite a while back I worked on a job where they did a portion of the work
without inspection.  The inspector had seen the work at about 70% complete,
and the contractor had a great deal of confidence in it (a contractor with
good creadibility, mind you), but the final detailed inspection was missed.
I think they also did various tests to establish what was in place.  They
asked if we could accept the evidence.  Yes.  They asked if we would sign
something accepting responsibility for what had been done and verifying that
the work was acceptable.  No.  How could we?  We didn't do the work or the
tests.  In much the way that you might accept a concrete cyclinder test from
a testing agency, you are accepting the results but not accepting
responsibility for the process itself.  

A friend of mine got paid to do a summer of non-destructive and slightly
destructive testing in a situation not too different from yours, by the
sound of it.  It involved lots of cores, drilling and chipping to verify
grouting and reinforcement.  This is one way of dealing with it.  

Paul Crocker