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Re: Special Inspection for Grout

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My three cents (a little better than two):

1.  I think the building official is correct in regard to grout which is an
integral part of a primary structural system covered by the UBC.  Our office
treats structural grout as a special variety of structural concrete, meaning
that special inspection is required where we call for a compressive strength
in excess of 2500 psi.  Mixing and placement is done under the presumably
watchful eye of a Deputy Inspector who takes samples (typically 2" grout
cubes) for testing by an independent laboratory which sends me copies of the

2.  If you are grouting to create what you expect to be a relatively low
stress load path (say less than 500 psi maximum anticipated service load
demand) in a non-critical location, it seems to me reasonable to specify a
minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi (you will of course get at least
twice that using any of the standard pre-packaged products mixed in
accordance with manufacturer's recommendations).  You could then argue that
the grout constitutes a "foundation" (in a broad sense) and should therefore
be exempt for special inspection requirements under 1997 UBC Sec 1701.5(1),
Exception 2.  For nonstructural applications (e.g., pipeway filler, leveling
of minor equipment) you could argue that Chapter 17 does not apply.  My own
feeling is however that you should make the decision to argue for such a
waiver only after careful consideration of the costs and benefits of special
inspection.  I would be inclined to think that in most cases the $300.00 per
day cost of the inspector would be money well spent, and in my own practice
would be inclined to waive special inspection requirements for cost savings
only upon the request of and consequent to a discussion of risk with my

3.  For the record, it shouldn't matter what the building department will
let you get away with or whose pocket the cost of inspection comes out of,
it's either appropriate or not.


----- Original Message -----
From: <Tom.Hunt(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2001 7:20 AM
Subject: Re: Special Inspection for Grout

> EXACTLY!  The special inspector costs come out of our pocket and he/she
> would have to witness the taking of our grout cube specimens every time we
> mix a batch of grout.  This is for a 1000 MW power plant where we use a
> of grout for pipeways, equipment structures, and leveling equipment.
> I understand our building officials logic about considering grout like
> concrete however I have never ran across this before and none of my
> associates have either.
> Thomas Hunt, S.E.
> Duke/Fluor Daniel

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