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Re: Special Inspection for Grout

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Ben,

The grouting for the column base plates typically will be long after the
concrete inspections are complete.  On major projects the phasing may be
such that you have inspectors on site that are qualified, but it is not
guaranteed.

I have definite mixed feelings regarding the special inspection
requirements.  The inspection fees on many projects exceeds the design fees.
After encountering special inspectors on my jobs hanging out in a lounge
chair listening to the ball game for two-thirds of the billable day I
frequently wonder if I shouldn't stop engineering and start inspecting for a
living. The qualifications of the inspectors vary tremendously.  Many
certified welding inspectors qualify by testing on API requirements
(simple), and remain essentially clueless on the D1.1 requirements
(complex).  I am frequently amazed by all the requirements that I, the
engineer, have mandated on a job without having ever spoken to the
inspector.  Personally I think the public at large and the design community
would have been better served if the code writing bodies had placed more
emphasis on mandating structural observation rather than the current special
inspection panacea.  Every jurisdiction has different requirements,
different forms and formats, it is a real pain trying to develop a standard
drawing format and specifications.

With that said, I do understand the need for independent verification of
critical elements.  Without the ability to have the engineer perform
additional site inspection (not mandated, no-one will pay, won't happen),
special inspection is the only real option currently available. My initial
impression when I read Tom's post was "Oh boy, here we go again", but on
reflection I came to the same conclusion you did.  Depending on the
application this is potentially a critical issue.

I would think that with large design build firms like Fluor Daniel, there
should be provisions to allow FD to employ a full time PE (professional
engineer, not project engineer) on site to provide quality assurance and
satisfy the special inspection requirements.  I don't think it is a conflict
of interest, after all, FD is already responsible for everything and it is
in their own best interest that the job get done correctly.

Paul Feather
----- Original Message -----
From: "Yousefi, Ben" <Ben.Yousefi(--nospam--at)ci.sj.ca.us>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2001 9:36 AM
Subject: RE: Special Inspection for Grout


> Good question.
>
> I know we normally don't ask for it. However, after thinking about it, I'm
> having second thoughts. It is a critical element, especially if the
columns
> are highly loaded and/or resisting moment. If it is not placed properly
and
> there is failure, it could affect the building stability. Our inspectors
> usually don't have the time to look at every little thing in the field.
> Therefore, if you don't have the special inspector look at this, there is
> chance it may not get done properly. I would say on major projects, since
> you already have special inspectors looking at concrete, you might as well
> have them look at the grout.
>
> Ben Yousefi, SE
> San Jose, CA
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom.Hunt(--nospam--at)d-fd.com [SMTP:Tom.Hunt(--nospam--at)d-fd.com]
> Sent: Monday, May 21, 2001 4:24 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: Special Inspection for Grout
>
> I have a project where the building official thinks we should have
> special
> inspection for the grout under column base plates and equipment.  He
> is
> justifying this by applying the concrete section of UBC chapter 17
> (1701.5,
> 1. Concrete, Exception 2) that requires special inspection for
> concrete
> over 2500 psi.  I looked at several documents including SEAONC's
> "Guidelines for Special Inspection and Structural Observation" and I
> have
> not seen anything that requires special inspection of grout.  Has
> anyone
> ran across this situation before with a building official?
>
> Thomas Hunt, S.E.
> Duke/Fluor Daniel
>
>
>
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