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Re: ACI 318 - request for comments for improvements

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A couple comments on ACI 318:

1.  You may want to review the cross references between code sections to
see if a reorganization of some of the material can make it easier to use.
Sometimes, I find myself with fingers in many sections of the code trying
to understand some requirements.  One section refers to another, which
refers to another...  If these sections were together, it would help the

2.  I like having the code and commentary in the same book, close to each
other.  But you may want to consider other ways of doing that.  For
example, the Canadian PCA has a Concrete Design Handbook which has the code
on one or two sides of the page and the commentary in a box, close to the
code section.  Another example is the new AISC Code of Standard
Practice....  This document has the commentary where needed, in a box
directly after the code section.   This saves the most space on the page
and may be workable for the ACI code.  It would eliminate the large wasted
spaces in the current ACI code.   It may reduce the thickness of the book
and make it appear that the code is simplified!     :-)    I bet you could
reduce the code pages by 25% if the blank spaces are eliminated.

3.  Whatever is done with the commentary, some of the figures need to be
cleaned up or enlarged.  I think you have mentioned something to this
effect.  One example is the Fig. R11.12.4.7 - this really needs to be
enlarged to a full page width from the existing 1/2 page width.

4.   Look at adding some figures like the ones in CPCA.    The CPCA also
has good, clear, easy to understand graphics.   These are very useful.

Ed Haninger
Fluor Daniel
Aliso Viejo, CA

                     To:     seaint(--nospam--at)                                                 
                    06/08/01 12:14                                                                                 
                    PM                   cc:                                                                       
                    Please respond                                                                                 
                    to seaint            Subject:     ACI 318 - request for comments for improvements              


I would like to see if you would provide us with a little assistance, which
ultimately could end up helping yourself.

ACI has heard and received comments about the complexity of the ACI 318
concrete code.  Some surveys have suggested that more structural engineers
prefer to design in steel than in concrete.  Some use these surveys to
conclude that the ACI 318 code is a major contributor to this preference.
This concern has been expressed to ACI by several of the major concrete
trade associations.

We would like to conduct a survey to attempt to determine what areas of the
code need improvement or clarification (note, I hesitate to use the word
"simplification").  The hope is to get some feedback on how to improve the
318 code to make it more useful and user-friendly.

We are currently at a loss, however, as to how approach this problem,
especially since the code itself is rather large, making it difficult to
focus in on particular problems.  We are hoping that you might be willing
to offer some ideas.  For example, what areas of the ACI 318 code do you
find too complex or burdensome to use?  Basically, we are looking for you
to share with us some of you experiences and thoughts on using this code.
We hope that this will help us craft a more through survey that will allow
us to determine how we can make the ACI 318 code a better, more
user-friendly document.

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