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RE: ACI or CRSI question-answer center

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Roger,

Unfortunately for you, the perception of others (probably a relatively few
number of people in the grand scheme of things) affect the nature of the
response that you will get from ACI when you send in a technical inquiry.
There are many out there that _DO_ expect the response from an ACI staff
engineer to be an official response...they either don't realize that it is
not or don't care that someone tells them it is not the official response.
The end result is that ACI staff engineers are forced to be more cautious
in their response to technical inquiries.  This has an unintentional
negative effect for those who are just looking for that warm fuzzy
feeling.

With regards to your desire to get a question answered immediately, while
I can understand that desire, I also have to admit that the expectation of
an immediate response is rather demanding considering the fact that the
service is free, not to mention that some questions _DO_ require a little
research, especially since like you the ACI staff engineers are not all
knowing about concrete...they are very likely like many people on this
list...they know quite a bit about certain aspects of concrete but
very little about others.

I have tried to give some insight into why ACI might not be as responsive
as you might desire, assuming that you are even basing your opinion on
recent experiences with submitting a technical inquiry.  I can certainly
understand the desire to speak with someone immediately even if you cannot
get an answer right away, but I can assure that if that were done then the
ACI staff engineers would get nothing else done during the day, which is
not good considering that responding to technical inquiries, like it or
not, is NOT their primary job function.

As another way to maybe provide a little understanding let me ask
this...how do you alllow contractors to submit RFI's on you projects?  Are
they permitted to call you and ask the question, or must they submit them
on a form by fax or some other method?  In my experience, it is the
latter.  Granted on some occasions I have responded to questions from the
field by phone only, but usually it is in the form of a faxed request.
This allows for better tracking at a minimum.  It also makes it easier
for all parties to have an understanding of the problem and prevent a
potential waste of time due to less confusion on what is being asked.  I
am sure that there were many cases where a contractor would have much
rather had the satisfaction of an immediate feedback so that they could
continue with their work.

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Tue, 5 Nov 2002, Roger Davis wrote:

> Scott,
> That warm fuzzy feeling is what I wanted.  Questions seldom come up until
> you need an answer.  I want immediate feedback so I can continue with the
> work that brought up the question.  The answers that you and others
> contribute on this list have confirmed some of my opinions and made me
> change my mind on some things and educated me on many others - they seldom
> come with any authority like a ruling from an ACI committee  but that
> doesn't bother me. I judge for myself whether or not to accept them - just
> like I did with the old ACI Committee recommendation to place a sand lift
> under a concrete slab on grade. I think it was only appropriate under
> special circumstances even though the committee recommended it for years
> until they recently reversed themselves.
>
> Roger C. Davis
> Architect
> SDS Architects, Inc.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Scott Maxwell [SMTP:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
> Sent:	Monday, November 04, 2002 5:05 PM
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject:	RE: ACI or CRSI question-answer center
>
> To clarify what Jay wrote below...
>
> What he states is absolutely correct if you want an "official"
> interpretation of something in an ACI document.
>
> On the other hands, if you want the opinion of an INDIVIDUAL who was
> involved with the creation of that document, then members of committee's
> can give their own opinion.  The key is that it is the opinion of that one
> individual, NOT an official opinion in any way.  It may be that opinion is
> correct and co-insides with what the official interpretation would be if
> rendered.  The end result is that getting the opinion from an individual
> committee member or an ACI staff member (or staff member from CRSI, PCA,
> PCI, etc) may give you a warm fuzzy feeling, but it is more or less worth
> what you paid for it (i.e. nothing) if you want to use it in any form of a
> legal or substantive arguement.
>
> So, to use Roger's example, the answer he got was only useful to give him
> a warm fuzzy feeling.  Even though it came from a member of the 318
> committee, it was not in anyway an official answer or a respresentation of
> what was actually meant other than that individual's opinion.
>
> FYI, ACI staff member when they do respond to technical inquiries will
> sometimes contact committee members to see if one is willing to get an
> opinion.  Not only does this potentially get a more authoritative (notice
> the adj.) for the person asking the question, it can also point out to the
> committee where there are some items of confusion that may need
> clarification in the next iteration of the document.
>
> HTH,
>
> Scott
> Ypsilanti, MI
>
>
>
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