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RE: E-pubs <rant>

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An understandable rant and one I'm certain many people agree with, but I'm afraid you are talking apples and oranges. I don't work for ACI and don't represent them, but I am on a few ACI committees and have just finished a rotation on the "Education" committee. I know that ACI is trying very hard to justify value for their products and services.

ACI and PCA are two entirely different types of organizations. PCA is a promotional trade association that promotes cement and cement products and conducts lobbying efforts on behalf of its cement producer organizations. Also, it provides a wealth of educational material, much of it at low cost and subsidized by its members.

ACI is strictly an educational and standards organization. It is not allowed to promote anything, but can provide education on the subject of concrete. It also writes the codes and standards for concrete construction in the U.S. Also, ACI doesn't "represent" the concrete industry and can't conduct lobbying efforts on its behalf. Around the world, ACI is highly recognized as a leading source of concrete information. The people who develop the codes and standards are volunteers trying to work within the restrictions of a "consensus" organization. This is not a very efficient process, but it is extremely fair and allows for most sides of an issue to be considered. ACI membership costs $192 per year for an individual membership.

One of the difficulties we have encountered on the Education committee is trying to determine just what the Design and Construction sectors need in the way of information about concrete. If you have a particular need that you feel ACI isn't meeting, contact their Engineering department and let them know your ideas. Because ACI doesn't "represent" a particular faction of the concrete industry, you can be fairly certain that whatever information you get from them will be relatively unbiased.

As far as your rant goes, I agree with you to some extent. We are a small firm and can't afford to buy the ACI Manual of Practice every year for almost $500. However, ACI can't operate at a loss, even though they are a non-profit organization. I know that ACI does everything they can to keep costs down and provide value for the price.

Jay Shilstone

At 04:28 PM 6/8/2004, you wrote:
It gets worse. I downloaded a copy of ACI 360 and paid nearly $90 for it. Based on the usable information I received from the document, I estimate its true value closer to $9 than $90.

I've downloaded stuff from AISC too which didn't prove to be valuable, but at least it didn't cost me anything.

Regarding the AISC seminars, every one I've attended the last three years I have left feeling like I stole something.

Personally, I don't care if AISC is supported financially by the industry (ACI and PCA aren't?). If that's what's keeping the quality high, then I'm all for it. Somehow, though, I think it also might have something to do with the people involved.

My two cents.

T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)
San Juan Capistrano, CA
-----Original Message-----
From: Michael S. Jones [mailto:mjones(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2004 1:25 PM
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)'
Subject: E-pubs <rant>

On the subjest of e-pubs....

$29.50 for a 22 page electronic copy from ACI? I can see a nominal $10.00 charge or something, but the same price as a hard copy? I guess the membership price is $18.00...still seems a bit high for a .pdf.

The publication is "Suggested Design Procedures for Combined Footings and Mats".

Mike Jones

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