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Re: ACI 117

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THunt(--nospam--at) wrote:


I have had to resolve field disputes over concrete construction tolerances a few times over my career and in nearly every case after pulling out ACI 117 it was resolved. Many contractors and sad to say some inspectors do not even know this document exists. Typical situations, at least for me, were tolerances for fabricated rebar (ovaled column ties comes to mind), drilled pier locations, final height of foundations (which can effect column grout thickness), center to center spacing of slab rebar, and clear cover to forms.

Thomas Hunt, S.E.
ABS Consulting


02/04/2005 07:59 AM
Please respond to

	ACI 117


A question recently posted pertaining to ACI 117 got me curious.
Of all those who have specified this document on one of their projects, how many have actually read it? How many have had to refer to it during a dispute/discussion of construction quality? If there was a dispute / discussion of construction quality, what section or sections of 117 were pertinent? Gail Kelley

The main problem as I see it is this document isn't explicitly refrenced in any building code that I know of--I could be wrong, but I have searched in vain for it.

I believe it IS referenced (somewhere) in ACI 318 (I don't have time to dig stuff out right now).

One problem is that ACI 117 is so broad that it really needs to be adapted for a particular project, the same way that you are supposed to utilize ACI 301 (Concrete material specification) and ACI 530.1 (Masonry construction specification).

What I have begun to do is reference ACI 117 explicitly on my drawings as the sort of "master reference," and then put specific (and common) items in the drawing notes that come directly from it, as clarification.

I must say I'm surprised that you were able to utilize ACI 117 "after the fact" to settle a dispute. If I tried that the contractors would just snort and say something like "well, who uses that? This is what we've been doing for N years [where 20 < N < 500]."

For all the time and judicious effort spent on creating standards to codify research and "best practice," it all seems to be a waste because we are STILL having problems getting things clearly spelled out in the Building Code, or having anyone who gives a **** actually bother to read it even if it is.

I had a contractor recently place the concrete for a large building foundation. When I asked him about the concrete testing, he just kind of shrugged and said "well, we didn't do any of that because you didn't ask for it in your drawings." When I pointed out that I had called out ACI 301 (which I referenced with defining notes just as ACI suggests), he just shrugged again and said "well, who reads that stuff?"


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