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Re: ACI 117

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Rick Stone wrote:

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Gail is spot-on about several things about ACI 117. In my experience, it is widely unfamiliar to designers; however, my contractor brethren are familiar with it by necessity because we invariably have used it many times to resolve a dispute over satisfaction of contract criteria. It seems that many engineers forget that the instruments of service that they provide (drawings and specifications) become a part of a contract that establishes what a contractor then must do; ACI 117 is incorporated by reference by ACI 301, and almost all the projects we bid, design, build, or rescue list ACI 301, and tell us that "all work is to comply" etc etc. I agree with Gail that many engineers have little knowledge as to the content of 117, or if they have at least read it, they do not clearly understand how it is applied. Study the commentary and odds are that some illumination will result, although Gail is again spot on regarding the aspect that it can be very confusing to read. And just wait until the revised specification is issued!!!!

I will say this, though: I do utilize ACI 301 in the vein that its own instructions advise: I incorporate it by reference and go through the checklist to "fill in the blanks" concerning those things that are project-specific.

And it makes no difference.

Contractors of my experience uniformly ignore it, and claim ignorance as if it's an excuse.

One recent project, I asked to see the concrete test reports (as ACI 301 stipulates) and was told by the contractor's rep "well, we don't ever do that stuff." When I reminded him that it's required by the building code, he just shrugged and said "well, you didn't call it out on your drawings."

I of course turned his attention to the reference to ACI 301, he shrugged and said nothing. He didn't care.

And since no one ever dares to enforce a building code around these parts (since it would "drive up costs") nothing further was ever said.

Building code enforcement here is a joke. The localities that adopt building codes would be better never having done so rather than make a mockery of the law like this.

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