Click here to access the checklist.
Since its early beginnings, concrete has become the most widely used construction material in the world. It can be molded and shaped into whatever the mind can imagine. To achieve these amazing results, concrete performance, particularly ready mixed concrete, must be evaluated according to consistent standards and methodologies. The American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) have established and continuously update the standards and practices used by architects, engineers, general contractors, ready mixed concrete suppliers, and testing agencies to provide a community with unique concrete structures that help reinforce the character of the community.
Simple concrete mixtures containing cement, rock, sand and water still exist in many places, but as the world changes, so does the complexity of concrete. Concrete mixtures today must possess the strength and durability to last 70, 80, 90 or even 100 years or more. They also must be capable of being cast and shaped into a myriad of forms that are structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing. This is a difficult task considering concrete is a perishable product and must be cast into the desired form while it is still soft and moldable. The timetable for producing, transporting and placing ready mixed concrete is very short. Once concrete hardens, correcting a mistake is very difficult and expensive.
Most construction projects are time sensitive with concrete placements being part of the critical path for building construction. Real or perceived issues related to concrete performance must be addressed and too often cause the project to falter in the critical path, which leads to delays and cost overruns. Since concrete is an important part of a project’s critical path, the Colorado Ready Mixed Concrete Association (CRMCA) created a Concrete Pre-Construction Checklist to encourage open communication between the owner, architect, engineer, general contractor, testing agency and ready mixed concrete supplier regarding the proper evaluation of concrete delivered and placed on a project.
In the construction industry, when performance issues arise, the concrete supplier is often considered guilty and must prove his or her innocence. The ready mixed concrete supplier accepts this reality because they do not want concrete in the structure that does not satisfy the project requirements. Unfortunately, concrete suppliers frequently defend their products based on erroneous information collected by concrete testing agencies. The purpose of the CRMCA Pre-Construction checklist is to limit these situations and provide credible and useful information to the project team.
The majority of construction industry professionals believe a successful project begins by setting the expectations for the project including concrete performance and evaluation. Setting expectations translates into fewer problems during construction, meeting project timetables and budgets. The CRMCA Concrete Pre-Construction Checklist was patterned after the more comprehensive NRMCA checklist, which attempts to address every aspect of concreting on a project. The CRMCA Concrete Pre-Construction Checklist is shorter than the NRMCA version and is designed to address those critical issues associated with the proper evaluation of concrete performance, namely field quality control.
The checklist presented in this blog is a document designed to open the dialogue between the members of the project team regarding the control of concrete quality. This checklist serves no purpose without the support of the project team. Always schedule a Pre-construction meeting.
Click here to access the checklist. This is a writable pdf document.
Rick Wheeler is Chairman of the CRMCA Technical Committee and Technical Services Manager of the CEMEX Cement Division. This article originally appeared in the 2014 Edition of “Colorado Concrete Magazine”.