ACI installer certification heeds feds’ request following Boston tunnel tragedy

Sources: American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Mich.; CP staff

Responding to an unusual request from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), ACI will launch the Adhesive Anchor Installer Certification Program in early summer, just ahead of the ACI 318-11 Building Code Requirements release.

The certification was developed after NTSB determined that adhesive-anchor failure led to a precast concrete panel’s collapse, killing a motorist. The panels were part of a suspended ceiling in an Interstate 90 connector tunnel built during the 15-year Big Dig project. In its accident report, NTSB recommended that ACI use its “building codes, forums, educational materials, and publications to inform design and construction agencies of the potential for gradual deformation in anchor adhesives under sustained tensile-load applications.”

ACI teamed with the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute to develop the Adhesive Anchor Installer Certification. They assembled a Subject Matter Experts group that identified certification criteria. It calls for candidates to a) comprehend and execute instructions to properly install adhesive anchors as typically provided by adhesive anchor manufacturers; and, b) attain knowledge to properly assess site conditions—concrete, materials, equipment, and tools for installing adhesive anchors—and determine when it is appropriate to proceed with an installation or when supervisor/foreman/project engineer guidance is needed.

ACI and CRSI completed two pilot programs earlier this year with a total of 35 participants taking both the written and performance examinations. Leading up to this summer’s program roll out, the groups are working a study package and support documents, while assisting Local Sponsoring Groups that offer ACI certifications around the world with program start-up. Additional information on Adhesive Anchor Installer and other ACI certification programs can be obtained by visiting