NCMA endorses ACI Masonry Testing Technician references in key TMS specs

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

The Masonry Society’s TMS 402/602-16: Building Code Requirements and Specifications for Masonry sets new technician requirements to reinforce quality control measures surrounding concrete or clay units, mortar, grout and prism or scaled-wall specimen testing. Contractors, engineers or owner’s representatives can meet the requirements, published in December 2016, by enlisting ACI-certified Masonry Testing Technicians.

“Due to a variety of factors, including an increased need for quality assurance, masonry testing is becoming more common. Unfortunately, in some areas, testing technicians are not always familiar with masonry, nor its nuances that make it different than concrete,” says TMS Executive Director Phil Samblanet. “The result can be improper testing, poor results, and headaches in the field. ACI’s Masonry Testing Technician Certification programs will further efforts to improve testing quality by letting contractors, designers, and owners know who is qualified to perform masonry testing.”

National Concrete Masonry Association President Bob Thomas expressed support for the TMS 402/602-16 provisions in a World of Concrete 2017 briefing with ACI and TMS officials. “Masonry is one of few materials providing structural form and finished wall function in buildings,” he observed. “Testing block is different than concrete. We want to let owners and engineers know technicians are qualified for materials and wall assembly testing that might arise after a project is under way. Some times a project is held up by responses to inadequate testing, so it is important we have qualified technicians to perform procedures and measurements properly and accurately.”

ACI launched Masonry Field Testing Technician and Masonry Laboratory Testing Technician certification in 2014. Section 1.6 A of TMS 402/602 states: “Masonry testing laboratory personnel who are certified in accordance with ACI Masonry Laboratory Testing Technician Certification Program, or equivalent program, are qualified.” Section 1.6 B adds: “Field technicians who are certified in accordance with the requirements of ACI Masonry Field Testing Technician Certification Program, or an equivalent program, are qualified to observe and/or prepare masonry specimens.”

NCMA, TMS and ACI officials noted during the Las Vegas briefing that the ACI Masonry Testing Technician programs will likely be referenced in the 2018 International Building Code and International Residential Code. The TMS 402/602-16 was produced by Committee 402/602 on Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures, formerly designated the Masonry Standards Joint Committee and sponsored by TMS, ACI and the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Structural Engineering Institute.