NCMA endorses ACI Masonry Testing Technician references in key TMS specs

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.

NCMA’s Bob Thomas is flanked by ACI’s John Nehasil (left) and TMS’ Phil Samblanet.

“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,” said TMS Executive Director Phil Samblanet at a World of Concrete 2017 joint briefing with the National Concrete Masonry Association and American Concrete Institute. “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.”

“Masonry is one of few materials providing structural form and finished wall function in buildings,” observed NCMA President Bob Thomas. “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.”

“The masonry testing certification programs support advancing education with respect to proper techniques associated with masonry materials, and were created to help improve the quality of masonry construction,” added ACI Managing Director of Certification John Nehasil. “The industry will benefit from requiring ACI-certified masonry technicians.”

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. 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.

Also at World of Concrete, ACI launched a ‘Why Certification’ section at Site pages serve as a resource for individuals, specifiers, and employers looking for more information on why certification is important for careers and businesses. Specific resources include listing of where ACI certification is required; sample language for requiring certification; steps for individuals to get certified; steps for employers to get their people certified; and, testimonials from industry peers.