Contractors, CIM research finds mockups best ACI 347 formed-surface criteria

Sources: American Society for Concrete Contractors, St. Louis; CP staff

Researchers evaluating the American Concrete Institute’s Guide to Formed Concrete Surfaces (ACI 347.3R-13) contend that a) suggested measurements or other criteria used in assigning a given formed surface to one of the document’s four categories is neither objective nor practical; b) converting ACI 347.3R-13 recommendations to specification requirements could result in disputes and litigation; and, c) preparation of concrete mockups for architect or engineer approval is superior to the guide’s methodologies.

ACI 347.3R-13’s four concrete surface categories range from basic (areas with limited importance of formed surface quality) to special requirements (areas with formed surface quality of high importance). Research aimed at providing architects and engineers an alternative means of specifying cast-in-place concrete surface quality was led by the American Society for Concrete Contractors with additional RMC Research & Education Foundation and ACI Foundation participation. Library, laboratory and field research activities were conducted in cooperation with the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) programs at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro; California State University, Chico; New Jersey Institute of Technology; and, Texas State University.

The report includes other recommendations for ACI Committee 347 on Formwork to consider when ACI 347.3R-13 is revised. Co-authored by ASCC Concrete Construction Specialist Dr. Ward Malisch and MTSU CIM Department Head Dr. Heather Brown, it is available as a free download at