PCI-certified plants close in on structural fabricator accreditation

Sources: Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Chicago; CP staff

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and International Accreditation Service (IAS) have completed a cooperation agreement that will enable Institute members to apply their PCI plant certification toward IAS approved structural fabricator accreditation, in accordance with the IAS AC157 program. 

International Building Code Section 1704 requires special inspection of fabricated structural, load-bearing members unless an approved fabricator is used. One method to demonstrate code compliance is to use an approved fabricator that meets the requirements of IAS AC157, Accreditation for Fabricator Inspection Programs for Reinforced and Precast/Prestressed Concrete. Approved fabricator accreditation under the IAS program provides building owners, specifiers, engineers, and architects with confidence that the fabricator consistently demonstrates competency in producing the highest-quality precast concrete for a wide variety of building and transportation projects. It likewise provides building departments with a means to register and approve fabricators.

Approved fabricator accreditation differentiates PCI-certified plants from other structural precast producers and will allow them to demonstrate clear compliance with IBC Section 1704. This will eliminate the need for continuous special inspection at the fabricator, potentially saving time and reducing project costs. During the process of obtaining IAS accreditation for the PCI Plant Certification Program, Institute staff and members worked with IAS staff to bring the requirements of PCI certification into as close alignment as possible with AC157 requirements. Since then, IAS and PCI have been working together to reach agreement that by meeting the technical and inspection requirements of PCI certification, and accreditation program oversight from IAS, a PCI plant also meets the associated requirements of AC157. This culminated in the signing of the official agreement between PCI and IAS.