ACI - 533.1R
Guide for Design and Construction Responsibilities for Architectural Precast Concrete
|Publication Date:||1 April 2020|
A successful precast concrete project requires teamwork among all the participants, including the owner, architect, structural engineer of record, construction manager, general contractor, precast concrete manufacturer (precaster), specialty structural engineer, and erector. Establishing the scope of the precast concrete work and the responsibilities of each party at an early stage in the development of a project is important to achieve quality and keep the project on schedule. During construction, each party is responsible for communicating with all other parties through the construction manager/general contractor. When roles and responsibilities are coordinated, problems and conflicts of responsibility can be avoided. Lines of communication among the parties involved in a project may be established by written documents, or during prebid and preconstruction conferences at which time the communication lines and responsibilities can be reviewed and the design requirements discussed.
To design economical structures for their clients, the designer needs to be familiar with architectural precast concrete and obtain design input from a local precaster early in the schematic design process. The precaster will help inform the design and construction team regarding economical fabrication, delivery, erection processes, and any possible manufacturing limitations. In the event alternatives are approved, the design team retains responsibility for providing revised details as needed and to show how other materials interface with the precast concrete. The structural engineer of record takes overall responsibility for the structural design of the completed structure. Certain aspects of the design, however, are often delegated to the specialty structural engineer working for the precaster. When any of this delegated structural design work for a portion of the structure involves engineering, the structural engineer of record should review the structural design.
The design should be performed in accordance with the requirements of applicable state and local building codes governing the practice of architecture and engineering. This generally requires that an architect, serving as the prime design professional, and a licensed design professional, serving as structural engineer of record, accept responsibility for ensuring that these requirements are met. The architect and structural engineer of record seal and submit their respective contract documents to regulatory authorities for the building permit. Local regulatory authorities may approve design documents for starting construction without final design of the precast concrete components. These initial design documents are typically referred to as building permit drawings or drawings for permit. In most cases, the design of the precast concrete can be performed and submitted at a later time to the design team through the construction manager/general contractor, after the precast concrete work is under contract for design and shop drawings. When part of the architectural precast erection drawings prepared by the precaster are to be included with the permit set, they may require the seal of the precaster's licensed staff engineer or specialty structural engineer licensed to practice in that jurisdiction. The structural engineer of record typically requires a licensed engineer to seal the documents, depicting the designs delegated to the precaster. This does not relieve the structural engineer of record of the responsibility to review submissions and ensure that the designated loading requirements were properly interpreted and structural interaction with the nonprecast portions of the structure was fully coordinated. One of the basic principles of the construction industry is that each party in a construction project has responsibility and authority for their own work. If a party requires compliance, they should also accept responsibility for that work. If the architect or structural engineer of record is involved with construction-managem