Preventing and Solving Concrete Problems Announcing the Formation of the D&B Concrete Team

Posted on June 15, 2011

Maintaining high quality concrete construction has been a challenge for engineers, contractors and owners. Professional organizations representing contractors and engineers have performed research, provided guidance and established criteria for concrete designs and guideline specifications. Despite this effort, many construction projects will experience difficulties with concrete quality. Anyone who has been involved in concrete construction is aware of the issues and questions that always arise with the use of admixtures, cracking, large flat pours, wet curing, hot and cold weather placement, water tightness, construction and expansion joints, shrinkage, design mixes, test cylinder preparation and storage, bonding compounds, wearing surfaces, when to consider prestressed concrete and many other issues.

D&B recognizes this problem and has formed a consortium of concrete specialists to provide technical guidance designed to avoid, and when necessary, analyze, solve and repair concrete failures.

The Team has been organized by D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C. (D&B) who will serve as the prime consultant. D&B has been a leader in concrete design and construction for the past 46 years and has been responsible for specifying hundreds of thousands of yards of concrete on water, wastewater and civil engineering projects. The full Team includes assistance from the most prestigious concrete laboratory and concrete specialists who have impeccable and unchallenged eminence in the concrete field. These experts will serve clients as employees of D&B.

del-221-02The D&B Concrete Team is offering this service to our existing clients where we have new and ongoing projects, as well as new clients that may need advice on specific concrete related situations.

A major element of many capital improvement projects involves the successful monitoring of concrete installations. As noted previously and in an effort to provide our clients with the best possible services on construction management projects, D&B has formed a collaborative alliance with Municipal Testing Lab (MTL). MTL is a recognized leader in the fields of concrete quality assurance materials testing and laboratory services. This will be combined with D&B’s extensive experience on both design and construction inspection projects to provide a team that can successfully manage any contingency arising in the field associated with facility and infrastructure efforts.

Currently, in collaboration with MTL, D&B has performed an extensive qualification initiative involving American Concrete Institute (ACI) certifications for all of our key field staff. MTL is the only ACI certification testing facility on the East Coast and they have been conducting training classes for our staff. This additional education and certification process has raised the bar of our staff’s inspection coverage and increase the value of services to our clients. Additionally, these efforts will facilitate overall project quality assurance, cost effectiveness and facilitate minimizing delays in the projects’ schedule.

To further support this initiative, D&B is working closely with recognized leaders in the field of concrete quality assurance and materials testing. In support of this effort, we will be relying on the assistance of Kal Hindo, P.E., an ACI Fellow. Mr. Hindo is a recognized national expert associated with concrete and materials. He has been involved in numerous forensic analyses and evaluations and prepared reports and conducted studies on strength and durability issues of concrete. Mr. Hindo has worked on quality assurance issues in several cities through out the US and abroad. This includes NYC. For seven years he was the Concrete Technologist for a JV Team on the NYCDEP Concrete Quality Assurance Project. Other nationally renowned experts in concrete and materials available to the team include Dr. Mohan Mahotra, Dr. George Hoff and Dr. Terrance Holland. Additionally, all of these gentlemen are ACI fellows and two are past ACI National Presidents. Each has chaired numerous important ACI and ASTM committees.

All of these individuals supported Mr. Hindo’s effort on the NYCDEP Concrete Quality Assurance Program as members of the (TAC) Committee. This group assisted the NYCDEP with revising and updating the overall DEP Concrete Quality Assurance Program. Their accomplishments included the introduction of advanced supplemental cementious materials and the latest proven admixtures. These two changes provided improved quality control and cost efficiencies. Other examples include, revisions to old concrete specification (Spec 11) and developed the present 03300 Specifications. They also prduced numerous white papers, on such issues as the use of 4” x 8” cylinders instead of 6” x 12”, and evaluated the beneficial use of epoxy coated reinforcing. The group introduced the latest state of the art non-destructive testing techniques and most notably they implemented the use of adiabatic heat signature testing for mass concrete. Under Mr. Hindo’s and the TAC direction, they revised many of the old design mixes and formulated new mixes that were more proficient producing consistent results at lower cost. Also, they established the use of statistical analyses of concrete results as a basis of quality assurance using ACI 214 methods.

Other examples of the contribution of the Technologist’s team was the establishment of protocols for: 1) batch plant inspection, 2) site inspection, 3) rejection criteria, 4) lab testing, and 5) pre-cast plant inspection.

These increased capabilities by D&B will allow our clients to realize added value on their projects. This state of the art training and augmented expertise through Mr. Hindo and the TAC team will facilitate success on both design and field projects that we are involved with. At D&B, we take our responsibilities to our clients seriously and to us, there is no greater satisfaction than a safe project delivered on time and within budget with the highest standards of professionalism.