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Concrete Tolerance Coordination

ASCC Position Statement #18

As indicated in these ACI document excerpts, specifiers must coordinate tolerances in the
project specifications: 

  1. “The engineer/architect should be responsible for coordinating the tolerances for concrete work with the tolerance requirements of other
    trades whose work adjoins the concrete construction” (“Guide to Formwork for Concrete (ACI 347-01)”); and 
  2. “Designers are cautioned to use finish and architectural details that are compatible with the type and anticipated method of construction.
  3. Finish and architectural details used should be compatible with the concrete tolerances which are achievable” (“Commentary on Standard Specifications for Tolerances for Concrete Construction and Materials (ACI 117R-90).”)

Contractors coordinate their own work, but they aren’t responsible for adjusting tolerances or ensuring that tolerances for the work of other trades are compatible with their own work. Only the design professional can decide which tolerances are reasonable and compatible. Construction cost increases as tolerances become more stringent, so the owner’s cost is also a factor.

ASCC has identified some tolerance compatibility issues that should be addressed by the design professional...

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