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Responsibility for Buying Concrete

ASCC Position Statement #12

Concrete contractors are typically responsible for providing a concrete structure that meets the specifications. To do this, they must match the needed concrete mixture proportions and properties with appropriate finishing equipment, tools, methods, and personnel. By using their experience with different concretes for different applications, they provide the owner with a concrete structure that meets or exceeds specification requirements, even in adverse cold and hot-weather environments and with challenging time schedules.

Concrete contractors traditionally purchased concrete from the ready mixed concrete producer. Now, however, more and more construction managers (CM) and general contractors (GC) are purchasing the concrete. The usual reason for this practice is economics. Some CMs and GCs believe that by purchasing the concrete they can reduce the project cost for the owner. The CM or GC also can benefit when they mark up the concrete cost. The markup will vary depending on the local market and how much coordination is required to interact, communicate, and make mixture adjustments throughout the concrete
placement schedule.

Concrete is not a commodity material. Concrete contractors use their expertise and judgment to evaluate proposed mixtures. This evaluation is
especially important for mixtures to be used for floors that require hard-trowel finishes. When the CM or GC purchases concrete, it eliminates a critical review and evaluation procedure that is inherent when the concrete contractor purchases the mixture. When concrete has been selected solely on the basis of compressive strength and price, a contractor’s means and methods can’t always compensate for mixtures with poor placeability and finishability.

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