Specifications Should Be Realistic
Harry F. Thomson
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Specifications for concrete in moderate-sized and lesser construction frequently contain provisions which are ambigious, conflicting in application, or do not fully recognize local materials. Most of these questionable features result from (1) inadaquate understanding of the characteristics of concrete, or (2) use of ready-written specifications without revision for conditions or changes in standard requirements. Among the features discussed are: specifying both method and result; "frozen" specifications; habitual use of "1-2-4"; multiple provisions for quality; strength without naming consistency; recognition of local materials; use of compression tests; time of placing; bin-test of cement. Numeruos quotations from specifications are given, and suggestions offered for bringing the provisions in line with actual conditions.