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Letter From the Director

Code Provisions for Wisconsin – Raising Awareness

One of the primary sources of visibility for this Association and for me as Executive Director is the participation and experience we have in the codes arena. Recently, I have been actively engaged with numerous professionals from the state of Wisconsin. I’ve had phone calls and emails from homeowners, building inspectors, code officials, contractors, design professionals and even the engineering staff from the American Concrete Institute. You might wonder what all of these persons have in common: they are all being affected by that state’s adoption of ACI 332 as the minimum requirements for residential concrete.

Traditionally, states have formally adopted the International Residential Code (IRC) for prescriptive requirements for their dwelling code. “Jurisdictions wishing to adopt the 2015 International Residential Code as an enforceable regulation governing one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses should…” is offered to give the adoption language any jurisdiction might consider. By reference, the IRC encourages the use of ACI 332 as an optional or alternative provision code for the design and construction of residential concrete. However, Wisconsin has now become the first state maintaining an individual state dwelling code to incorporate a direct reference to ACI 332, rather than to the IRC.

The Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) has been in place since 1980. Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services states: “The UDC is enforced in all Wisconsin municipalities.” In 2018, legislation introduced an update to the UDC, whereby in SPS 321.02 (3) (d) it states:

Note: Concrete construction in standards established in one- and two-family dwellings shall meet the standards established in ACI 332. Construction means, materials, or methods not addressed in ACI 332 shall meet the standards established in ACI 318.

The state is responding to this big change, for now a “new” reference standard has been set as the mark for compliance. Interestingly, the CFA has been part of the development process of ACI 332 for more than three decades. Former Executive Director Ed Sauter, CFA members like Kirby Justesen (Solid Concrete Walls), Buck Bartley (Bartley Corp), Barry Herbert (Herbert Construction), Mary Wilson (Michel Concrete), Chris Tull (CRT Consulting) and Dennis Purinton (Purinton Builders) have been part of the voting membership for this code. I am the immediate past chair for the committee and led it through two code cycles. Dozens of articles and educational presentations have also been delivered by the CFA to help member companies and the industry at large anticipate, understand and implement strategies to embrace the advantages of this code.

These conversations have been fruitful to the industry and to the future development goals of the ACI 332 Code. If you have yet to crack the cover on this, I want to encourage you to do so now, before you are challenged in compliance as your state starts to consider similar adoption, or as designers select ACI 332 as the standard to be maintained in specifications.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us