Chapter 17 – What is so Special about it?
Chapter 17 of the International Building Code (IBC) – and thus almost all adopted State and Local jurisdictions Building codes – relates to all Special Inspections. The “Special” connotation can throw some for a “loop”. Simplified, Chapter 17 Inspections can be defined as Third Party Tests and Reviews requiring “Special Expertise”. These are construction reviews and construction materials testing that the jurisdictional Building Department will not be performing; however, the Building Department will require that the reviews/tests are performed in order to issue an Occupancy Permit for the project at the conclusion of construction.
It’s a bit of a Mystery….
We are often asked to help interpret the Special Inspections portion of the Building Code. Sometimes it is difficult to understand exactly what will be enforced on the Code, but actually the tables within the Code are specific as to types, frequencies and referenced standards for reviews and tests required for the listed Special Inspections. These can be looked at as the default required Inspections of the building being permitted. These types of construction (concrete, masonry, structural steel, etc.) are also referred to as life safety items of the building construction. The Designer of Record (usually the Structural Engineer or Architect) can increase or decrease these if they feel that is appropriate based on the level and type of construction. However, the Plan Examiner can accept or reject those changes or may request a reason for requiring less Special Inspections than what is listed in the Code for typical construction.
For example, if a project requires Special Inspections for the structural masonry, the Code provides the frequency that grouting is to be reviewed and what items are reviewed during grouting, as well as the allowable construction tolerances. The Code provides our scope. Our role, as the Special Inspector, is to coordinate with the Contractor and provide the Inspector with the Special Expertise to review the work. The appropriate reports are sent to the Design/Construction Team. The completion of the Special Inspections will allow the Special Inspector to issue a final summary letter of the Final Report of Special Inspections (the required reports may vary by the individual Building Departments). This Final Report will meet one of the requirements for issuance of an Occupancy Permit.
How do we help you solve the “Mystery of Chapter 17”
Geotechnology, Inc. performs Special Inspections consistent with Chapter 17 of the IBC. We are well versed with the requirements and can review your Statement of Special Inspections in order to submit the inspection report to the Building Department who is reviewing your plans and issuing your project’s permits.
Contact us for more information.