Special Inspections are conducted to monitor the materials and workmanship that are critical to the integrity of a building’s structure.
Originally, this included structural components such as soils, concrete, masonry and steel, with an emphasis on structural safety. Later, non-structural building components were added to include spray-applied Fire Resistant Systems (SFRM) and Exterior Insulation and Finishing System (EIFS). The International Building Code (IBC) then added mechanical and electrical systems and included smoke control and seismic restraint of emergency power conduits.
TODAY, ITEMS THAT REQUIRE SPECIAL INSPECTIONS INCLUDE:
Reinforced concrete, shotcrete, prestressed concrete, precast concrete
Soils, excavation, filling, piers, piles, earth retaining structures and detention basin
Steel construction including welding, high strength bolting and steel frame
Fire resistant materials
Seismic resistance and structural observations
Exterior insulation and finish systems
Special Inspectors (SI), are required to have specific certifications before they are qualified to conduct inspections.
These certifications must meet local Building Official (BO) or Authority Having Jurisdiction criteria which may vary. The local BO determines the extent to apply IBC and can vary depending on the jurisdiction and purpose of a building. Prior to construction and typically with the building permit application, the design professionals in charge must submit to the BO and SI those criteria required to have Special Inspections for building occupancy.
SI’s submit periodic reports, usually bi-weekly, to the BO, Contractor, Owner’s Rep and Design Professionals that typically includes summary of activities. These reports also include a variance/discrepancy list, RFIs or letters resolving discrepancies, test results for concrete, soil density and soil laboratory and occasionally Daily Field Reports. In order to receive a Final Inspection Report, all discrepancies must be resolved either by test results/retests, correction or acceptance of as-built. A Final Inspection Report is required in order to receive a Certificate of Occupancy.
Geotechnology has provided special inspection services for large, iconic projects such as St. Louis’ Busch Stadium III and the Stan Musial Veteran’s Memorial Bridge between Missouri and Illinois. The team has also provided these services on many Miami University projects in Ohio and large scale distribution and manufacturing plant roofs in Kansas and Missouri.