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Allen Face has been writing articles for the industries informational resource Concrete Construction since 1982. Please visit their website to browse through his articles as well as a trove of other useful information.

For your convenience, we have provided a summary and links to several of his articles here for you as well.

 

A Good Offense

Published Jan 13, 2010

Updates
Last month's article outlined how to use your proposal and the RFI process to initiate the essential congruence between the floor specified by the designer and the one expected by the owner. Because everyone, except the flatwork subcontractor, is quite content with the current liability situation (i.e. all problems are automatically presumed to be the fault of the installer), a substantial new inducement will be required to restructure the system.

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The Emperor Unclothed

Published Feb 23, 2010

Updates
Last month's column described how a preemptive warranty can be used by a contractor to limit risk with regard to the principal uncertainties associated with concrete floor construction: cracking, curling, joint instability, delamination, spalling, sweating, filler failure, Division 9 incompatibilities, inconsistent cosmetics, and vapor transmission.

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More Dog Work

Published March 11, 2010

Updates
For argument's sake, let's say that you, the flatwork subcontractor, actually have done everything you were supposed to do prior to the first slab placement to protect yourself:

  • You've understood the engineer probably doesn't know very much about slab-on-grade physics, his floor design is probably flawed, and you are going to be the one who is blamed when the owner is disappointed.
  • You've gotten your proposal incorporated verbatim into your contract.
  • You've used the RFI process (and, if necessary, exposure of the designer's warranty charade) to force correction of the design's errors.
  • You've presented the owner with a formal warranty stating precisely what you will and will not guarantee, and how any covered defects will be repaired.
  • You've hosted and documented an offsite pre-slab meeting with the owner, designer, and GC where all significant design, construction, and testing issues were reviewed—and where the owner's expectations were adjusted to conform to reality.
Now that it's time for you to place concrete, what must you still do to defend yourself?

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A Pop Quiz: Answers

Published April 8, 2010

Updates
All 40 statements in April's Pop Quiz are false. If you answered "true" to some (or even many) of them, please don't feel too badly. Though the wording was straightforward (I promised no tricks), many of the statements were chosen precisely because they are so generally accepted as being true—especially those concerning slump, shrinkage, cracking, and curling. Future columns will address many of these all-too-common fallacies in some detail, and hopefully will provide a much clearer understanding of what actually is happening. If you aced the test, congratulations! You may skip the next dozen or so installments. On the other hand, if your score was less than perfect, I think that you will find what comes next very interesting.

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Allen Face & Company

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