For certain structural projects, special inspections are required by the code to ensure a high quality of construction. However, which elements require special inspections? How often are the inspections required and who is responsible for ensuring the are completed at the appropriate time during construction.
In the July 2018 SE University session, Dave K. Adams, SE, from BWE, presented Project Quality and Inspection Requirements. Dave reviewed the building department’s role in project quality standards, identified specifications for durable materials, and covered the requirements for structural observations and special inspections. Dave addressed many of the pitfalls associated with special inspections and how to ensure these inspections are well understood by all responsible parties prior to construction.
Dave noted the importance of including the Statement of Special Inspections which can be included in the form of notes in the project drawings or as a separate set of forms. As outlined in Chapter 17 of the IBC, the statement of special inspections should include the type of work requiring inspections or tests, and whether it is to be periodic or continuous. Often times, the permitting agency will allow the inclusion of reference table from relevant codes on the drawings to clearly delineate which tasks are required. Dave included as an example, the following slide which specifies the requirements for special inspection of bolted connections, which can be included on the drawings or at the very least referenced to make clear which tasks are expected.
The contractor should be in communication with the authorized agent to ensure inspections are done at the appropriate stage of construction and documentation should be provided to all involved parties. Communication is key to be sure expectations are met in accordance with the code. For further requirements for special inspections, see IBC section 1704 and 1705.