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Specifications for Tolerances for ConcreteConstruction and Materials and

CommentaryAn ACI StandardReported by ACI Committee 117ACI 117-06Specification


synopsis: This specification provides standard tolerances for concrete
construction. This document is intended to be used byspecification writers and ACI
committees writing standards as the reference document for establishing tolerances
for concrete construction.Commentary synopsis: This report is a commentary on the
Specifications for Tolerances for Concrete Construction and Materials (ACI 117). It
is intended tobe used with ACI 117 for clarity of interpretation and insight into
the intent of the committee regarding the application of the tolerances set forth
therein.Keywords: construction; concrete; drilled piers; formwork; foundation;
masonry; mass concrete; pier; precast concrete; prestressed concrete;
reinforcedconcrete; reinforcement; specification; splice; tolerances.Note to
Specifier: This Specification is incorporated by reference in the Project
Specification using the wording in P3 of thePreface and including information from
the Mandatory Requirements and Optional Requirements following the
Specification.PREFACEP1. ACI Specification 117 is intended to be used by reference
or incorporation in its entirety in the Project Specification. Donot copy
individual Parts, Sections, Articles, or Paragraphs into the Project Specification
because taking them out of contextmay change their meaning.P2. If Sections or Parts
of ACI Specification 117 are copied into the Project Specification or any other
document, do not referto them as an ACI Specification because the specification has
been altered.P3. A statement such as the following will serve to make ACI
Specification 117 a part of the Project Specification: Work on(Project Title)
shall conform to all requirements of ACI 117-06 published by the American Concrete
Institute, FarmingtonHills, Michigan, except as modified by these Contract
Documents.P4. The language in each technical Section of ACI Specification 117 is
imperative and terse.Karl J. Bakke*Donald M. MarksWilliam S. PhelanOrrin RileyDavid
CrawfordRoss S. MartinB. Duke Pointer*Bruce Suprenant*Editorial committee
member.Thomas J. Downs*ChairEldon Tipping*SecretaryACI 117-06 superseds ACI 117-90
and became effective August 15, 2006.Copyright ? 2006, American Concrete
Institute.All rights reserved including rights of reproduction and use in any form
or by anymeans, including the making of copies by any photo process, or by
electronic ormechanical device, printed, written, or oral, or recording for sound
or visual reproductionor for use in any knowledge or retrieval system or device,
unless permission in writingis obtained from the copyright proprietors.ACI
Committee Reports, Guides, and Commentaries areintended for guidance in planning,
designing, executing, andinspecting construction. This Commentary is intended for
the useof individuals who are competent to evaluate the significanceand limitations
of its content and recommendations and whowill accept responsibility for the
application of the material itcontains. The American Concrete Institute disclaims
any andall responsibility for the stated principles. The Institute shallnot be
liable for any loss or damage arising therefrom. Referenceto this commentary shall
not be made in contract documents.If items found in this Commentary are desired by
the Architect/Engineer to be a part of the contract documents, they shall
berestated in mandatory language for incorporation by theArchitect/Engineer.ACI 117
Specification and Commentary are presented in a side-by-side column format, with
code text placed in the left columnand the corresponding commentary text aligned in
the rightcolumn. To distinguish the specification from the commentary,
thespecification has been printed in Helvetica, which is the typefacefor this
paragraph.The Commentary is printed in Times Roman, which is the typeface forthis
paragraph. Commentary section numbers are preceded by the letterR to
distinguish them from specification section numbers. Thecommentary is not a part of
ACI Specification 117-06.

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
Section 8Mass concrete structures other than building elements, p. 117-
558.1Deviation from plumb8.2Horizontal deviation8.3Vertical
deviation8.4Cross-sectional dimension8.5Deviation from planeSection 9Canal
lining, p. 117-579.1Horizontal deviation9.2Vertical deviation9.3Cross-
sectional dimensionsSection 10Monolithic water-conveying tunnels, siphons,
conduits, and spillways, p. 117-5910.1Horizontal deviation10.2Vertical
deviation10.3Cross-sectional dimensions10.4Deviation from planeSection
11Cast-in-place bridges, p. 117-6111.1Deviation from plumb11.2Horizontal
deviation11.3Vertical deviation11.4Length, width, or depth of specified
elements11.5Deviation from plane11.6Deck reinforcement cover11.7Bearing
padsSection 12Pavements and sidewalks, p. 117-6312.1Horizontal
deviation12.2Vertical deviation of surfaceSection 13Chimneys and cooling
towers,p. 117-6513.1Deviation from plumb13.2Outside shell diameter13.3Wall
thicknessSection 14Cast-in-place nonreinforced pipe,p. 117-6714.1Wall
thickness14.2Pipe diameter14.3Offsets14.4Surface indentations14.5Grade and
alignment14.6Concrete slumpForeword to checklists, p. 117-69Mandatory
requirements checklist, p. 117-69Optional requirements checklist, p. 117-70

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-3INTRODUCTION

It is imperative

The structure should satisfy the aesthetic

The specified degree of accuracy has

elationship of all componentsThe required degree of

The feasibility of a tolerance

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
Designers are cautioned to use finish and
Unique job situations and conditions

Tolerances should be evaluated using

The following American

Specifications for Tolerances for Concrete

Specifications for Structural Concrete


Specifications for Structural Concrete (metric)
Standard Specification for Cast-in-Place

Standard Specification for Cold Weather

Standard Specification for Curing Concrete


Specification for Unreinforced Concrete

Specification for the Construction of Drilled

Specification for Cast-in-Place Concrete Pipe


Specification for Unbonded Single-Strand

Standard Specification for Bonding Hardened

Standard Specification for Bonding Plastic

Standard Specification for Producing a Skid-

Standard Specification for Repairing Concrete

Specification for Shotcrete


Specification for Masonry Structures and

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117-5
COMMENTARY
Standard Specification for Latex-Modified

The documents of the


ACI 307, 313, 325, 332, 334, 343, 358

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117-6ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-7

This specification designates standard tolerances

The indicated tolerances govern unless other-

I committee documents covering

A preconstruction meeting shall be held. All

Hard conversions were used throughout the

I units. It is not

Values stated in either inch-pound or SI units

SECTION 1GENERAL REQUIREMENTS


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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
R1.2Requirements

Section 4.2.1), measured at the foundation of

Sections 4.1 and 4.8.2). The application of the location


Section 4.2.1) cannot be used to increase the
Section 4.1. Similarly, the
Section 4.5) shall not be

Sections 4.1, 4.2.1, and 4.8.2. If the base

Section 4.2.1, then the plumb tolerance


Section 4.1) dictates that the face of the wall move back

Section 4.8.2. Refer to Fig. R1.2.3.


1.2.1 Concrete construction shall comply with specifiedtolerances.1.2.2 Tolerances
shall not extend the structure beyondlegal boundaries. Tolerances are measured from
thepoints, lines, and surfaces defined in the contractdocuments. If application of
tolerances causes theextension of the structure beyond legal boundaries,
thetolerance must be reduced.R1.2.2 If the application of tolerances causes the
extension ofthe structure beyond legal boundaries, consideration shouldbe given to
reduce the specified dimension to accommodatethe tolerances.

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117-9
COMMENTARY
Tolerances are not cumulative. The most restric-
R1.2.3 Accumulations of individual tolerances on a singleitem should not be used to
increase an established tolerance.

Fig. R1.2.3.
Plus (+) tolerance increases the amount or dimen-

If the tolerances for structural concrete in this

Exceeding the tolerances does not affect the

The element or total erected assembly can be


the line formed by the intersection of two planar

the deviation of the edge or surface of a

R1.2.5 For acceptance criteria for structural concrete, referto ACI 301, Section
1.7.R1.3Definitionsarrisrefer to Fig. R1.3.1.

bowingrefer to Fig. R1.3.2.

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
single bar area

gap between prescribed elements.


the project contract(s), the

in reinforced concrete, the least distance

departure from an established point, line,

clear distancerefer to Fig. R1.3.3.coverrefer to Fig. R1.3.4.deviationrefer


to Fig. R1.3.5.

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117-11
COMMENTARY
the distance between a

the location relative to

deviation from planerefer to Fig. R1.3.6(a) and (b).deviation, horizontalrefer


to Fig. R1.3.7(a), (b),and (c).

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
the location relative to speci-

deviation, verticalrefer to Fig. R1.3.8(a) and (b).Vertical deviation, horizontal


deviation, and deviation fromplumb are used to establish a tolerance envelope
withinwhich permissible variations can occur. Deviation from

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117-13
COMMENTARY
the degree to which a surface approximates

the degree to which a line or surface is


flatnessrefer to Fig. R1.3.9.levelnessrefer to Fig. R1.3.9.

the specifications of a
I 117 by reference.

as used in circular stave silo construction, a

the permitted deviation from a specified

94-04Standard Specification for Ready-Mixed

174-97Standard Test Method for Measuring

1383-98aStandard Test Method for Measuring


mpact-
R1.4Recommended referencesThe standards and reports listed below were the
latesteditions at the time this document was prepared. Becausethese documents are
revised frequently, the reader is advisedto contact the proper sponsoring group if
it is desired torefer to the latest version.American Concrete
Institute301Specifications for Structural Concrete318Building Code Requirements for
StructuralConcrete and Commentary

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
1155-96Standard Test Method for Determining

Floor Flatness and FL Floor Level-

1486-98Standard Test Method for Determining

ASTM InternationalD 1196-93Standard Test Method for Nonrepetitive Static(97)Plate


Load Tests of Soils and Flexible PavementComponents, for Use in Evaluation and
Designof Airport and Highway PavementsE 1155-96Standard Test Method for Determining
FF Floor(01)Flatness and F
Floor Levelness Numbers
1486-98Standard Test Method for Determining Floor

Manual of Standard Practice (27th Edition)

Tolerance Manual for Precast and Prestressed

116Manual for Quality Control for Plants and


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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION 117-15

.SECTION 2MATERIALS

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COMMENTARY

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117-17
COMMENTARY

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
R2.2Reinforcement location

d as stated in ACI 318, is a design tolerance

Tolerances for fabrication,

. Refer to Fig. R2.2.1(a),(b), and (c).

Fig. R2.2.2(a) to (d) and Fig. R2.2.3.2.2.1 Placement of nonprestressed


reinforcement,measured from form surfaceWhen member depth (or thickness) is 4 in.
(101 mm)or less...................................................1/4 in. (6
mm)When member depth (or thickness) is over 4 in. (101 mm)and not over 12 in. (305
mm)...............3/8 in. (10 mm)When member depth (or thickness) is over 12 in.
(305 mm)............................................1/2 in. (13 mm)
Concrete cover measured perpendicular to
Vertical deviation for slab-on-ground rein-

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117-19
COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARY
Clear distance between reinforcement or

Spacing of nonprestressed reinforcement,

R2.2.4 and R2.2.5 The spacing tolerance of reinforcementconsists of an envelope


with an absolute limitation on oneside of the envelope determined by the limit on
the reductionin distance between reinforcement. In addition, the allowabletolerance
on spacing should not cause a reduction in thespecified number of reinforcing bars
used. Designers arecautioned that selecting a beam width that exactly meetstheir
design requirements may not allow for reinforcementplacement tolerance. This
sometimes happens when lap-spliced bars take up extra space and cannot
accommodatethe placement tolerance. Where reinforcement quantitiesand available
space are in conflict with spacing require-ments of these sections, the contractor
and designer mightconsider bundling a portion of the reinforcement. Bundling ofbars
requires approval of the designer. Refer to Fig.R2.2.4(a) to (e) and R2.2.5.
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117-21
COMMENTARY
Placement of prestressing reinforcement or

Horizontal deviation

1/2 in. (13 mm)

1 in. (25 mm)


Vertical deviation

1/4 in. (6 mm)

3/8 in. (10 mm)

1/2 in. (13 mm)R2.2.6 The vertical deviation tolerance should be consideredin
establishing minimum prestressing tendon covers,particularly in applications
exposed to deicer chemicals orsalt water environments where use of additional cover
isrecommended to compensate for placing tolerances. Slabbehavior is relatively
insensitive to horizontal location oftendons. Refer to Fig. R2.2.6(a) and (b).Fig.
R2.2.5Reinforcement spacing.

Longitudinal location of bends in bars and ends

1/2 in. (13 mm)


1 in. (25 mm)
2 in. (51 mm)R2.2.7 and R2.2.8 The tolerance for the location of the endsof
reinforcing steel is determined by these two sections.

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
Embedded length of bars and length of bar laps

Bearing plate for prestressing tendons, deviation

R2.2.9 The tolerance for conformance of prestressingtendon bearing plates to the


specified plane is established bythis section. Refer to Fig. R2.2.9.

Placement of smooth dowels in slabs-on-

Centerline of dowel, vertical deviation

1/2 in. (13 mm)

1 in. (25 mm)


Spacing of dowels................3 in. (76 mm)

Centerline of dowel with respect to a


1/4 in. (6 mm)
1/4 in. (6 mm)R2.2.10 The tolerance for placement of dowels is determinedby this
section. Refer to Fig. R2.2.10.1, R2.2.10.2, andR2.2.10.3.Fig. R2.2.10.1Dowel
placement.

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117-23
COMMENTARY

Clear distance to nearest reinforcement shall be


1 in. (25 mm)R2.3Placement of embedded items,excluding dowels in slabs-on-
groundR2.3.1 The tolerance for clear distance between reinforce-ment and embedded
items is determined by this section.

Centerline of assembly from specified location

Surface of assembly from specified plane

R2.3.3 The tolerance for the elevation of the top of anchorbolts is consistent with
that contained in the American Insti-tute of Steel Constructions Code of Standard
Practice. Thetolerance for the location of anchor bolts is based on usingoversized
holes per the AISC Steel Design Guide Series 1,Column Base Plates, recommendations
of the Structural

Position Statement No. 14.


Anchor bolts in concrete
Top of anchor bolt from specified elevation
1/2 in. (13 mm)
Centerline of individual anchor bolts from

1/4 in. (6 mm)

3/8 in. (10 mm)

....................................1/2 in. (13 mm)

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COMMENTARY

R2.4Concrete batchingRefer to ASTM C 94 for additional information regarding

Tolerance
1% or required massC0 to +4% of the required mass

1% of the total water content (including added water, ice, and water on
aggregates)3% of total water content

1% of the required mass0.3% of scale capacity or 3% of the required mass,


whichever is less2% of the required mass
3% of the required amount or

Slump

C1-1/2 in. (38 mm)

.......no tolerance
Air content: where no range is specified, the air
........................................1-1/2%R2.5Concrete propertiesR2.5.1
Where the specification has specified slump as amaximum, the project specifications
should provide for oneaddition of water at the job site for slump adjustment,
perASTM C 94, Section 6. Concrete slump should include atolerance that allows for
both plus or minus deviations sothat concrete slumps are not underdesigned to avoid
rejection.The water added at the job site should be within the water-cementitious
material ratio (w/cm) limitations of thespecifications or approved mixture
proportions.Flowing concrete achieved by the incorporation of high-range water-
reducing admixtures (HRWRs) (also calledsuperplasticizers) are regularly used at
specified slumps of7-1/2 in. (190 mm) or greater. In addition, it is difficult
tomeasure high slumps accurately. Consideration should begiven to eliminating a
maximum slump when a HRWR isused to achieve flowing concrete. When HRWR
admixturesare used, concrete slump should be specified for theconcrete mixture
prior to the addition of the HRWR.The slump specified should always be evaluated to
deter-mine if it is suitable for delivery, placing, and
reinforcementclearance.R2.5.2 When an air content range is specified, care should
begiven to address aggregate size and job-site requirements. The

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-25

Category AFor unreinforced piers extending

Category BFor unreinforced piers extending

Category CFor reinforced concrete piers


R3.1Deviation from plumbRefer to Fig. R3.1.1, R3.1.2, and R3.1.3.SECTION
3FOUNDATIONS

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COMMENTARY

Foundations, unless noted otherwise in this

R3.2Deviation from locationR3.2.1 Determines the permissible location of


foundationsor piers. The allowable deviation for the location offoundations or
piers is governed by the dimension of thefoundations or piers with an absolute
limit, depending onwhether the foundations or piers support concrete or

(a)(b)
Foundations supporting masonry

R3.2.2 Foundations supporting masonryRefer to Fig. R3.2.2(a) and (b).

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117-27
COMMENTARY
Top of drilled piers

R3.2.3 Top of drilled piersRefer to Fig. R3.2.3.(a)(b)Fig. R3.2.2Foundations


supporting masonry.

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COMMENTARY

Top surface of foundations

Top surface of drilled piers


R3.3Deviation from elevationDetermines the location of any point on the top
surface of afooting relative to the specified plane. Refer to Fig. R3.3.1and
R3.3.2.

Base of bell pier


R3.4Deviation from planeDetermines the allowable slope of the base of a bell
pier.Refer to Fig R3.4.1.Fig. R3.3.2Top surface of drilled piers: vertical
deviation.

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117-29
COMMENTARY

Formed footings
+2 in. (51 mm)
C1/2 in. (13 mm)
Unformed footings cast against soil

+3 in. (76 mm)


C1/2 in. (13 mm)

+6 in. (152 mm)


C1/2 in. (13 mm)
Deviation from footing thickness..................C5%R3.5Deviation from cross-
sectionaldimension of foundationsDetermines the permissible size of a footing.
Refer toFig. R3.5.1, R3.5.2(a) and (b), and R3.5.3.Fig. R3.5.1Formed foundations:
cross-sectional dimensions.

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117-30ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-31

For heights less than or equal to 83 ft 4 in. (25.4 m)

R4.1Deviation from plumbR4.1.1 The tolerance for plumb varies with the height
abovethe top of foundation of the structure. Between the top of foun-dation and a
height of 83 ft 4 in. (25.4 m), the tolerance is 0.3%of the height until a maximum
dimension of 1 in. (25 mm) isreached. Refer to Fig. R4.1.1(a) and (b). The
tolerance for theoutside corner of exposed corner columns and for contractionjoint
grooves in exposed concrete is more stringent.SECTION 4CAST-IN-PLACE CONCRETE FOR
BUILDINGS

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COMMENTARY
For heights greater than 83 ft 4 in. (25.4 m)

R4.1.2 From 83 ft 4 in. (25.4 m) to 500 ft (152.4 m) above thetop of foundation,


the tolerance for plumb is 1/1000 (0.1%)times the height. The maximum tolerance is
6 in. (152 mm) atheights more than 500 ft (152.4 m) above the top of foundationof
the structure. The structure and exterior cladding should notextend beyond legal
boundaries established by the contractdocuments. Refer to Fig. R4.1.2(a) and (b).

Vertical edges of openings larger than 12 in.

R4.1.3 The plumb tolerance for edges of openings largerthan 12 in. (305 mm) is
established by this section. Refer toFig. R4.1.3.

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117-33
COMMENTARY

Horizontal deviation

1 in. (25 mm)


..................................... 1 in. (25 mm)
1/2 in. (13 mm)

.................................................. 3/4 in. (19 mm)4.2Deviation


from locationR4.2.1 Horizontal deviation is defined in Section 1.3. Thetolerance
for horizontal deviation would apply to the planlocation of items such as the
vertical edge of a floor openingor of a wall, beam, or column. The tolerance for
horizontaldeviation would also apply to items such as the verticaledges of openings
in walls, beams, or columns. Refer toFig. R4.2.1(a) to (c).
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Vertical deviation
...............................................1 in. (25 mm)
.............1/2 in. (13 mm)R4.2.2 Vertical deviation is also defined in Section
1.3. Thetolerance for vertical deviation would apply to the locationof items such
as the horizontal edges of a wall or columnopening. The tolerance for vertical
deviation would alsoapply to items such as the horizontal edges of openings in

(a)(b)

Where specified width is 2 in. (51 mm) or less

All other elements.........................1 in. (25 mm)R4.3Distance between


adjacent elementssectioned by a vertical planeR4.3.2 Refer to Fig. R4.3.2.

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117-35
COMMENTARY

Top surface of slabs


3/4 in. (19 mm)

................................................3/4 in. (19 mm)

no requirement4.4Deviation from elevationR4.4.1 The top elevation for slabs on


structural steel orprecast concrete will be determined by elevation of
thesupporting steel or precast concrete, plus or minus variationsin slab thickness,
as specified in Section 4.5.3. In situationswhere this procedure may result in
unsatisfactory slabelevations (for example, unshored beams that deflect
orsupporting steel or precast set with large deviations fromspecified elevation),
the architect/engineer should specify,or the contractors involved should agree on,
a satisfactory

(a)(b)Fig. R4.3.2Distance between adjacent elements sectionedby a vertical plane.


Formed surfaces before removal of shores
3/4 in. (19 mm)

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COMMENTARY
Lintels, sills, parapets, horizontal grooves, and
................1/2 in. (13 mm)R4.4.3 The term exposed to view refers to
areas that willbe readily apparent to the public in normal use of the structure.

Top of walls................................3/4 in. (19 mm)


Fine grade of soil immediately below slabs-on-
................................................3/4 in. (20 mm)R4.4.5 The
elevation of the soil upon which a slab-on-ground is to be placed is generally more
difficult to control

. If more stringent tolerance requirements are

4.5Deviation from cross-sectional dimensions4.5.1 Thickness of elements, except


slabs, wherespecified dimension is

Unformed beams and walls cast against soil


Deviation from thickness........................C5%

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117-37
COMMENTARY
Thickness of suspended slabs.... C1/4 in. (6 mm) R4.5.3 Suspended (elevated)
slabs require only that a tolerance
Specifiers should anticipate localized occurrences of

Sections R4.4.1,
, and R4.5.4). In such an instance, consideration

4.5.4 Thickness of slabs-on-groundAverage of all


samples.......................C3/8 in. (10 mm)Individual
sample...............................C3/4 in. (19 mm)
Minimum number of samples shall be one
2 (929 m2).
Samples shall be taken within 7 days of
R4.5.4.2 There are circumstances where it is not practicalto take samples within 7
days. Sampling after the specified

Samples shall be randomly located over the

Where concrete core samples are taken,

An impact-echo device, when used, shall

Location of the samples shall be identified

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When computing the average of all samples,

When corrective action is required, additional

Depth of sawcut joints .................1/4 in. (6 mm) R4.6.1 Specifiers are


cautioned that a tighter tolerance
This is one of several paragraphs that addresses the

4.1 and 4.4.2, establish a global

Specifiers should anticipate local irregularities in

Section R4.4.3, the term

4.8.3 Formed surface irregularities (gradual or abrupt)Abrupt irregularities shall


be measured within 1 in.(25 mm) of the irregularity. Gradual surface
irregularitiesshall be measured by determining the gap betweenconcrete and near
surface of a 5 ft (1.5 m) straight-edge, measured between contact points.4.6.2
Opening width or height ............C1/2 in. (13
mm)..............................................................+1 in. (25
mm)4.7Deviation from relative elevations or widths4.7.1 Stairs, measured along a
line parallel to the stairaxisElevation of consecutive risers at the
nosing................................................................3/16 in. (5
mm)Width of consecutive treads or within one
tread...................................................... 3/16 in. (5
mm)4.8Deviation from slope or plane4.8.1 Stair tread from back to nosing ...1/4
in. (6 mm)4.8.2 Formed surfaces over distances of 10 ft (3 m)All conditions, unless
noted otherwise in this
section...........................................................................
0.3%Outside corner of exposed corner column.........0.2%Contraction joint
grooves in concrete exposed to
view...........................................................................0.
2%

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COMMENTARY

Random traffic floor surface finish tolerances


Section 4.8.5 or 4.8.6.Within a commercial structure, for example, the inside
faceof a concrete exit stair or the face of a concrete wall in anarea, such as a
mechanical or electrical room, would not beconsidered exposed to view. The
specifier should alsoanticipate abrupt transitions at the surface of memberswhere
segmental steel void forms are used to form floorframing members.R4.8.4 The purpose
of establishing floor surface tolerancesis to define surface characteristics that
are of importance to
Section 4.8 by specifying parameters

Table R4.8.4 shows partial results of

Sections 4.8.5 and 4.8.6.

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
Sections 4.8.5 and
vary from conventional at the low end to super flat at

Sections 4.8.5
4.8.6 should provide the user with floor surfaces of
Table R4.8.4Methods to evaluate flatnessFloor classificationFF flatness (SOFF) 10
ft (3.0 m) manual straightedge maximum gap, in. (mm)Conventional200.628 to 0.284
(16 to 7)Moderately flat250.569 to 0.254 (15 to 6)Flat350.359 to 0.163 (9 to 4)Very
flat450.282 to 0.144 (7 to 4)Super flat600.253 to 0.135 (6 to 3)Floor
classification10 ft (3.0 m) manual straightedge maximum gap, in. (mm)SOFF
rangeConventional1/2 (13)17.4 to 27.7Moderately flat3/8 (16)20.3 to 34.9Flat1/4
(6)24.0 to 45.9Very flat3/16 (5)31.7 to 64.3Super flat1/8 (3)37.7 to 109.3

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117-41
COMMENTARY
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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
The purpose for establishing a default 72-hour

Ramped (sloped) surfaces can be toleranced by

Section 4.11 and Eq. (21), (22), and

4.8.4.1 Floor test surfaces shall be measured andreported within 72 hours after
completion of slabconcrete finishing operations and before removal ofany supporting
shores.4.8.4.2 Floor surface test measurements shall notcross planned changes in
floor surface slope.
Test results shall be reported in a manner

Random traffic floor finish tolerances as

Floor Flatness and FL


R4.8.5 The F-Number System evaluates the flatness of a floorsurface by measuring
slope changes over a distance of 2 ft(0.6 m). Specifics of the test procedure are
dictated by ASTME 1155. The 2 ft (0.6 m) slope change data are evaluated to
igher numbers indicate

Specified overall values for flatness (SOF


)

) shall conform to one of the

Specified overallflatness SOF


Specified overalllevelness SOFL
2015
2520
3525
4535
6040

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117-43
COMMENTARY
The SOF
and SOFL values shall apply to

R4.8.5.2 The specified overall values SOFF and SOFL arethe FF and FL numbers to
which the completed project floorsurface must conform viewed in its entirety. Daily
F
/FL

/SOFL without

/SOFL, and b) that the specified MLFF

values are satisfied at all locations. The F-Number

. Consequently, after the entire floor has been

or SOFL FF (whichever

Some local variation in floor surface quality

and MLFL values establish


/SOFL requirements for the

/MLFL requirements in the minimum local

and MLFL, in theory, define the minimum

/MLFL defects normally require physical

Initial camber, curling, and deflection all

to evaluation of level slabs-on-

The manual straightedge approach evaluates the

4.8.5.3 Minimum local values for flatness (MLFF)and levelness (MLFL) shall equal
3/5 of the SOFF andSOFL values, respectively, unless noted otherwise.The MLFF and
MLFL values shall apply to theminimum areas bounded by the column lines and half-
column lines, or the minimum areas bounded by theconstruction and contraction
joints, whichever are thesmaller areas.4.8.5.4 The SOFL and MLFL levelness
tolerancesshall apply only to level slabs-on-ground or to levelsuspended slabs that
are shored when tested.4.8.6 Random traffic floor finish tolerances as measuredby
manually placing a freestanding (unleveled) 10 ft (3 m)straightedge anywhere on the
slab and allowing it to restnaturally upon the test surface shall conform to
thefollowing requirements:

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
The gap under the straightedge and between

The following minimum sampling require-

A test surface is deemed to meet specified

The minimum number of samples =


2 or (0.1) area
2. A sample is a single
Orientation of straightedge shall be

An equal number of samples shall be

Samples shall be evenly distributed over

Straightedge centerpoint locations for

Test results shall be reported in a manner

A computerized simulation of a freestanding

Floor surfaceclassificationMaximum gap90% complianceSamples not to exceedMaximum


gap100% complianceSamples not to exceedConventional 1/2 in. (13 mm) 3/4 in. (19
mm)Moderately flat 3/8 in. (10 mm) 5/8 in. (16 mm)Flat 1/4 in. (6 mm) 3/8 in. (10
mm)Very flat N/A N/ASuper flat N/A N/AR4.8.6.1 Measurements should be taken between
straight-edge support points and perpendicular to its base. Smallergaps between the
straightedge and supporting surface areindicative of higher flatness quality. The
use of this approachrequires that 90% of the data samples should comply withvalues
in the second column, and 100% of the data samplesshould comply with values in the
third column. This methodis not sufficiently precise to evaluate very flat and
super flatcategories.R4.8.6.2 At the time the document was prepared, nonationally
accepted standard has been developed to governevaluation of a floor surface using
this procedure, sominimum sampling requirements have been established in
thissection. The specifier may provide alternative procedures aslong as specific
testing requirements and acceptance criteria areestablished. Test results should be
reproducible. When usingthis approach to evaluate floor surfaces, levelness is
subject tothe provisions of Section 4.4.1; the manual straightedgeapproach does not
directly measure levelness.R4.8.6.3 A computerized simulation of a manual straight-
edge approach can be used to evaluate the flatness of a floorsurface. Data are
taken using an instrument other than astraightedge and processed using a computer
to produceresults similar to that achieved using a manual straightedge.This method
requires that data be collected along lines in a

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117-45
COMMENTARY
Root mean square (RMS) levelness tolerance

ASTM E 1486. The flatness is evaluated by moving a simulated10 ft (3.0 m) long


straightedge along each data line at 1 ft(3.0 m) intervals. No ASTM standard has
been developed togovern evaluation of a floor surface using this procedure, sothe
specifier should provide specific testing requirementsand acceptance criteria as
described in the MandatoryChecklist. Results should be reproducible. When using
thisapproach to evaluate floor surfaces, levelness is subject tothe provisions of
Section 4.4.1; the computerized simulationof a manual straightedge approach does
not directlymeasure levelness. The specifier is advised that currentavailable
software for computerized simulation of a free-standing 10 ft (3 m) straightedge
does not meet therequirements of 4.8.6.2.

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117-46ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-47
For guidance and recommended tolerances for precast

SECTION 5PRECAST CONCRETE

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117-48ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-49
For guidance and tolerances for masonry, the specifier

SECTION 6MASONRY

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117-50ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-51

Translation and rotation from a fixed point at the

1/2 in. (13 mm) per level

1/600 times the height


1/2 in. (13 mm) per level
R7.1Deviation from plumb for buildingsand coresRefer to Fig. R7.1.SECTION
7CAST-IN-PLACE, VERTICALLY SLIPFORMEDBUILDING ELEMENTS

7.2Horizontal deviation7.2.1 Between adjacent elements.........1 in. (25 mm)


Horizontal elements

..............................1 in. (25 mm)


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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY

Columns and walls

....................+1 in. (25 mm)


R7.3Cross-sectional dimensionsRefer to Fig. R7.3.1.

Door openings or walk-through type openings


Length or width of opening..+1-1/2 in. (38 mm)

Other openings and sleeves


Length or width of opening.....+1 in. (25 mm)

Length or width of plate...............+ 2 in. (51 mm)

Deviation from plumb

1/400 of height

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117-53
COMMENTARY
Inside diameter or distance between walls
1/2 in. per 10 ft (13 mm

3 in. (76 mm)


Cross-sectional dimensions of component
+1 in. (25 mm)
C3/8 in. (10 mm)
Location of openings, embedded plates and

3 in. (76 mm)


1 in. (25 mm)

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117-54ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
No reproduction or networking permitted without license from IHS--`,,```,,,,````-`-
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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION 117-55

Surfaces
1-1/4 in. (32 mm)
2-1/2 in. (64 mm)
Side walls for radial gates and similar watertight
.................................................. 3/16 in. (5 mm)

1-1/4 in. (32 mm)


2-1/2 in. (64 mm)

General
................1/2 in.

............1 in.

Sills of radial gates and similar watertight joints


3/16 in. (5 mm)

+1 in. (25 mm)


C3/4 in. (19 mm)

Slope of formed surfaces with respect to the

Slopes, vertical deviation


0.2%
0.4%
Slopes, horizontal deviation
0.4%
0.8%R8.1, R8.2, R8.3, R8.4, and R8.5Refer to commentary Sections R4.1.1, R4.2.1,
R4.2.2, R4.5,and R4.8.2, respectively.SECTION 8MASS CONCRETE STRUCTURES OTHER
THAN BUILDING ELEMENTS

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117-56ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION 117-57

Surfaces
1-1/4 in. (32 mm)
Alignment of curves .................. 4 in. (101 mm)
Width (W) of section at any height
0.0025W + 1 in. (0.0025W + 25 mm)

Profile grade ................................ 1 in. (25 mm)


Surface of invert ....................... 1/2 in. (13 mm)
Surface of side slope ................ 1/2 in. (13 mm)
Height (h) of lining
0.005h + 1 in. (0.005h + 25 mm)
10% of specified thickness

R9.1, R9.2, and R9.3Refer to commentary Sections R4.2.1, R4.2.2, and


R4.5,respectively.SECTION 9CANAL LINING

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117-58ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION 117-59

Centerline alignment............... 1/2 in. (13 mm)


Inside dimensions
0.5% times inside dimension

Profile grade ........................... 1/2 in. (13 mm)


Surface of invert........................ 1/4 in. (6 mm)
Surface of side slope .............. 1/2 in. (13 mm)

Cross section thickness at any point

+1/2 in. (13 mm)

C1/4 in. (6 mm)

Slope of formed surfaces with respect to the

Vertical deviation
0.2%
0.4%
Horizontal deviation
0.4%
0.8%R10.1, R10.2, R10.3, and R10.4Refer to commentary Sections R4.2.1, R4.2.2,
R4.5, and4.8.2, respectively.SECTION 10MONOLITHIC WATER-CONVEYING TUNNELS,
SIPHONS, CONDUITS, AND SPILLWAYS

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117-60ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-61

Exposed surfaces...................3/4 in. (19 mm)


Concealed surfaces.............1-1/2 in. (38 mm)

Centerline alignment...............1/2 in. (13 mm)


Centerline of bearing................1/8 in. (3 mm)11.2Horizontal
deviationSECTION 11CAST-IN-PLACE BRIDGESR11.2.2 Centerline of bearing refers to
the primary girders

Abrupt form offset at barrier rail...1/8 in. (3 mm)


Location of openings through concrete
1/2 in. (13 mm)

Profile grade..............................1 in. (25 mm)R11.3Vertical


deviationR11.3.1 Profile grade refers to the upper surface of an over-

Top of other concrete surfaces and horizontal

3/4 in. (19 mm)


1 in. (25 mm)
Location of openings through concrete
1/2 in. (13 mm)

Bridge slab thickness................+1/4 in. (6 mm)


C1/8 in. (3 mm)
Elements such as columns, beams, piers, and

+1/2 in. (13 mm)


C1/4 in. (6 mm)

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY
Openings through concrete elements

Slope of formed and unformed surfaces with

.....................1/2 in. (13 mm)

Horizontal deviation of centerline..1 in. (25 mm)


Edge dimensions in plan............1 in. (25 mm)
Deviation from plane..............................0.10%

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-63

Placement of dowels............1-1/4 in. (32 mm)


Alignment of dowels, relative to centerline of

.........1/4 in. (6 mm)


Mainline pavements in longitudinal direction, the

+1/8 in. (3 mm)


Mainline pavements in transverse direction, the

.............+1/4 in. (6 mm)


Ramps, sidewalks, and intersections, in any

+1/4 in. (6 mm)Smoothness tolerances are not addressed within this docu-ment.
Engineers and contractors should refer to the regionaland local highway and roadway
departments, including theAmerican Association of State Highway and
TransportationOfficials (AASHTO).SECTION 12PAVEMENTS AND SIDEWALKS

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117-64ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-65

1 in. (25 mm)

+1/2 in. (13 mm)


C1/4 in. (6 mm)

+1 in. (25 mm)


C1/2 in. (13 mm)Tolerance requirements for openings and items embeddedwithin
concrete chimneys must be established on an indi-vidual basis depending on the
specific nature of their use.SECTION 13CHIMNEYS AND COOLING TOWERS

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117-66ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION117-67
+2 in. (51 mm)

1/2 in. (13 mm)

3/4 in. (19 mm)

1 in. (25 mm)

...........................1/2 in. (13 mm)

Vertical deviation from grade


1 in. per 10 ft (25 mm per 3 m)

Horizontal deviation from alignment


2 in. per 10 ft (50 mm per 3 m)

1-1/2 in. (38 mm)

1 in. (25 mm)

1/2 in. (13 mm)Cast-in-place concrete pipe tolerances relate to the accuracyof
construction that can be achieved using machinery andequipment consistent with the
standard practice for localsoil types.SECTION 14CAST-IN-PLACE NONREINFORCED PIPE

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117-68ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARYTOLERANCES FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION 117-69
This Foreword is included for explanatory purposes only; it does not form a part
of Specification ACI 117.
ACI Specification 117 may be referenced by the specifier in the project
specification for any building project, together

Checklists do not form a part of ACI Specification 117. Checklists assist the
specifier in selecting and specifying project

Building codes set minimum requirements necessary to protect the public. ACI
Specification 117 may stipulate require-

The Mandatory Requirements Checklist indicates work requirements regarding


specific qualities, procedures, materials,
The Optional Requirements Checklist identifies specifier choices and alternatives.
The checklists identify the Sections,
COMMENTARYFOREWORD TO CHECKLISTS

Notes to the specifier


General requirements
ScopeTolerance values affect construction cost. Specific use of a tolerance item
way warrant less or more stringent tolerances than contained in the specification.
The specifier is responsible for identifying, in the contract documents, any

Scope Specifier is responsible for coordinating tolerances for concrete


construction and those of any materials that interface

RequirementsWhere a specific application uses multiple toleranced items that


together yield a toleranced result, the specifier must analyze the resulting
tolerance envelope with respect to practical limits and design assumptions and
specify a tolerance

Materials
Reinforcement Tolerances for fabrication, placement, and lap splices for welded
wire reinforcement must be specified by the specifier.
Foundations
Drilled piersSpecify category of drilled pier. The specifier should be aware that
the recommended vertical alignment tolerance of 1.5% of the shaft length indicated
in Category B drilled piers is based on experience in a wide variety of soil
situations

Cast-in-place concrete for buildings


Form offsetsDesignate class of surface (A, B, C, D):Class A: For surfaces
prominently exposed to public view where appearance is of special importance;Class
B: Coarse-textured, concrete-formed surfaces intended to receive plaster, stucco,
or wainscoating;

Floor finish Choose Section 4.8.5 and 4.8.6.


F-numbers Choose specified overall FF.

, if applicable.
Manual straightedge Choose maximum gap.

Precast concrete

Masonry

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ACI STANDARD/COMMENTARY
COMMENTARY

Notes to the specifier


Materials
Concrete coverThe tolerance for reduction in cover in reinforcing steel may
require a reduction in magnitude where the reinforced concrete is exposed to
chlorides or the environment. Where possible, excess cover to other protection of
the reinforcing
Embedded items Tolerance given is for general application. Specific design use of
embedded items may require the specifier to designate

Foundations
Plus tolerance for the vertical dimension is not specified because no limit is
imposed. Specifier should designate plus

Cast-in-place concrete for buildings


Choose Waviness Index as alternative to methods specified in 4.8.5 or 4.8.6.
Testing shall be in accordance with ASTM

Choose computerized simulation of manual straightedge.


COMMENTARY

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