Even though section 1.2 in ACI 318 requires the contract documents to show “location and length of lap splices” the contractor was responsible for performing the extra work in removing and replacing the steel so that the lap splices were staggered.
Broader responses to inclusion of Code requirements in contract documents
Excluding contract document Code references in a bid solves the problem, but with a very big if — If the contractor gets the job. In the current economy, many contractors are not willing to risk losing a contract by taking this step. They may elect not to exclude the Code references and take a chance that this won’t cause problems during construction.
If the Code references are left in the specifications but the specifications also reference ACI 301, “Specifications for Structural Concrete,” contractors have another option when referred to ACI 318 in response to an RFI. They can state that applying most of ACI 318 requires engineering knowledge their firm does not possess, and that they are not licensed to provide such knowledge. They can then add that they will meet the requirements of ACI 301, which is directed to the contractor. One response from the structural engineer to this tactic has been telling the contractor to hire a licensed design professional. However, in that case the contractor has still gone on record as not being willing to interpret the structural engineer’s design intent by studying ACI 318.
The construction climate has changed dramatically in the past several years as members of the construction team seek to reduce liability exposure. Contractors, especially, need to be wary of contract documents that transfer design risk to them.