PCI's New Architectural Certification Changes Take Effect

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute's Architectural Certification Program officially started this month.

PCI's New Architectural Certification Changes Take Effect
The four new PCI Architectural Certification categories are: AA, AB, AC, and AD, with AA the most and AD the least stringent.
Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
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With the launching of its Architectural Certification Program, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) has started a new chapter. Having gone into effect October 2021, the program creates five certification categories to more accurately align the project's level of complexity, dimensional tolerances, and aesthetic requirements with the architectural precast concrete producers’ capabilities.

Starting the program was a major effort on many fronts. Precast concrete producers, the A/E/C community, and many others watched several webinars, attended education sessions and workshops, and received educational materials about the effort the past two years.

PCI member plants applied for any of the five certification categories. Independent certified auditors then visited the plants to certify, or attest, to their capabilities. The four new PCI Architectural Certification categories are: AA, AB, AC, and AD. The AT, or Architectural Trim category, is carried over from the former program.

Certification in architectural precast/prestressed construction comes in good timing. According to a Polaris Market Research report from March 2019, "the global precast concrete market...is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period." Their projections earmarked an anticipated value of $149.1 billion by 2026. 

For over 50 years, PCI’s Plant Certification Program has ensured that each plant develops and documents an in-depth, in-house quality program based on time-tested industry standards. Each plant undergoes two thorough, unannounced visits per year. Third-party engineers audit the plant according to requirements specifically developed for the types of products being manufactured, in this case, architectural precast concrete. This gives architects, designers, and owners peace of mind to know that precast concrete products manufactured in PCI-certified plants meet the strictest quality standards.

 “We are thrilled to launch this new PCI architectural precast concrete certification in response to our customers’ feedback from across the country,” says PCI President and CEO Bob Risser. “Designers asked PCI to consider developing a new program that would highlight the quality skills available from the industry. The PCI Board accepted the challenge and after several years of hard work by PCI members and staff, the program is underway.”

“Giving designers the ability to specify distinct aesthetic capabilities enables them to clearly define the expected outcome,” adds Randy Wilson, PCI Director of Architectural Precast Systems. “We have been working with MasterSpec and the new categories have been incorporated into the new release.”

A variety of information about PCI’s Architectural Certification Program is available at pci.org/archcert and at the PCI e-Learning Center.