|   Webinars   |   Calendar   ||   HOME   ||   CCPf Training Tracks   |   Online Courses   |





 E-Store Search

Education Calendar




Online Learning




Specifier Seminars


CDP Driver Cert.


Register Now



Industry Links

Update Profile

Link to Us





Handling Concrete Specifications,

Low Strength Problems and Mixture Submittals



Next Class: May 20, Nashville, TN



online registration | fax-back flyer






Dealing with concrete specifications, troubleshooting low-strength problems and ensuring proper mixture submittals can be expensive and time consuming. This one-day course will get into the code and specification requirements (ACI 318, 301, ASTM C94) governing ready mixed concrete, including the new ACI Building Code 318-08 exposure categories. It will suggest specification revisions for all around benefits in performance and cost based on a specification guideline document. The guideline document is the result of reviewing numerous concrete specifications (Section 03300) belonging to large owners, and it has been reviewed and supported by the NRMCA Research, Engineering & Standards (RES) Committee.





Producers and contractors who attend this seminar will benefit in their discussions with design professionals. Equipped with in-depth knowledge about improving concrete specifications, they will better be able to address performance issues, avoid conflict, and save money. Producers, contractors, engineers and testing labs will learn much from the discussions on investigating low-strength problems, helping them to avoid issues that impact partnering, project cost and schedule. For concrete producers, understanding how to do a proper mixture submittal is an essential skill, and it will be thoroughly covered during this seminar.





Troubleshooting low strength problems is perhaps the primary reason for back charges for a concrete company. This could be almost entirely avoided by knowledgeable concrete technical personnel. The course will cover the analysis of strength test results to identify the causes of low-strength problems, including technician competence, and will provide guidance in tracking compliance with specification requirements. Other topics to be discussed include non-destructive testing techniques (such as the Rebound Hammer), core testing, evaluating core test results for acceptance, and the assignment of responsibility.

Another part of this course provides the necessary details required for an efficient concrete mixture submittal following the ACI 318 flowchart for Selection of Concrete Mixtures. Analysis of a typical mixture submittal will be conducted as a group exercise.




  • Print out of the presentations

  • Guide to Improving Concrete Specifications

  • NRMCA/ASCC Pre-Construction Checklist

  • Flowchart of ACI Mixture submittal process

  • Research to Support P2P (Prescriptive to Performance specification)

  • Computer program for analyzing concrete test results

  • NRMCA Publications:

    • - No. 133—In-Place Concrete Strength Evaluation

    • A Recomended Practice

    • - No. 179—Variables that Influence Measured

    • Concrete Compressive Strength

    • - No. 185—Understanding Concrete Core Testing

  • Related Specification in Practice topics and P2P Presentation

  • Selected Publications by Mr. Luke Snell

  • Code and Standards Requirements for Acceptance Testing Presentation with notes and checklist


The course will be taught in a one-day format.


7:30 am: Registration

8:00 am: Code and Specifications governing ready mixed concrete (ACI 318, 301, ASTM C94).

9:30 am: Mixture Design Submittals

  • What does the engineer want?

  • Group Analysis of Typical Mixture Design Submittal

10:30 am: Break

10:45 am: Specification revisions for all around benefits.

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Concrete Test Reports

  • What do they tell me?

1:45 pm: What causes low strength tests and how does it affect my business?

2:30 pm:

2:45 pm: Who is responsible for the low break (testing, construction, manufacturing).

3:30 pm: Using the computer program to analyze concrete strength results.

3:45 pm: Investigating concrete

  • When to use NDT, coring, load test, petrography?



  • Luke M. Snell, P.E., FACI, FASCE, is a Concrete Consultant and an Emeritus Professor of Construction from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He has done extensive consulting work on construction and concrete problems throughout the U.S. and internationally. He has also written over 400 articles on concrete, construction materials, and construction education. He has been instrumental in starting concrete certification programs in China, India, Taiwan, Mongolia and Saudi Arabia. He is the past chair of several ACI committees including the ACI 120 History of Concrete, The Educational Activities Committee and the Chapter Activities Committee. Snell is an ACI Fellow and has received numerous awards and was named one of the Ten Most Influential People of the Year in the Concrete Industry by Concrete Construction and Concrete Producer magazines (2007), Construction Laureate of Mongolia (2007), the Henry L Kennedy Award from ACI (2008), a Honorary Doctorate from Aria University of Sciences and Sustainability (2011) and the ACI Certification Award (2015). He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Missouri and Illinois.


  • Karthik Obla, Ph.D., P.E., FACI, is Vice President, Technical Services at NRMCA. With over 25 years of experience in concrete technology, he is responsible for NRMCA’s concrete producer quality initiatives as well as various educational and technical programs. He supports NRMCA’s P2P initiative and directs the activities of the NRMCA Research Laboratory. A fellow of ACI and a winner of ACI’s Young Professional Achievement Award and ASTM Award of Appreciation from the Sustainability and Concrete Committees, Dr. Obla is an active member of various ACI, ASTM, and TRB technical committees. He has served as chair for ASTM 09.49—Pervious Concrete, and ACI 232—Fly Ash and Natural Pozzolans. He has published a book on concrete quality and a chapter in a book on concrete sustainability and has over 100 technical articles and reports. He holds a B. Tech in civil engineering from IIT (BHU) Varanasi, India and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Maryland and has served as vice-president and president for the ACI San Antonio Chapter.



Architects and engineers will earn 8 Professional Development Hours upon completion of this program. A certificate of completion will be provided to all attendees. This program also fulfills some of the requirements for NRMCA’s STEPS Certified Concrete Professional program.




$295   (Members & Non-Members)


For more information, contact Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852.



sponsored by:







About NRMCA  |  Privacy Statement

© National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, 2012








Education Links


CCPf  Course Recommendations
by Job Title



Training Awards


Educational Activities Committee


Staff & Contact Information