A building’s structure is much more than floors, walls and a foundation. Virtually all buildings rely on a variety of support materials, including layers of soil and cement, to maintain long-term stability. Construction materials testing (CMT) is a vital process that helps builders and site owners identify potential problems before committing resources to the project. Testing is also essential for keeping the structure in line with applicable legal requirements, including occupational safety and environmental regulations.
As an integrated environmental consulting and management firm, ATC Group Services offers comprehensive materials testing solutions that include field examinations, laboratory tests and special inspections. Materials testing and engineering ensures that the structural materials used during construction meet all necessary quality benchmarks. Our experts control the risks associated with building construction through the testing of earthworks, soils, concrete, masonry, asphalt, reinforcing steel, structural steel, and roof materials.
Why Construction Materials Testing Matters
In the construction industry, the term “materials testing” can refer to the evaluation of almost any kind of building material that impacts the project at hand. This includes aspects of the local terrain, including soil quality and composition, as well as potential impact on nearby structures. It also encompasses testing of concrete, steel, masonry and woodwork elements throughout the structure.
The testing process is important because it allows inspectors and builders to identify faults before an actual stress test, where personal and environmental safety is at risk. Even detailed inspections aren’t completely foolproof, but they are still extremely cost-effective and helpful throughout the construction process. Materials testing helps avoid expensive repair or renovation work to correct faults and mitigate risks to other people and property. Various inspections and proof of materials quality is also required by law depending on the location and type of structure.
Planning, Development, and Site Evaluation
In many building projects, materials testing begins before the construction team even starts excavating to make room for a foundation. Our preconstruction planning and design development services help clients start on the right foot so they can take control of the project from beginning to end. This phase often includes a comprehensive examination of in-place materials, like soil, aggregates and asphalt, as well as an evaluation of potential impact on surrounding terrain and structures. The soil is tested for chemistry and composition so it can be properly stabilized or treated to better support a building.
Building Materials and Structural Testing
Observation and monitoring of foundation installation is another essential component of materials testing since faulty material or implementation can yield chronic and potentially disastrous consequences. Testers also conduct periodic evaluations at certain points throughout the construction process to ensure that all materials meet the minimum standards. This includes evaluation of reinforcing steel, fireproofing and building envelope quality assurance.
Our Special Inspections Capabilities
We provide systematic testing and inspection services to assure that construction materials meet project specifications as well as sustainability goals, saving our clients from costly change orders and delays and reducing future maintenance and repair. These evaluations also ensure that the building can pass official site inspections regarding occupational, environmental and public safety.
ATC’s Construction Materials Testing Services Include:
- Preconstruction Planning and Design Development
- Vibration and Blast Monitoring
- International Code Council (ICC) Special Inspections
- Threshold Inspections
- Foundation Installation Observation
- Reinforcing Steel Evaluation
- Fireproofing Testing and Evaluation
- Roofing and Waterproofing Consulting
- Disaster Response
- Asset Management/Maintenance Technology
- Forensic Nondestructive Testing/Inspection
- Building Envelope Quality Assurance
- Post-Construction and Operations
- Examination/Testing of In-Place Materials (Soils, Aggregates, Concrete, and Asphalt)
- Asphalt and Concrete Design
- Soils Stabilization (Cement and Lime-Treated)