Updated! Best Practices: Initial Curing of Concrete Test Specimens in the Field: Who Is Responsible for What?

Construction Materials Engineering and Testing Business Committee

ACI Standard 301-10, Specification for Structural Concrete, sets forth ambiguous requirements for initial curing of concrete test specimens in the field, requiring the contractor to “provide space and source of electrical power on the project site for facilities to be used for initial curing of concrete test specimens as required by ASTM C31/C31M, for the sole use of the Owner’s quality assurance testing agency.” Does “space” mean that the contractor must set aside an area at the construction site where the construction materials engineering and testing (CoMET) consultant or some other party will place or construct initial curing facilities? Or does “space” mean “an environmentally controlled space” for initial curing in the field?

Because uncertainty and confusion are common precursors of delays, disputes, and claims, and because CoMET consultants are likely to be blamed for any that occur, consultants need to take appropriate action to help the project team avoid related problems.

It’s far better to do what you can to avoid problems than it is to document the fact that you’re not responsible for causing them, although both actions usually are recommended. After all, the real issue is not who provides the facilities, nor is it the importance of correct initial curing in the field; it’s about serving the owner’s interests well by addressing known risks before they can become problems.

Developed by GBA’s Construction Materials Engineering and Testing Business Committee, this GBA Best Practices publication provides valuable guidance to becoming a trusted advisor and eliminate risks, headaches, and wasted time before they arise.

This is the updated version of a previously published Practice Alert.


The GBA Best Practices series of documents, available to members only, provides guidance on geoprofessional business-practice issues. As indicated by the name, Best Practices is a combination of great ideas and proven actions our members have gathered through collaboration into one document.

GBA Best Practices documents are free for all members.