International Masonry Institute News

Special Inspection (SI) supports quality structural masonry

Special Inspection (SI) of structural masonry is mandated by the IBC and has been adopted in almost every state and local jurisdiction.

The Masonry Society (TMS) has an approved seminar in place with options for a day-long session or a day-and-a-half long session which helps prepare people to take the masonry SI test. These seminars must be delivered by a TMS approved presenter and two International Masonry Institute (IMI) staff members are now on that list of qualified presenters.

Attendees are not required to take the test (which is not given as part of the seminar) but the sessions will prepare BAC signatory contractors and craftworkers for what the inspection requirements are and give them background into the testing and quality assurance that is mandated in the code. While enforcement of these provisions has varied across the country there is an increased emphasis on SI for most structural materials including masonry. As such, it is important for our contractors and craftworkers to understand what the special inspection requirements are and what the special inspectors will be focusing on for masonry assemblies. There is a Special Inspector of Masonry test offered by the ICC which some jurisdictions are mandating as an indicator of a qualified special inspector.

This program is aimed at helping inspectors, engineers and building officials identify and check key quality assurance items on the job site, and was recently updated to the 2009 IBC and the 2008 MSJC codes, the primary references for the ICC/TMS Certification Examination. The seminar also overviews related ASTM standards and inspection guides. Attendees will learn code inspection requirements, proper placement of materials, mortar and grout, movement joints, how to determine the compressive strength of masonry, and severe weather construction procedures.

The first sessions offered with an IMI speaker will take place April 5 and 7 in State College, PA and Philadelphia, PA respectively. IMI staff will deliver the sessions jointly with a National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) staff member. To register go to