In 1967, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) began formal plant certification by auditing structural precast plants. Architectural precast plants were added to the program in 1970 and in 1988 certification by individual products was implemented. Today, 185 plants participate in PCI certification programs, with all PCI producer members required to maintain PCI certification for their plants. The program is available to all precast producers, whether PCI members or not.
Plant audits are conducted by Ross Bryan Associates Inc., a structural engineering and consulting firm based in Nashville, Tenn. Because the auditors maintain the same standards no matter where the precast plant is located, owners and design professionals are ensured that the precast products they specify will be produced by qualified manufacturers no matter where in the country those manufacturers are located.
The nationwide standards followed by auditors ensure that no matter where the precast plant is located, owners and design professionals are guaranteed that the precast products they specify will be produced by qualified manufacturers. Owners, architects, and engineers benefit in a number of ways by specifying products from a PCI-certified plant: it prequalifies bidders and ensures the job will be done right the first time and they deal with established producers that have a reputation for quality.