Tim Gregorski
Tim Gregorski

Every so often, you are presented an opportunity that is too good to pass up; e-mails promising millions of dollars notwithstanding. Concrete Construction was contacted recently by one of the most respected engineers in the construction industry. On the table was an opportunity for a monthly op-ed column specifically addressing what might be the concrete industry's most contentious and misunderstood topic: floor slabs on grade.

Allen Face, one of the world's leading slab-on-grade authorities, now will be writing a monthly column in CC called Slabs on Grade.

Essentially, Face's column addresses the inside story of concrete floor slabs, and in many cases, will challenge the industry's established views in favor of a much more rational approach to their design and construction. Of particular interest to concrete contractors, the column will include issues and topics not always openly discussed at association meetings or technical sessions—in other words, the story behind the story.

Let me offer a bit of background on Face, if you are not familiar with him already. Face is the author of the F-Number System (ASTM E 1155). He is also the inventor of the Face Floor Profilograph, Dipstick, F-Meter, D-Meter, and Screed Rail. In the late ‘70s, he helped pioneer the design and construction methodology for superflat floors, and developed Fmin equations still used to set the wheel track tolerances for narrow-aisle lift trucks. Between 1986 and 1992, he presented dozens of seminars across the country on slab-on-grade design, construction, and quality control. During his more than 30 years in high-performance concrete floor construction, he has overseen the installation of more than 1000 individual superflat slabs and has trained hundreds of flatwork contractors worldwide in advanced placement and finishing techniques. His consulting practice continues to address significant concrete floor projects and disputes throughout North America.

Face is an ACI Fellow and a long-time member of ACI Committees 302, Floor Construction; 360, Slab on Grade Design; and 117, Tolerances. In 1990, he was the first recipient of the Construction Innovation Forum's prestigious Nova Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Construction Technology.

In addition to his column, Face also will contribute to a new blog on our Web site entitled Dirt Covers, debuting soon.

Due to the wide variety of strongly held views that exist regarding floor slabs, I expect that on occasion many of you will want to comment on some of the opinions Face presents in his columns. Indeed, the chance to elicit your feedback through this blog is the primary reason I decided to include this new column in CC.

I encourage you to read Face's columns and blog, and share your ideas and thoughts in ongoing discussion. I have asked Face to read your feedback and use that information to identify subjects for later columns. Logically, the column will build over time, ultimately telling the story of floor slabs from the beginning, through current hot issues, to whatever the industry may face down the road. Sharing your thoughts and opinions with one of our most respected floor and slab experts may be too good to pass up.