This commentary discusses some of the considerations of
Committee 318 in developing the provisions contained in
“Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete (ACI
318M-95),” hereinafter called the code or the 1995 code.
Emphasis is given to the explanation of new or revised provisions
that may be unfamiliar to code users. In addition,
comments are included for some items contained in previous
editions of the code to make the present commentary independent
of the commentary for ACI 318M-89 (Revised
1992). Comments on specific provisions are made under the
corresponding chapter and section numbers of the code.
The commentary is not intended to provide a complete historical
background concerning the development of the ACI
Building Code,* nor is it intended to provide a detailed résumé
of the studies and research data reviewed by the committee
in formulating the provisions of the code. However,
references to some of the research data are provided for those
who wish to study the background material in depth.
As the name implies, “Building Code Requirements for
Structural Concrete (ACI 318M-95)” is meant to be used as
part of a legally adopted building code and as such must differ
in form and substance from documents that provide detailed
specifications, recommended practice, complete
design procedures, or design aids.

The code is intended to cover all buildings of the usual types,
both large and small. Requirements more stringent than the
code provisions may be desirable for unusual construction.
The code and commentary cannot replace sound engineering
knowledge, experience, and judgment.
A building code states only the minimum requirements necessary
to provide for public health and safety. The ACI
Building Code is based on this principle. For any structure,
the owner or the structural designer may require the quality
of materials and construction to be higher than the minimum


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