In addition to the inspections provided by the regular City Building Inspectors, the Uniform Building Code mandates that the owner or the engineer or architect acting on behalf of the owner employ one or more special inspectors who shall provide inspections during construction on certain types of critical structural elements.
It is critically important to note that these Special Inspectors are not on the project in lieu of the regular City Building Inspector, but rather they are on the project in addition to the regular City Building Inspector and they should work closely with one another. (See Duties and Responsibilities of the Special Inspector for additional information.)
The Uniform Building Code further stipulates that these Special Inspectors shall be qualified and shall demonstrate their competence to the satisfaction of the Building Official. For this reason, the City of Riverside requires that all Special Inspectors working on projects located within the City be interviewed by one of the Plan Check or Inspection staff and show proof of competence.
Generally, proof of competence is demonstrated by nationally recognized Certifications held by the individual as well as the individuals duration of experience. In most cases the City will require that the Special Inspector have a minimum of 1 year experience as a Special Inspector as well as a valid nationally recognized certification, such as an ICBO certification specific to the individual’s area of inspection expertise.
The City of Riverside charges a fee to cover the cost of staff time to administer the Special Inspector Program and all Special Inspectors working within the City must carry their City issued Special Inspector License Card and present it upon request. (See City-Approved Special Inspectors for a current listing.) The following are some of the types of work that require the observation of a City approved Special Inspector:
- Spray-applied Fire Proofing
- Structural Welding
- Concrete (generally high strength)
- High Strength Bolting
- Epoxy secured anchor bolts
- Structural Masonry
- Other critical features as specified by the architect or engineer of record
Special Inspectors are required to document, in written form, the results of their inspections. These reports are to be reviewed by the contractor, the design professional, the owner and the regular City Building Inspector. The reports are to contain specific information, therefore the City has developed a series of Special Inspector Report forms (see links at right). Special Inspectors may use their own report forms as long as all of the required information is provided therein.