The Design Assistance Program (DAP) is an excellent resource offered by CRMCA.  It includes both Parking Lots and Streets and Local Roads.  CRMCA’s association partners, Southeast Cement Promotion Association and NRMCA, are available for collaboration if circumstances dictate.  This article focuses on Concrete Parking Lots.

More often than it should be so, and often so because of an unfamiliarity with concrete pavements, Designers and Specifiers simply “default” to what they’ve always done and either don’t include a concrete design alternative or provide an overly conservative concrete design alternative.  The end result of this “default” is that not only is the Ready Mixed Concrete Industry not being served, Owners are not being served.  Since Designers and Specifiers are in the business of serving the Owner, the Design Assistance Program (DAP) is an excellent resource tool that allows Designers and Specifiers to both become educated in concrete pavement design and attain a comfort level in the design process.  End result, Designers and Specifiers become better at what they strive to do……provide sound engineering design while serving their client, the Owner.

The Design Assistance Program (DAP) provides a detailed report in the form of recommendations.  This includes a recommended concrete pavement thickness as well as joint spacing information.  Joint spacing information can include a maximum allowable joint spacing (panel size) as well as a recommended joint spacing (panel size).  Additionally, a jointing plan can be included.  The design is determined using acceptable engineering practices including ACI 330R, Guide for Design and Construction of Concrete Parking Lots, NRMCA’s Concrete Pavement Analyst software as well as other software programs offered by the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) and the Portland Cement Association (PCA).  Additional information that can be provided are 1) potential sources of project specifications, 2) base materials, 3) LEED point possibilities, 4) subgrade and drainage for pavements with and without detention, and 5) hydrological illustration for pervious concrete projects.

The Design Assistance Program is a relatively simple process.  Ideally, what is needed is 1) Soils/Geotechnical report, 2) Site Plan and 3) Anticipated loading/Average Daily Truck Traffic (ADTT).  Generally, most if not all of this information is readily available and can be obtained with simple attachments and clicking “Send.”  At times, all of these may not be available.  If not, a design can generally still be generated by providing stated assumptions.

The Design Assistance Program (DAP) is a WIN-WIN for 1) Owners, 2) Designers and Specifiers and 3) the Ready Mixed Concrete Industry.

We, the Ready Mixed Concrete Industry, need to make sure that Owners understand that this program is available, free, and it benefits them.  We need to make sure Designers and Specifiers understand that this program is available, free and will provide education and allow them to better serve their client, the Owner, by providing sound engineering design.

Please allow me to assist upcoming projects using this service.  Contact Eric N. Johnson, P.E. at or (704) 717-9199.