The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) is the technical institute for the precast concrete structures industry. PCI develops, maintains, and disseminates the Body of Knowledge (BOK) necessary for designing, fabricating, and constructing precast concrete structures. The BOK refers to the collective knowledge of an industry that is relied upon to design and build with a specific material or system. It is from this BOK that building codes, design guides, education programs, certification, and more are derived.
Technical institutes are usually national or international in scope. Each is recognized as the preeminent forum for exchanging information and as the principal body of knowledge for the industry it serves. National technical institutes facilitate the exchange of knowledge between many different industry stakeholders, including subject matter experts, academics, designers, contractors, owners, code officials, fabricators, erectors, and manufacturers. With well-organized membership bases and a focus on collaboration and dissemination of information, technical institutes provide a framework that independent industry organizations cannot. While any number of associations may serve an industry for a variety of professional and economic reasons, there is only one technical institute. When one industry overlaps with, or is a subset of, another, the technical institutes involved typically have well-established collaborative relationships with one another to effectively combine their bodies of knowledge. Technical institutes are not developed overnight; establishing expertise, standard-setting authority, and a reputation for reliability takes time, often decades.
There are 12 characteristics essential to any organization offering construction industry certification. Typically, these characteristics are found within the national not-for-profit technical institutes established to provide a consensus-driven forum for the development and continuous refinement of engineering, design, and quality standards and related certification programs. Owners and specifiers of both public and private facilities have depended on such organizations for conformity assessment and quality standards for more than 45 years.
PCI has more than 50 councils and committees made up of hundreds of volunteers representing all major stakeholders in the industry, investing more than 30,000 hours annually.