All of your points are valid, but the Engineer of Record or the owner makes the final decision on recognizing a composite system or ignoring the value of the initial layer. As your experience shows, shotcrete provides an excellent bond between freshly placed layers and properly prepared concrete or shotcrete substrates. There are many articles available in the Shotcrete magazine archives—found on our website, —that may provide the designer or owner more information to allow them to make their design decision.