According to the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, Forensic Engineering is the application of the art and science of engineering in matters which are in, or may possibly relate to, the jurisprudence system, inclusive of alternative dispute resolution.
At United Professional Engineering (UPE), we consider forensic engineering a perfect balance of science, intuition and detailed investigation. Forensic engineering requires detailed investigation and documentation much like that of a criminal investigation/crime scene. In some ways, our structural, forensic engineers are detectives assigned to cases where the cause of current failure or problem is unknown. Our forensic team determines probable cause (origin) of the problem in question. Once probable cause is identified, our team of experts can recommend an optimal solution for those we serve.
Structural Condition Assessments
Structural Condition Assessments are performed to ensure the structural integrity of a building meets all applicable building codes. UPE looks for signs of possible structural issues or problems with the building in question that could lead to a failure.
Methods for condition assessment of existing buildings include:
- American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – Guideline for Structural Condition Assessment of Existing Buildings
- ISO 13822 – Bases for design of structures — Assessment of existing structures
- ASTM E2018-08 Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments: Baseline Property Condition Assessment Process
At UPE, we have conducted assessments using many of the methods listed above. Additionally, for building upkeep, we assist in development of inspection and maintenance plans for building structures. The ongoing inspection, restoration and upkeep of buildings is essential to their continued useful life and safety.
Expert Witness Services
Attorneys often contact us to provide Expert Witness Services on structurally related problems. Such problems include construction defects or disputes related to practically every aspect of the support structure of a building: foundations, columns, beams, floor systems, roof systems, etc.
Typically, we provide our forensic clients with a comprehensive report and photograph log after we perform our initial, structural evaluation. In some instances, a construction document review is required to identify if there are differences between the permit specifications and what was built.
We serve both residential and commercial clients, and although each require differing degrees of assessment, we find common themes for every forensic building case we take on. Our forensic experts have extensive experience and we have represented both plaintiff and defense parties involved in lawsuits. We represent building owners, attorneys, insurance companies, homeowners, builders and building designers.
Building Defect Determination
As time begins to take its toll on a building, it becomes more likely to require some form of repair or replacement. Building deficiency can mean a range of different things. So, how does one measure the condition of buildings? At UPE, we use a number of metrics to determine areas of deficiency such as:
- Floor Slab Cracking
- Impact Damage
- Missing Bracing
- Damaged Walls
- Roof Repairs
- Construction Defects
Our experienced engineers will examine and scope the extent of a suspected defect. We will provide the photo documentation, critical damage analysis and accounting to accurately present the facts.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Others Are Saying
They were very professional looking carefully at all the details. The inspection report was clear and precise as well they suggested to make some minor repairs needed. I highly recommend them.
This was a very good experience. There was great communication, work was done on time and professionally handled. couldn't have asked for better. Thank you for all your hard work on this project.
Mr. Giglio with UPE was very professional and explained everything expected of me before coming out to my house. He arrived right on time and was very thorough with his inspection. He was also very willing to discuss the issue with the necessary people to solve the problem that I was having.
I had a client that had some settling on a retaining wall. They called me from the site to make sure that we were on the same page. I had a report shortly after in the mail. They followed up with a call and some more advice on how to proceed with the repair. Very pleasant process
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