Archive for the ‘Structural Forensic Investigations’ Category

Woodburn High School Fire Damage

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Woodburn High School, located in Woodburn, Oregon, experienced a fire that originated in the shop and spread to adjacent areas of the school.  Concern was expressed regarding the structural integrity of the affected portions of the remaining structure, including the CMU and concrete walls.  Erickson Structural conducted a forensic investigation of the Woodburn High School, which included observation of the school building and documentation of the extent of structural damage caused by the fire.  Destructive and non-destructive testing plans were developed and supervised, and recommendations for structural repair were presented in a written report.

Vacation Resort

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

A handrail for one of the elevated walkways interconnecting two structures of a unique vacation resort facility experienced a structural failure, resulting in bodily injury.  Erickson Structural personnel reviewed photographs and construction-related documents, participated in meetings, and visited the facility to understand the relevant issues and to develop an opinion regarding the cause(s) of the structural failure of the handrail.  Erickson Structural personnel summarized the resulting opinions in a formal report.

Tower Crane Collapse

Friday, January 28th, 2011

A tower crane for a project in Bellevue, Washington, collapsed, causing significant property loss, construction delays and loss of life.  Erickson Structural was retained to conduct a forensic investigation into the structural engineering design and construction of the unique crane base that supported the tower crane.  During the investigation, Erickson Structural  reviewed thousands of documents generated during the course of the project, conducted independent structural engineering analyses, and opined upon the proximate cause of the failure of the tower crane base.  Erickson Structural’s opinions were based upon a synthesis of many different types and sources of information, including design and construction correspondence, deposition transcripts, original design calculations, contracts and construction documents.  Erickson Structural’s investigation included an assessment of both technical topics, such as the structural design, detailing and fabrication of the crane base, and non-technical contributing factors, including communication and coordination issues.

Mr. Erickson was also retained to act as an expert witness in this matter.

Industrial Warehouse Structural Corrosian

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Erickson Structural personnel performed a forensic investigation on a steel- and wood-frame warehouse, severely corroded from its long-term use as a storage facility of chemical fertilizer, and developed an evaluation report detailing the recommended structural repairs and associated construction costs to rehabilitate the warehouse.  Extensive field work and investigative testing were performed to confirm the structure’s status and viability for repair.  Original construction documents were not available for review, which required extensive field work and investigative testing.

Glass Packaging Facility Smelter Failure

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Erickson Structural personnel performed a structural evaluation of a portion of the steel-framed roof structure of the former Cameron Family Glass Packaging facility, located in Kalama, Washington.  A leak in the glass smelter allowed extreme heat to vent for approximately 18 to 24 hours. The roof structure above was exposed to this extreme heat, creating uncertainty regarding the structural reliability and strength of the affected roof structure.  Erickson Structural personnel were retained to perform a structural evaluation of the roof structure and to render opinions and recommendations regarding the structural reliability of the roof structure, based upon observations, investigations and  non-destructive test results.


Wailea Beach Villas

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

The Wailea Beach Villas, located on Maui, Hawaii, are comprised of 98 two- and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 1,900 to 3,100 sf.  Approximately half of the units are located in a six-story penthouse building, and the other half are distributed among six, two-story villas.

The Wailea Beach Villas Association of Apartment Owners (AOAO) retained Erickson Structural to conduct a forensic investigation and to provide opinions regarding the cause(s) of the observed structural distress in and around the condominium buildings.  The confirmed and reported structural distress included cracking in the post-tensioned concrete slabs, deterioration of roof sheathing, defective retaining walls, cracked concrete walls, defective masonry walls, and water infiltration.  Erickson Structural also investigated the relationship between observed architectural systems distress, such as cracked exterior and interior finishes, and the potential underlying structural cause(s).  A legal matter involving the original design team and contractor surfaced, involving the construction defect and design errors.  The AOAO also retained Erickson Structural as an expert witness for assistance in the legal proceedings, including the development of cost-effective remediation designs.  Erickson Structural provided these services in collaboration with a full project team, including an architect, geotechnical engineer, building envelope consultant and other professionals.

As part of the investigation, Erickson Structural conducted detailed on-site observations, designed and conducted investigative testing, reviewed original design and construction documents, interviewed facility personnel and analyzed original structural designs.

Custom Residence

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Homeowners retained a contractor to build a custom residence in Waianae, Hawaii.  The residence was a large-scale structure, requiring steel framing.  Due to a variety of complex issues that arose during construction, the partially completed house was ultimately demolished.  The homeowners filed a lawsuit against the contractor.  Before the case could go to court, the Design Claim Conciliation Panel requested that a decision be made regarding the “good faith basis” for the claim.  Erickson Structural personnel were retained to opine upon the merits of the claim.

Erickson Structural personnel reviewed available documentation, correspondence, photographs, and construction documents, and performed literature research.  Erickson Structural personnel then prepared a written letter stating opinions as they relate to the “good faith basis.”


Office Renovation

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Renovations were made to an existing, pre-engineered metal building, including the construction of a new steel and concrete elevated floor (mezzanine), measuring approximately 312 feet by 42 feet in plan, within the existing building. Multiple deviations from the structural construction documents prompted the owner to commission a general review of the structural integrity of the building structure, including a load test of portions of the elevated floor slab.  Erickson Structural personnel served as an expert witness in the resulting litigation initiated by the building owner.




Honokeana Resort Condominiums

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The Honokeana Resort Condominiums, located in Lahaina, Hawaii, was exhibiting signs of structural distress, such as, distortion and cracking of walls, sloping floors and settlement of adjacent sidewalks.  The Association of Apartment Owners (AOAO) retained the services of a structural engineer who recommended that the AOAO solicit a second opinion from another structural engineer.  The AOAO then retained Erickson Structural to ascertain the structural integrity of the building and the stability of specific structural members.

Erickson Structural reviewed available documents, conducted multiple site observation visits and developed a plan for the observation and monitoring of strategic structural floor-to-wall connections.  Erickson Structural monitored the structural safety of the building while permanent repairs were designed and installed.  A final report was created in collaboration with the original structural engineer.  The remedial measures were designed and installed based upon project-specific criteria established by Erickson Structural.