We are practicing engineers functioning as the structural engineer of record for many projects. We have hands-on, “boots on the ground” experience providing structural engineering services to real-world projects. We participate in the permitting, bidding and construction phases of projects, and understand the realities of the design and construction environment. We apply this experience and years of lessons learned to our forensics and expert witness practice. We are not simply “hired guns.” Instead, we are practicing engineers who also provide consultation services to those involved in construction and design-related claims. We will provide honest, useful information, including feedback on the technical strengths and weakness of a claim.
Erickson Structural offers extensive experience assessing and identifying the underlying cause(s) of a building’s structural distress or failure. Our investigative methods may entail independent engineering analyses, the development of testing procedures, including material property analyses, simulations, and testing of structural components, and reviews of original structural design documents, shop drawings, correspondence, construction techniques, and installed construction. We are not afraid to roll up our sleeves and get dirty. Often the key to a successful investigation is detailed and thorough visits to the building. The key pieces of information are often in attics, crawl spaces, wall cavities, hidden from view and generally in dirty and inconvenient locations. We get into those places, when needed, and get to work. We have experience recognizing important clues and signs that allow us to arrive at reliable and defendable opinions.
Construction Defect and Design Error Assessments
Erickson Structural is well-versed in conducting in-depth investigations of alleged structural design errors or construction defects. Our experience spans multiple building types, construction materials and practices, as well as, a variety of techniques for investigation and building analysis. Because we are involved daily in the structural design and construction of buildings, we have the experience and perspective to identify, confirm or refute alleged structural defects or errors.
After the cause(s) of a structural defect has/have been identified, we can develop the appropriate structural remediation. Often we begin by providing a “schematic” repair design that is suitable for project scoping and cost estimation. Later, we can evolve the initial design into a final design, suitable for bidding, permitting and directing construction activities. We can remain active in the construction process, working with the contractor, owner and other interested parties, including other design professionals, to ensure a successful project.
Assistance with Preparation or Defense of Claims
Erickson Structural can provide support to the construction claim process. We offer comprehensive expert investigations, research, forensic testing and analysis. We then summarize our findings in a well-documented, clear and defendable report. We can likewise assist with mediation or arbitration, and provide expert testimony at deposition, mediation or in court.
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