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Building Design Expert Witnesses

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Richard A. Young, CPO
20430 ½ Orchard Rd.
Saratoga CA 95070
USA
phone: 800-660-5202
fax: 408-867-1216
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Richard A. Young, is an Aquatics Safety expert with over 30 years of public, institutional, commercial, water park, and high-end residential pool experience. A California State Contractor, his background includes aquatic facility water treatment planning, design, equipment sales, installation, and troubleshooting.

Certifications and Affiliations
  • Certified Pool Operator (National Swimming Pool Foundation)
  • Aquatic Facility Operator Instructor (National Recreation and Park Association)
  • Technical Adviser for the Professional Pool Operators of America
  • Member, National Association of Aquatic Consultants
  • Member, National Park and Recreation Association
  • Member, California Pool and Spa Association
Mr. Young teaches one of the two national professional pool operators courses, develops problem solving pool mechanical equipment, and speaks at state and national conferences on pool safety and filtration systems. He has published over 30 writings in industry texts and periodicals, and is the managing editor of the 6th edition of the Aquatic Facility Operator's Manual for the National Recreation and Park Association "AFO" course.

Litigation Support - Richard Young is uniquely qualified to provides expert witness services to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defendant. He has completed mechanical work at over 500+ public, institutional and large commercial aquatic facilities. This work included total mechanical renovations comprised of recirculation, filtration, heating, chemical control and chemical feed systems.

Services Include:
  • Pool Design and Construction Review
  • Mechanical Water Systems Analysis
  • Accident and Drowning Analysis
  • Pool Assessments and Reports
Recent Swimming Pool-Related Cases:
  • Patron Injuries
  • Operator Injuries
  • Drowning, Near Drowning
  • Pool Related Accidents
  • Construction Disputes
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William Acorn, P.E., FASHRAE
Principal
10617 N Hayden Rd, Suite B-108
Scottsdale AZ 85260
USA
phone: (602) 888-7250
fax: 520-577-0851
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William Acorn Technology Analysis ExpertWilliam R. Acorn, P.E., FASHRAE, is principal and founder of Acorn Consulting Services, LLC (ACS). For over 35 years, he has been involved in the Engineering Analysis and Design of hundreds of projects ranging from Institutional Laboratories to Cleanroom Facilities for the semiconductor industry.

Mr. Acorn has significant experience as an Expert Analyst of System Design, System Failures, Code Compliance issues and Cause/Effect relationships of problems related to the built environment. Mr. Acorn has received numerous awards for technical excellence and is recognized for his technical achievements, innovation and foresight by peers, associates and clients in the advanced technology industry.

Mr. Acorn is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University; the author of the book Code Compliance for Advanced Technology Facilities; and a frequent lecturer to the industry and academia on a variety of technical topics related to building and cleanroom design, construction and project management.

Mr. Acorn is registered as a Professional Mechanical Engineer in the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah. He is also registered with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

Forensic & Litigation Consulting

Analysis and evaluation of losses related to failed systems or other facility performance issues is provided on behalf of owners or attorneys. These services are provided with regard to deficiencies in HVAC Systems, Cleanrooms, Piping Systems, Refrigeration Systems, Construction Claims, Building and Fire Codes:
  • Litigation Consulting
  • Technical Analysis and Investigation
  • Claims Preparation and Analysis
  • Expert Testimony
  • Project Consulting

    ACS assists their clients to optimize the outcome of new and retrofit facilities by providing a range of high level services including:
  • Strategic Planning: Conceptual Design; Feasibility Studies & Evaluations; Value Engineering
  • Facility Retrofit and Renovation Strategies
  • Program Management: Project Delivery Strategies; Selection of Design and Construction Teams
  • Design Consulting and Design Review
  • Code Compliance Analysis and Negotiation
  • 4/11/2005 · Construction
    Introduction: In our first Volume of the Forensic Exchanger, we discussed some of the all too many reasons why HVAC systems fail. If you missed that edition and are interested in that topic e-mail us and we will gladly send it to you. We will follow up with more discussion of that important topic in later editions

    William R. Acorn
    Facilities which utilize hazardous liquids and gases represent a significant potential liability to the owner, operator, and general public in terms of personnel safety and preservation of assets. It is obvious that a catastrophic incident or loss of property or personnel is to be avoided at all costs. This book was conceived to give the reader a guide to understanding the requirements of the various codes and regulations that apply to the design, construction, and operation of facilities utilizing hazardous materials in their processes.
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    Thomas E. Hamilton, AIA, RRC, NCARB
    23 Ridgeview Drive
    East Rochester NY 14445
    USA
    phone: 585-385-9078
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    Thomas E. Hamilton, AIA, RRC, NCARB, is a Registered Architect and Registered Roof Consultant, with nationally recognized credentials. He is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) which provides him with reciprocal architectural licensing in all states and in numerous foreign countries.

    With more than 40 years of experience helping companies, institutions, and homeowners with their most complex and frustrating roof and wall problems, Mr. Hamilton is an expert in issues surrounding the building envelope. Working as an independent consultant, he uses his proprietary systems to provide accurate, objective information and clear communication to help resolve building envelope performance issues.

    Litigation Support - Working as an independent consultant, Mr. Hamilton uses his proprietary systems to provide accurate, objective information and clear communication to help resolve building Envelope Performance issues and Construction Defect issues. His Roof Report Card® and Wall Report Card® inspection services provide objective reporting and analyses for a wide variety of complex building problems. The information he gathers for these reports is then used to help design, maintain, negotiate, arbitrate and litigate roofing, insulation, and building envelope solutions for lasting performance.

    In his role as an objective third-party expert, Mr. Hamilton is able to help diffuse what are often emotionally charged and complicated building issues. While litigation can be necessary in some cases, he has also been known to resolve many issues without parties resorting to litigation.

    Mr. Hamilton is available to counsel representing both plaintiff and defendant and insurance adjusters needing information for a claim. He has been deposed and/or testified 7 times since 2010.

    View Thomas Hamilton's Consulting Profile.
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    Carl E. Peters, PE, PLS, PP, CO
    4525 Route 27
    Princeton NJ 08540
    USA
    phone: 609-751-4104
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    Carl E. Peters, PE, PLS, PP, CO, has a broad range of expertise in the areas of Land Use, Municipal Engineering, and Code Enforcement in the State of New Jersey. His rare combination of professional credentials enables him to analyze the development process from concept design through issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. He is one of fewer than ten people in New Jersey who holds licenses as a:
    • Professional Engineer
    • Professional Land Surveyor
    • Professional Planner
  • Construction Official
  • Building Official
  • Plumbing Official
  • Litigation Support - Mr. Peters' expertise is beneficial in the resolution of disputes between project owners, design professionals, contractors, and insurance carriers. He has testified before the Planning Board, Zoning Board, Historic Preservation Review Committee, and Site Plan Review Advisory Board, and NJ Civil Courts. He is also a mediator on the roster of the NJ Civil Courts.

    Mr. Peters provides litigation support for counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defense. His cases have involved:
    • Engineering Matters
    • Property Line Disagreements
    • Drainage Problems
    • Streets and Sidewalks
    • Sewers
    • Construction Disputes
    • Land Use
  • Land Surveying
  • Construction Codes
  • Construction Permits
  • ADA Compliance
  • Local Government Matters
  • Engineering Malpractice
  • View Carl Peters' Consulting Profile.
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    David E. Chase, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA
    403 S. Sapodilla Ave., #604
    West Palm Beach FL 33401
    USA
    phone: 609-577-0304
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    David Chase Architecture Expert PhotoDavid E. Chase, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA, is an Architect with over 50 years of experience, personally responsible for more than $1 billion of constructed projects, as designer, interior designer, specifier, project manager, architect-of-record, or principal-in-charge.

    Currently practicing architecture in Florida, Mr. Chase is licensed in 20 states. He has extensive experience in educational, stadium, criminal justice, housing (senior, assisted living, public, multi-family and single detached), health care, commercial, hospitality and retail projects. Mr. Chase has negotiated, authored and administrated design-bid-build, design-build, construction manager-at-risk, fast-track, fixed price, bridging, sole source and private/government contracts.

    Litigation Support - Based on this foundation of technical and practical experience, Mr. Chase has served as an expert witness, testifying in depositions and at trial on over 50 cases, for forensic construction assignments for plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of matters. His cases have included insurance issues, standard of care, schedule delay, construction defects, contract disputes, water intrusion, mold, errors and omissions together with a specialty in Florida 718 Statutes for condominiums.

    Mr. Chase serves as an Expert Witness to highlight issues of fact, to bring clarity to due diligence on both sides of the table, and to advance resolution. As a Mediator and neutral third party, he has expertly guided parties in dispute through an informal, non-adversarial process toward a mutually agreeable resolution without prescribing what that solution should be. Mr. Chase has also served as an Arbitrator on a dozen cases to guide opposing parties through a formal, rule-based process that establishes a binding resolution and reasoned awards.

    Areas of Expertise:
  • Architectural Standard of Care
  • Architectural Contracts
  • Building Codes, Standards
  • Construction Defects
  • Building Envelope Systems
  • Design – Build Delivery
  • Water Intrusion Matters
  • Errors and Omissions Claims
  • Stucco and EFIS Systems
  • Betterment Issues
  • Florida 718 Condominium Statutes
  • Wrongful Death Events
  • Fast Track Processes
  • 1990 A D A Guidelines
  • Architectural Copyright Infringement
  • Change Order Analyses
  • Breach of Contract
  • Government Contracts
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    David Neagley, AIA, Architect
    Forensic Architect
    PO Box 2265
    La Jolla CA 92038
    USA
    phone: 858-354-8070
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    David Neagley Forensic Architecture Expert PhotoDavid Neagley, AIA, Architect: Over thirty-two years of architectural design and construction administration experience with all building types, including educational, medical, R&D, corporate, commercial, custom residential, multi-family housing, military and industrial projects, totaling over 12.4 million square feet. Emphasizing use of durable, low maintenance materials including stainless, copper, bronze, zinc, cement-fiber, plastics, composites, specialty sealants & industrial paints.

    Building Reconstruction Specialist: Reconstruction design, details and specifications focused on solving complex construction problems and developing effective repairs for commercial and institutional buildings. Services include design for waterproofing, flashing, exterior finishes, roofs, decks, windows, and remediation of mold, wood rot, corrosion and structural damage.

    Construction Industry Expert: Visual inspection, intrusive testing, defect analysis, repair recommendations and forensic expert services for both plaintiff and defense parties. Specialized knowledge of construction materials, industry standards, code compliance, waterproofing, vapor transmission, exterior finishes, corrosion, condensation, ventilation, mold, wood rot, suspended ceilings, interior partitions, and structural issues.
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    James Rappoport, AIA, NCARB
    Vice President, Principal
    2121 Market Street
    Philadelphia PA 19103
    USA
    phone: 215-636-9900 ext.325
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    James Rappoport, AIA, NCARB is Principal and Architect of Record at Daroff Design Inc. + DDI Architects PC, a full service Planning, Architectural & Interior Design practice founded in 1973 and specializing in ground-up, renovation and historic adaptive reuse projects for office facilities, hotels, resorts, restaurants, meeting, conference and training facilities, aviation terminals and entertainment projects throughout the USA and Internationally.

    Mr. Rappoport has successfully provided technical consultation, expert witness opinions, affidavits, certificates of merit, depositions, mediation presentations, testimony and trial support in more than 190 legal cases, engaged by both defendants' and plaintiffs' legal teams.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Architecture
    • Architectural Codes / Design & Standards
    • Architectural Design
    • Architectural Practice
    • ADA - Accessibility Compliance
    • ADA - Accessibility Design
    • Building Codes & Ordinances
    • Construction & Architecture
    • Construction Claims
    • Construction Disputes
    • Facility Programming
    • Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment Specifications
    • Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment Failures
  • Hotel & Resort Design & Planning
  • Interior Design & Planning
  • Office Building Design & Planning
  • Owner – Architect Agreements
  • Owner – Contractor Agreements
  • Professional Liability (Architecture & Design)
  • Project Planning
  • Slip – Fall Accident (Causes)
  • Site Assessment & Development
  • Site Planning & Design
  • Standard of Care (Architecture & Design)
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Development & Planning
  • View James Rappoport's Consulting Profile.
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    L. Peter Petrovsky, PE, CE, ME
    31157 Lobo Vista Road
    Agoura CA 91301
    USA
    phone: (818) 489-4400
    Peter-Petrovsky-Civil-Mechanical-Engineering-Expert-Photo.jpg
    Peter Petrovsky, PE, CE, ME , has provided services as a consultant and an expert witness in applied Civil and Mechanical Engineering Science, Building, Infrastructure, and Earthwork Contracting. His strength and experience is to successfully combine engineering and applied mechanics with the field experience and contracting skills.

    He packages civil, mechanical engineering, as well as, general, engineering, earthwork and paving and hazardous waste contracting into one package for the use of his clients. His services also include construction job site safety in fire prevention and personnel protection.

    Litigation Support - Mr. Petrovsky's shirtsleeve approach to problem solving gives him the ability to distill complex technical issues to a palatable presentation in the appropriate forum. Serving the legal industry for 25 years, he has been retained in over 600 plaintiff and defense cases, been deposed over 200 times, and given testimony approximately 100 times.

    Mr. Petrovsky's services include testing and analysis, trial preparation case analysis, deposition review and expert summary, evidence presentation, consulting, report writing, court exhibits, static and computer depictions, construction and engineering contract analysis, accident reconstruction, and interpretation of administrative regulations. He has assisted counsel on cases in California, New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Kentucky, and Nevada.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Design: Machine safety and guarding, Strength of materials, wood, metals, plastics
    • Materials Issues and Failure Analysis: Mechanisms, components and machinery; Pressure testing, fatigue analysis
    • Accident Investigations: Heavy equipment accidents, bulldozers, backhoes, excavators; Cranes, lifts, manipulators
    • Air conditioning and Refrigeration: Thermography services and analysis
    • Civil Engineering: Design of Buildings; Residential, industrial, commercial site plans; Land development, site preparation and paving, drilling and boring; Public and private roadways, sidewalks, ramps, parking lots, lighting; Septic systems, sewers, public sewer blockage and stoppage; Scaffolds & scaffolding erection and accidents; Retaining walls and retaining wall failure; Foundation failure / structural damage; Plumbing leaks, water intrusion, explosions; Earthquake Damage Assessment and Remediation; Construction Disputes / Insurance claims; Stucco defects and failures; Job site fire prevention industry standards
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    David M. Bekus
    45 Hunt Lane
    Skilllman NJ 08558
    USA
    phone: 732-735-7444
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    David M. Bekus has over 35 years in the Construction Industry specializing in home design, construction, and remodeling. Mr. Bekus has been a project manager, overseeing all aspects of construction from conception and approvals to final sales for single homes and developments.

    Mr. Bekus is licensed by the State of New Jersey as a building inspector (RCS, ICS, and HHS), a licensed home remodeler, and a licensed new home builder. He is also certified in Project Management, Cost Estimating, Construction Methods, Construction Site Safety, and is a EPA Lead Safe Certified Contractor.

    Litigation Support - As a seasoned expert in the construction field, Mr. Bekus adheres to building code practices and high construction standards to provide reliable advice and credible expert witness testimony. His services include project evaluations, building code inspections, and clearly and precisely written reports. Mr. Bekus' expertise is available to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defendant and has testified in NJ superior court Areas of Expertise:
    • Industry Standards
    • Building Code Compliance, Specifications
    • Contract and Plan Specifications
    • New Construction Defects
    • Roof Issues
    • Water Issues
  • Framing Defects
  • Siding Defects
  • Concrete Defects
  • Insurance Claims
  • Poor Workmanship
  • Home Owner Association Issues
  • View David Bekus' Consulting Profile.
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    Leslie Noel
    Marketing Director
    Corporate Headquarters
    11321 Plantside Drive
    Louisville KY 40299
    USA
    phone: 800-482-5611
    fax: 502-267-6973
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    Donan, a family owned company founded in 1947, provides full-service Forensic Engineering and Fire Investigation Services. For over 60 years, Donan Engineering has been providing unbiased answers to their client’s complicated questions. Their team of licensed and experienced forensic experts provides investigative services in the fields of engineering investigations, fire and explosion origin & cause, roofing investigations, and component testing. The diversity of their multidisciplinary staff allows them to provide not only a complete service, but a complete service whose conclusions can be successfully and completely supported.

    Donan Engineering has become a richly diverse, industry leader with over 250 employees operating from 50 offices in 27 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia, Virginia, and Oklahoma. Throughout their growth, Donan has maintained their commitment to providing exceptional customer service, unparalleled quality, unmatched integrity, and timely reporting. Most importantly, they pride ourselves on delivering their clients quality services at an affordable price.

    Services Include:
    Engineering Investigations
  • Bridges
  • Foundations and Basements
  • Geotechnical / Sink Holes
  • Lightning
  • Low and High Voltage
  • Mechanical Systems
  • Retaining Walls
  • Steel Construction
  • Trusses
  • Vehicle Mechanical Studies
  • Vibrations: Earthquakes and Blastings
  • Water Infiltration / Mold
  • Wood Frame Construction

  • Fire / Explosion Origin and Cause
  • Commercial Fires
  • Equipment Fires
  • Vehicle / Residential Fires

  • Roofing Investigations
  • Commercial
  • Residential - Asphalt Shingle
  • Residential - Slate, Tile, Etc.

  • Heavy Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Passenger Vehicles
  • 12/2/2016 · Engineering
    The term plumbing is derived from the Latin word "plumbum," the name of the metal lead that was the preferred material used by the Romans to construct their empire's water supply systems. This bit of history is even relevant today as the continued use of this potentially toxic metal has made headlines because of recently exposed problems in the Flint, Mich., water supply.

    7/29/2016 · Forensics
    Most forensic investigation projects include a scope to determine the cause of some damage or condition. Project scopes often request determining the cause and origin of the damage. Since insurance policies contain descriptions of covered and non-covered situations, clearly specifying causes and origins is crucial for clients' coverage decisions. This article discusses the differences between and significance of these two important terms.

    4/18/2016 · Construction
    Brick masonry chimneys have been prevalent for centuries, but it wasnt until recent decades that brick-clad, wood-framed chimneys became common in residential construction. This trend resulted from the increasing popularity of metal insert fireplaces. While they may appear similar from the exterior, the structure and weather-resistant envelope of wood-framed chimneys are very different than masonry-built chimneys. Prior to studying damage, it is important to understand critical elements in the structural support and weather-resistant envelope of wood-framed chimneys and the types of damage that can result from improper construction.[1]

    Fires can be caused by devices that fail due to a manufacturer's defect. Quality assurance procedures have gone a long way to eliminate out-of-box failures but manufacturers sometimes bypass quality checks on consumer products for competitive reasons. Even the most ethical companies are susceptible to human error that can cause an almost imperceptible change in an otherwise flawless manufacturing procedure.

    As the days get shorter and temperatures turn milder, most HVAC systems are taking a well-earned vacation. For a short while, a cool breeze through open windows will be enough to keep us comfortable in our homes. But soon, homeowners will switch their thermostats from cooling mode to heating mode, and some of them will unfortunately discover their HVAC system does not heat. It's time to pull out those extra blankets and make the call to a service professional sooner than expected.

    12/21/2015 · Construction
    Wood bowstring trusses were used extensively in commercial buildings from the 1920s to the 1960s. Wood bowstring roof trusses provided long clear spans necessary in warehouse and industrial buildings. Many roofs supported by bowstring trusses are still in service today. Compared with other structural timber-truss types, bowstring trusses have exhibited more frequent structural problems. The structural deficiencies encountered are attributable to deficiencies in the original design of the trusses combined with damage due to exposure and age.

    9/28/2015 · Engineering
    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released a 2015 edition of NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. It covers and assists in complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Association's requirements, including changes to requirements since the last edition. For personal safety in forensic studies it is important to stay informed of these updates. NFPA 70E covers arc flash risk assessment, establishment of arc flash boundaries, requirements of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), use of PPE within the arc flash boundary, and equipment labeling requirements regarding arc flash hazards. The following examples illustrate the importance of staying abreast of the latest standards.

    7/16/2015 · Construction
    History shows us that building codes have been around for a long time - in fact, the earliest known was around in 2000BC[1]. Penalties were also much harsher for construction defects. If a builder constructed a house that collapsed and killed the owner, the builder was not fined, but was put to death. The United States has been a country with diverse codes - as many as 5,000 at one time. More recently, however, various states and municipalities have adopted "model" codes such as the International Building Code or International Residential Code. These provide a "base" and may be used as written or an Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may amend certain parts of the model code, making it more stringent and/or specific for a certain area.

    5/14/2015 · Forensics
    Whether it is helping us formulate our opinion or confirming an initial diagnosis, technology plays a valuable role in forensic engineering work. Following are a few examples of existing technology available to Donan's project managers. Though not standard issue, these tools are utilized when necessary to accurately determine or confirm a cause of loss.

    There are many types, manufacturers, and sizes of commercial HVAC systems which can make it difficult to create general guidelines for repair procedures and estimates for hail-damaged units. This guide uses the most common "light commercial" rooftop units (RTUs), which are 5-tons, 7.5-tons, and 10-tons in capacity, for estimating time to repair or replace.

    Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in your home, listening to the rain while reading your favorite novel. Then suddenly you hear a roar of thunder and your home becomes dark. What just happened? You may have just experienced a power surge. Although lightning is not the most common cause of this phenomenon, it is excellent for illustrating what a power surge is and how it can affect your home. A power surge is a term used to describe a condition where the voltage and or current increases beyond its normal levels. Power surges, when due to the elevation of the voltage being supplied by the electrical utility company, have the potential to change data streams, interrupt electrical control circuits, burn out components, cause arcs, create shorts between conductors, overload systems, and cause system failures. The most common causes of power surges are indicated as follows:

    1/7/2015 · Construction
    Concrete is a desirable construction material due to its inherent strength and durability, which make it well-suited for many applications in residential and commercial construction, especially foundations, floor slabs, driveways, sidewalks, and roads, among other things. In these applications, concrete that is properly designed, mixed, placed, and maintained will perform exceptionally well for many years. However, poor design or mix, improper placement, finishing techniques, or inadequate maintenance may result in concrete that does not perform as intended. Aside from cracking, which is probably the most common form of distress to concrete, since virtually all concrete will crack as it cures, surface distress due to scaling, spalling, and popouts are the most common forms of damage.

    12/2/2014 · Construction
    The relationship between wind, hailstone velocity, and impact energy is based on an understanding of fundamental physics. Over a half century of laboratory research and field studies have determined that the severity of hail damage to a roofing material is contingent on the kinetic energy at the point of impact and the roofing material's resistance to that impact energy. These studies have found that a hailstone must be of a certain mass (i.e., size), and it must be traveling at a certain speed (velocity) to result in functional damage to the roofing material. The kinetic energy is a composition of mass and velocity, defined by the following equation:

    10/17/2014 · Construction
    Chances are, it's happened to you. An unexpected period of cold weather occurs and temperatures drop well below freezing for an extended period of time. One morning you attempt to turn the water on in the kitchen sink and...nothing. Hot water? Nope. Cold water? Nope. What happened? Did you forget to pay the water bill...again? Chances are, your pipes are frozen. "How can that happen? They are inside the house!", you may say; however, just because your water lines are inside the building envelope, does not mean they are adequately protected from freezing.

    9/4/2014 · Construction
    If hail impacts a roof covering and the effects of this impact result in some loss in the material's overall integrity or functionality, this material is classified as "hail damaged." More specifically for cedar shakes and shingles, valid hail damage is typically a new fracture of the cedar corresponding to a clean spot or scuff mark from the hailstone impact.

    7/25/2014 · Construction
    Although sags along roof ridgelines can be discovered at any time, in northern climates they are often attributed to the effects of a past snow load. To make an educated analysis of the actual cause of this phenomenon, one must have a basic understanding of the structure and the loads to which it has been subjected.

    Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems consist of many components that work in unison to create the desired comfort level for our homes and offices. A well maintained system is designed to last around 15 years, but the life can be dramatically reduced when proper installation procedures and routine maintenance are not performed.

    5/28/2014 · Construction
    Ice dams and their resultant leaks are often a chronic and expensive problem in those regions where snow-covered roofs are a common occurrence. To understand their detection, cause, and prevention requires some understanding of the dynamics of a structure's construction, insulation, and ventilation.

    A space heater is a device designed to warm a small area. These devices are typically portable, but the category does include gas- and wood-fueled models that are permanently installed; however, these are not the focus of this article.

    3/12/2014 · Failure Analysis
    Washing machine failures can create significant damage, exposing insurers and their clients to property damage. These failures often involve a high volume of water and can occur without warning. Through the examination of several hundred washing machines, the DONAN Component Testing Laboratory has identified a statistically significant failure trend in General Electric (GE) washing machines. The amount of water supplied to the tub of the washing machine is controlled by a water valve (solenoid-controlled valve) and pneumatic controls. The washing machine's load selector is a pneumatic pressure switch, which activates and deactivates the water valve.

    2/10/2014 · Construction
    Shallow foundations are the most commonly designed and constructed structural foundation system. As opposed to deep foundations where structural loads are transferred to subsurface layers or multiple depth ranges, shallow foundations transfer loads to the earth (soil) relatively near to the ground surface. Some examples of shallow foundations include building components often seen in residential construction such as spread footings, continuous foundation walls and footings, slab-on-grade foundations, and mat-slab foundations.

    1/9/2014 · Construction
    After a tornado event, devastation and destruction are found along the tornado path. Due to the wood-framed construction predominant in Texas and Oklahoma, extensive damage to a house can occur. But how do you know whether visible cracks in the Sheetrock or brick finishes are just cosmetic damage or the signs of structural failure?

    12/10/2013 · Fires & Explosions
    Automatic fire suppression systems are by far the most effective and safest means of preventing extensive fire damage and saving lives. For this discussion, we will touch on automatic sprinkler systems (building systems) and kitchen hood suppression systems. These systems range from very simple to extremely complex.

    10/23/2013 · Construction
    Summertime rolls around and people start seeing condensation on ductwork. Their first thought is that something is wrong with their air conditioner. Actually, sweating ducts have several causes. Very few are attributable to defective air conditioners.

    10/4/2013 · Engineering
    In urban and suburban areas, stormwater systems are found everywhere. From surface waterways, such as rivers, streams, and ditches, to subsurface drainage systems, such as storm sewers and culverts, stormwater systems are as ubiquitous as concrete, which is one of the reasons they are so important (Figure 1). Impervious surfaces like concrete, pavement, and roofs prevent stormwater from naturally absorbing into the ground, and the resulting runoff can cause flooding, erosion, and subsequent structural damage.

    For many years, the fire investigation industry has seen numerous fires involving livestock buildings. These fires are often high profile, especially when masses of animals are lost or injured. Many times these losses are in older structures with neglected electrical and/or heating systems. Given the interior environment, corrosion and degradation to electrical and heating components are common.

    8/16/2013 · Construction
    Cupping, buckling, and crowning are three common problems encountered in wood flooring (flooring). These problems are caused by a combination of the normal material characteristics of the flooring and improper installation of the flooring.

    7/31/2013 · Waterproofing
    While shovels, snowblowers, plows, and deicing agents are used to clear snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks during the winter, removing frozen precipitation from the roof of a house is a bit more challenging. As snow and ice piles up on the roof and subsequently thaws out, the melt-water can sometimes result in damage to the interior of the structure.

    7/15/2013 · Construction
    "Hail has damaged my concrete driveway!" How many times have you heard this claim? A homeowner whose house has experienced a recent severe hailstorm starts to notice things they never noticed before around their house.

    A Donan fire investigator uses many techniques in order to determine the origin and cause of a fire. Chief among these are the investigator's observations of the scene and the conditions surrounding the scene.

    In this age of high energy costs, the price of heating the house will increase. People will be searching for alternate sources to heat their houses.

    4/24/2013 · Construction
    In our October 2010 newsletter, Bob Whelan, P.E., discussed how to approach a roof hail study by using the scientific method. In summary, one should perform a collateral study of the property, or neighboring properties, to gather information about the particular hailstorm in question.

    3/21/2013 · Construction
    Whether to build a residence on a concrete slab or conventional crawlspace foundation is a common decision homeowners must make.

    2/13/2013 · Construction
    By: DONAN
    Is construction vibration just an annoyance, or does it have the potential to cause aesthetic and structural damage to nearby structures?

    1/7/2013 · Construction
    Attic ventilation problems can cause elevated relative humidity in an unheated, residential attic. Elevated relative humidity in the attic can promote mold growth and increase the moisture content in the wood framing to a level that promotes fungal growth and rotting.

    11/30/2012 · Failure Analysis
    Every year, Donan Engineering is asked to look at dozens of basement walls that have failed. A wall is determined to have "failed" when the structural integrity is compromised - such as with the development of a horizontal or vertical crack.

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    Heather Suttle
    Marketing Manager
    8811 FM 1960 Bypass Road West
    Suite 400
    Humble TX 77338
    USA
    phone: 281-358-4441
    fax: 281-358-2517
    EFI-Logo.gif
    David AmoriDavid P. Amori, PE, RRC, Vice President of Engineering at EFI Global, is a Structural / Geotechnical Engineer and Registered Roof Consultant with more than 22 years of domestic and international experience in building and heavy civil construction and engineering. His responsibilities include the oversight of the engineering service line, product delivery, quality, training and mentoring, business development, and executive team liaison.

    Mr. Amori's background includes geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, and domestic and international construction management of commercial and heavy civil projects. He has performed hundreds of forensic investigations in North and South America.

    David Amori is a registered professional engineer in the states of Colorado, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado, and a Masters of Science in Construction Management from the University of Birmingham.

    Mr. Amori provides Litigation Support services to attorneys for both Plaintiff and Defense. He has been retained numerous times and is court qualified as a structural and geotechnical engineer.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Structural Assessment
    • Construction Defect Investigation
    • Foundation Evaluation
    • Structural Fire Damage Assessment
    • Roof and Building Envelope Assessments
    Representative Litigation Support
    • Pearland, TX - Design team defendant expert in a case involving the code compliance, structural integrity, and functional performance of roof of a newly constructed assisted living facility
    • San Antonio, TX - Expert investigating the performance of window systems, roof systems, and exterior wall finishes
    • Austin, TX - Expert investigating the performance of custom window systems
    View David Amori's Consulting Profile.
    3/2/2016 · Construction
    For the forensic investigator, damage assessments require taking a global look at the loss to determine all causes, including possible design and construction deficiencies.

    2/9/2016 · Construction
    Large losses present a unique set of challenges from the perspective of managing an expert or team of experts. For the purposes of this column, let's assume that a large loss is one that exceeds $250,000. These might include heavy civil construction, infrastructure, transportation, or a catastrophic event affecting a large building.

    2/17/2015 · Construction
    Roof collapses can be sudden, catastrophic events caused by a particular loading condition or combination of loads. Roof collapses often happen with little or no warning, making this a particularly dangerous event. When investigating a roof collapse, the obvious perpetrators are examined: how much snow was on the roof, were the drains plugged up, were the winds in excess of the design wind speed and many others. Occasionally, the roof can be doomed to collapse months or years before an event due to design or construction related deficiencies allowing for a subrogation opportunity to recover cost of repairs.

    12/9/2014 · Construction
    Often after an event like a tornado, windstorm, water surge, or fire, the damage sustained to some property structures exceeds the value of it. In these cases, an engineer might be asked to determine if the remaining foundation system is suitable for reconstruction. The motivation for this is fairly straightforward: the property may have been underinsured and saving the foundation represents an effort to reduce the reconstruction cost, or there is a desire to get the structure rebuilt as quickly as possible. In the interest of time and money, an evaluation of the suitability of the foundation for reuse can be performed. There are three main questions for the engineer to answer: Is the slab damaged by the event? Are there any other factors, such as differential foundation movement, that would prevent the slab being reutilized? Are there any code considerations that prevent the slab from being reutilized?

    8/8/2014 · Construction
    In the wake of a Hurricane the monumental task of beginning to assess the losses and respond to the thousands of claims inevitably includes a number of claims concerning the functional assessment of commercial roofing systems. The design and construction of a roof system requires input from several disciplines including thermal considerations (Mechanical), fire resistance (Architect/Municipality), equipment carrying capacity (Structural), ability to drain and/or to store water (Architect/Civil), aesthetics, and the ability to resist any number of transient loads (Structural). The assessment of the damage sustained by a roof system during a storm event is an equally broad endeavor requiring the expert to call on a number of disciplines.

    3/20/2014 · Construction
    Building envelope assessments for storm-related damage is a normal part of job for the property adjuster and forensic consultant. The assessment of storm-related damage inevitably becomes a question of whether the observed condition pre-dates the storm or is the result of sudden and recent event. In fact, the question may very well be, "Did the observed condition exist during or even before the building was constructed; is the condition the result of a construction or design related defect?"

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    Heather Suttle
    Marketing Manager
    8811 FM 1960 Bypass Road West
    Suite 400
    Humble TX 77338
    USA
    phone: 281-358-4441
    fax: 281-358-2517
    EFI-Logo.gif
    Keith PokornyKeith Pokorny, LEED AP, Vice President of Environmental Services, has more than 25 years of experience in Environmental, Engineering, and Construction Management services. He specializes in large project coordination and assists clients in implementing construction-related capital improvement programs.

    Responsibilities include the overall management of the Environmental practice for EFI and oversight of the Canadian Operations. His duties include strategic planning, forecasting, recruiting, business development, and employee development. This includes establishing and executing growth opportunities based upon geographic and service-based initiatives within the firm.

    Mr. Pokorny holds a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Toxicology from Clarkson University and is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council in Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) with a specialty in Building Design and Construction. He is also an EPA Model Lead Risk Assessor and NAHRO Certified Public Housing Manager.

    Mr. Pokorny offers litigation support services to insurance companies and attorneys representing both Plaintiff and Defense. He has experience in a wide variety of projects including:
    • Engineering and Environmental Insurance Claims
    • Public and Municipal Environmental Remediation / Hazardous Materials Management Programs
    • Private Retail / Commercial Hazardous Materials Management
    • Remediation Programs in High-rise, University, and Hospital Settings
    Licenses and Certifications:
    • US Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED AP), with specialty in Building Design and Construction (BD+C), 2010
    • Massachusetts Asbestos Designer, Inspector, Project Monitor, Management Planner, 1987-1995
    • Massachusetts Lead Paint Inspector, 1996-99
    • Type III Asbestos Consultant, VT, Department of Health, 1988
    • EPA Model Lead Risk Assessor, 1998
    • NAHRO Certified Public Housing Manager (PHM), Associate
    View Keith Pokorny's Consulting Profile.
    4/20/2016 · Environment
    The benefits of reducing health-care associated infections (HAIs) are well documented, impacting both the general health of a facility and its bottom line. According to the CDC, HAIs cost the healthcare system $37 to $45 billion annually and account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths.

    Following a fire event, a variety of people spend considerable time in the post-fire environment. In addition to first responders, fire and law enforcement, the individuals performing investigations in the property can include insurance claims adjusters, origin and cause fire investigators, inventory assessors, and damage assessors. The fire service, EMS and law enforcement may typically be assumed to be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), but exposure to post fire hazards should be considered for those entering the property and performing work well after the fire event.

    1/15/2015 · Construction
    Mr. Pokorny and Mr. Penaloza discuss the "green insurance" programs and policies, LEED concerns for commercial claims and the expertise required to investigate "green claims" on these types of properties. Green building practices have grown annually, adding complexity to the analysis of construction projects, building systems, and building performance expectations. These efforts add a significant level of due diligence and the necessary expertise in responding to 'green claims' on the insurance products serving those properties.

    4/29/2014 · Construction
    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are present is a variety of building materials and may present a significant impact to construction projects. The presence of PCBs in caulking, sealants, paints, adhesives and other building materials dates from the 1930s to the banning of PCBs in domestically manufactured products in 1979. In that time period, however, PCBs were added to hundreds of building products due to their chemical stability, nonflammability, insulating properties and high flash point.

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    Dr. Elliott E. Dudnik, PhD
    FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP, CSI, ICC
    913 Wesley Avenue
    Evanston IL 60602
    USA
    phone: 847- 866-7760
    fax: 847-866-7897
    Elliott-Dudnik-photo.jpg
    Dr. Elliott E. Dudnik, PhD, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP, CSI, ICC, is Principal of Elliott Dudnik + Associates, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Illinois-Chicago, with more than 50 years of professional experience as an Architect, Structural Engineer and Planner encompassing numerous commercial, residential, industrial and public building projects. As a noted educator-researcher, award and grant recipient, and author of more than 30 publications, Prof. Dudnik has lectured and taught at major universities in the US, Asia, Australia and Europe and consulted on Building Code Development, Building Facade and Porch Failures, Inspector Training, and Accessibility.

    Dr. Dudnik's litigation support activities on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants include investigations, analyses, expert witness reports, depositions, and testimonies that draw upon his extensive professional experiences as well as many years of teaching and lecturing to convey and explain complex concepts to judges and juries. Dr. Dudnik has now been engaged in more than 70 cases involving Architectural and Structural Engineering, Building Design and Construction, Defects, Collapses and Failures, and Building-Related Injuries.

    Forensic Architectural Services Include:
    • Expert Witness and Litigation Support
    • Code Violation, Compliance and Interpretation
    • Building Failures and Remedial Design
    • Building Envelope and Water Intrusion
    • Design and Construction Defects
    • Slip, Trip and Fall and Other Personal Injuries
    • Handicapped Accessibility and ADA Compliance
    • Errors and Omission, Professional Liability and Standards of Care
    View Dr. Dudnik's Consulting Profile.
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    Brandon W. Erickson, PE, SE
    Founding Principal
    10000 NE 7th Avenue
    Suite 130
    Vancouver WA 98685
    USA
    phone: 360-571-5577
    fax: 360-571-5578
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    Brandon Erickson Structural Engineering Expert PhotoBrandon W. Erickson, PE, SE, principal of Erickson Structural Consulting Engineers, PC, has over 19 years of experience in Structural Engineering. Mr. Erickson received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University and his M.S. in Structural Engineering from Stanford University. Mr. Erickson is licensed in Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, California, Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Montana, Arizona and Nevada. Mr. Erickson's main office is located in the Portland, Oregon metro area. Mr. Erickson also maintains a satellite office in Kihei, Hawaii.

    Litigation Support - Mr. Erickson provides litigation support services relevant to the structural design, construction, performance, failure, and remediation of buildings and similar structures. He is familiar with a variety of structural construction materials, including steel, concrete, wood, and masonry. His practice includes building structures and their foundations, remediation repair designs, construction means and methods, and seismic evaluations and upgrades.

    Retained as an expert for both Plaintiff and Defense, Mr. Erickson's services include comprehensive expert investigations, research, and forensic testing and analysis. His findings are summarized in well-documented, clear, and defendable reports. Mr. Erickson assists with mediation or arbitration, and provides expert testimony at deposition, mediation, or in court.

    Forensic Investigation Services:
    • Perform Proximate Cause Investigations
    • Assess Construction Defects
    • Assess Design Errors
    • Assess Materials Defects
    • Develop Testing and Monitoring Systems
    • Review Design and Construction Documents
    • Determine Extent of Damage
    • Prepare Schematic Remediation Designs Suitable for Scoping and Pricing
    • Prepare Final Remediation Designs Suitable for Permitting, Bidding, and Construction
    • Provide Assistance During the Remediation Phase
    View Brandon Erickson's Consulting Profile.
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    Design, Analysis, Expert, Trial, Forensic Witness
    Counties of Westchester, Rockland, Queens, Putnam
    Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Nassau, Suffolk, Bronx, Statin Island
    Richmond & Brooklyn / Kings County Long Island / NY City / Manhattan / White Plains
    Shrub Oak NY 10588
    USA
    phone: 914-245-6320
    fax: 914-245-6335
    Vincent A. Ettari, P.E., P.C. specializes in many fields of Civil, Structural, Site, Coastal, Safety & Environmental Engineering, including the Design & Analysis of:

  • Structures, Buildings, Houses, Dwellings
  • Foundations, Footings, Elevators, Retaining Walls, Dams
  • Development Plan & Plats for Sites, Properties, and Residences
  • Underground & Subsurface Chamber / Chambers
  • Scaffold, Scaffolds, Scaffolding
  • Site Plans & Subdivisions: Industrial, Commercial, Residential
  • Roads, Roadways, Ramps, Walks, & Man Hole Cover / Covers
  • Sidewalks, Walkways, Paths & Pathways
  • Lighting: Lamps, Lights, Lamp Poles, Light Levels
  • Luminaries & Illumination (Specifications)
  • Rock Cuts & Blasting (Topography, Specification)
  • Soil Slopes / Samples / Mechanics / Geotechnical Engineers
  • Sanitary Facilities, Septic Systems (Board of Health Septics Approval)
  • BOHA / DEP Approvals
  • Water, Drains, Drainage, Sewer & Sewage Lines & Mains
  • Culvert / Culverts, Manholes (Man Holes) & Catchbasins / Catch Basins
  • Inspection, Supervision, and Certification of Construction
  • House Inspector & Inspections
  • Road, Roadway, Walk & Sidewalk Premises Liability (e.g., Steep Slope)
  • Walkway, Path, Ramp & Pathway Premise Liability (e.g., Steep Grade)
  • Coefficient of Friction / Slip & Fall (Snowy & Icy Conditions)
  • Vertical Discontinuity / Discontinuities / Trip & Falls
  • Small Ports / Port, Marinas / Marina, Marine Dredging
  • Levees, Jetties, Dolphins, Piers, Sea & Flood Walls
  • Wharves, Breakwaters, Bulkheads, Weirs, & Revetments
  • Groins, Dikes and Waterfront Structures
  • Drainage Basin Analysis, Rainfall, Floods & Flood Plain / Plains
  • Flooding Controls & Control Devices
  • Storm Water Runoff (10, 25, 50 & 100 Year Storms)
  • Pressure & Pressures: Wind, Wave / Waves, Ice, Snow
  • Rain Fall Run Off & Storm Water Pollution Treatment
  • Excavation, Grading, Fills & Filling Operations (Swales, Berms, Silt Fence)
  • Erosion Control, Sediment Barriers, Sedimentation / Catch Basins (Hay Bales)
  • Pumps and Pump System Line & Main
  • Slope, Dam, Levee, Jetty, Dolphin, Pier, Wharf & Breakwater Collapse
  • Bulkhead, Weir, Revetment, Groin, Dike, Footing & Foundation Failures
  • Failure of Fire Containment Wall, Elevator or Water Front Structure
  • Tenement House Façade Collapses
  • Code History of Existing Multiple / Multi-Family Dwelling / Building
  • Application of Municipal Building, Fire & Property Maintenance Codes
  • City, Town & Village Zoning, Planning, Steep Slopes & Grades, Wetland & Wetlands Ordinances
  • Testimony at Board Meetings as a Design Forensics Engineer
  • 3/23/2009 · Engineering
    In many places of NYS, public water supply systems are available. If your site is situated in such a location, then the lots which will result from your contemplated subdivision will be required to draw their water supply from the municipal water system

    3/5/2009 · Construction
    As you enter into a contract to buy a piece of commercial or industrial property, you should always keep in mind that your new town and county have rules which you must abide by. With regard to the exterior areas of your premises, there are rules concerning your septic system, the maintenance of your building, the addition onto your structure, etc

    12/28/2006 · Construction
    In developing a vacant piece of land, steep slopes are often an issue. And, the more prevalent the steep slopes are on a site, the greater the likelihood that retaining walls will be part of the Approved Site Plan. Let us consider three municipalities which regulate the final allowable slopes for land which is filled, cut, or graded

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