The Diehl Group Architects, Inc. is a full-service design and consulting firm specializing in Forensic Architecture, quality assurance, and expert witness testimony. Their services `include:
Architectural Design - With years of traditional architectural design experience includes residential, commercial, and institutional projects, they focus on unusually challenging building types, including aviation aircraft and pilot support facilities, a contemporary single family home, and support services for a subterranean wine cellar
Quality Assurance - Identifying potential shortcomings of construction documents prior to breaking ground which allows them to review drawings before construction even begins and continue to monitor building techniques and processes to provide compliance and ensure construction accountability
Construction Administration - Monitor construction schedules, cost, progress and quality while providing support services such as instruction or clarification to contractors as required
Reconstruction Services - Reconstruction designs and building details solve existing problems while addressing future needs. By evaluating a range of building methods and materials through their forensic engagements, their team possesses a unique advantage over traditional architecture firms
Forensic Architecture - The Diehl Group Architects, Inc. goes beyond standard investigative methods and procedures with state of the art technologies to ensure accurate reporting, lower costs, and side-step unnecessary intrusive testing methods
Expert Witness Testimony - Diehl has a broad range of experience as designated architectural experts for plaintiff parties and developers in defense of plaintiff parties, in addition to a host of sub contractor disciplines
President, John (Jack) P. Diehl, AIA NCARB LEED AP, has over 40 years of experience as an Architect. Mr. Diehl currently specializes in Forensic Architecture and Construction Defects. He is licensed to practice in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Mr. Diehl is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), and the International Code Council (ICC). He is also a LEED AP Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, Construction Document Technician, and General Contractor California, "B" License.
Jeffrey Phillip Weinstein, AIA, a California licensed Architect and Construction Project Manager since 1982, with a Masters Degree in Real Estate Development from USC, is actively involved with development, design and construction management. Mr. Weinstein provides preconstruction (entitlements, plans, permits) through on-site construction administration services (change order analysis, cost evaluation) on a wide range of building types.
Expertise: Mr. Weinstein has extensive experience in real estate development, acquiring government approvals, entitlements and permits, architect's standard of care, construction management, claims & defects, and A/E/C agreements. His expertise includes scope of services and design fees, zoning and building codes, errors/omissions, construction defects, destructive testing and repairs. Previous positions include Director of Operations, Preconstruction Director, Senior Project Manager, Construction Manager and Administrator for Nadel and Callison Architects, Tishman Construction, Trammel Crow Company, California State University and Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.
Project Experience: Jeff's project experience includes high-rise residential and mixed-use developments, multi-family residential podium-type apartments and condominiums, retail, big box, neighborhood shopping centers and regional malls, corporate and tenant improvements, hospitality including wineries and breweries, themed resorts and casinos, K-12 and university buildings, hospitals and medical facilities, custom and production homes.
Professional Licenses / Certifications / Affiliations:
California Registered Architect, License #12822
AIA Certified in Construction Management, Contract Administration and Specifications
Member, American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute, Construction Specification Institute
Member, North Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Review
Professional Services Include:
Architectural, Engineering and Construction (A/E/C) Project Management
Owner’s Representative / Real Estate Development / LEED Design-Build
Director of Operations and Pre-Construction Services / Construction Administrator
ln our current climate of economic prosperity and rising real estate values, the prevalence and usefulness of construction litigation may be on the wane. Much of the litigation and expert opinion in recent years has resulted in unrealistic repair schemes for the sole purpose of producing a settlement among parties to the litigation. When a plaintiff expert recommends a "remove and replace in its entirety"1 scenario (for example, arguing that all exterior stucco must be demolished and reinstalled due to a lack of expansion joints), the defense expert frequently advocates a more modest "fix what's broken" scheme to provide a minimum repair at the lowest cost. This process consumes considerable time and resources, and creates a difficult environment in which to craft a settlement. More often than not, neither party is pleased with the outcome; unreasonable plaintiff positions often result in settlement amounts ranging between 15 to 25 percent of the claim amount.
The Falcon Group, a team of highly-skilled professionals, was established to offer consulting in the fields of Professional Engineering and Architecture. Our project management and financial control processes allow us to consistently deliver projects on schedule and within budget. Our reputation is built on our attention to detail and relentless commitment to client satisfaction and our principals maintain a visible role in our assignments to ensure that relevant issues will be anticipated and resolved satisfactorily, in a timely fashion. Our breadth of capabilities allows us to effectively manage people, processes and organizations to meet and exceed expectations for superior and comprehensive service delivery. But The Falcon Group's clients value more than the depth and scope of our technical expertise. Our clients include:
Boards of Education
Commercial Property Managers
Private Property Owners
Professional Services Provided Include:
Design Plans and Specifications
Administration and Inspection
Specialty Services for Community Associations
Construction and Material Testing
Property Condition Assessment (PCA) Reports
Litigation Support - Litigation sometimes becomes necessary to resolve construction, engineering, architectural or materials-related disputes. For virtually any type of property or project, we provide a variety of analytic and related services to assist clients in obtaining successful litigation outcomes, related to:
As discussed in my first window article titled "The View Of Your Windows Is Not Always The Same", there is great variation in the suitability of a window for a particular application. In all cases, there is a very specific need for proper detailing and attention to detail with respect to integration of the window with the building envelope and proper detailing during installation. This sequel to my first window article focuses on quality control measures for installation once your window has been selected and specified.
In March 2013 a catastrophic sinkhole collapse swallowed a central Florida bedroom killing the occupant without notice. The home was a total loss and the event made national news making many property managers keenly aware of the costs and dangers of sinkholes. Residents of the Northeast are not immune from these occurrences. Understanding possible causes and remedies should help with decision making at all levels of property management and ownership.
Community associations, building owners, engineers, contractors and property managers deal with the constant battle of keeping water out of the building envelope, but sometimes the water that causes stains, mold and decay actually originates from within the building envelope. The cold temperatures of the winter months combined with specific interior conditions will result in excessive condensation. The condensation may be in the attic, basement and crawl spaces or inside wall cavities. Deficiencies in the original construction or recent reconstruction of exterior wall cavities, basements, crawl spaces and/or roofs /attics can exacerbate the conditions resulting in excessive condensation conditions and potential for damage and mold development. Sometimes, the conditions may be seen but many times the condition and subsequent damages may be hidden from view and worsen with each passing winter season, escalating repair costs.
"Where were YOU when the lights went out?" was a famous slogan from the 1965 Northeast Blackout, but a better slogan in light of the more recent Superstorm Sandy Blackout of 2012 might be "How did YOUR building perform when the lights went out?"
We have been responding to homeowner's complaints of sagging ceilings in the living space of townhomes which were built in the 1980's. Beginning in 2010 and continuing through today, Falcon Engineering has observed the condition of ceilings in over 30 homes in a Lincoln Park, NJ townhome community of close to 400 homes. Our findings are that upwards of 80% of the homes investigated have deflection which exceeds design criteria and are in need of repair. Repairs are relatively simple, but costly to the Homeowners Association having responsibility for the structural components of these buildings. Because of the need for financial planning, Associations want to understand the factors which influence the failures of these aging structures. For the purposes of this discussion, we are talking about failures which occur due to mysterious origin, rather than catastrophic failures of excessive wind or snow loads, or abuse from excessive loads that the trusses were not designed to accommodate (such as water beds or heavy stone finishing materials).
It's that time of year again. That snow that is pretty for some is scary for others. You have experienced, read or heard about ice damming. You are familiar with the damage the phenomena can cause. Perhaps your Association has even spent several hundred thousand or even over a million dollars on roofing improvements and/or replacements within the last few years. Why do we have leaks from ice damming? Was the roof replacement performed correctly or designed correctly? The answer is simple, with a properly designed and installed roof system, the possibility of damage resulting from ice damming should be significantly reduced.
Manufactured stone is a very popular product for both the interior and exterior of homes and buildings. There are many manufacturers of this type of cladding system, Cultured Stone® and Coronado Stone® among the most recognized names. A man-made stone manufactured primarily for decorative purposes, these systems are typically comprised of cement, natural aggregates and iron pigments. In order to give manufactured stone a realistic appearance and shape it is often created by using molds of actual real natural stones. Like many building materials, the use of manufactured stone has both advantages and disadvantages, and installation is vital to its long term success.
A condominium development located in northern New Jersey was experiencing water infiltration and severe cracking in the concrete foundation walls and floors in the garages. In support of the Association's overall litigation approach, Falcon performed concrete crack mapping, concrete petrographic analysis, and overall concrete evaluation.
A New York City building underwent litigation pertaining to the construction of an addition to the existing structure and resultant structural support system depriving tenants of proper light and air through their existing windows. Falcon performed a light and air study on the effect of both the addition and the structural support system on lighting and air flow in defense of the claim.
A condominium building located in northern New Jersey was experiencing water infiltration into various locations around roofs, curtain wall systems, and balcony access points. The Condominium Association engaged Falcon to investigate these issues in support of their dispute resolution with the Developer
Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) include a group of exterior cladding systems that was introduced from Europe to the United States approximately 30 years ago. EIFS was first used in Europe after World War II to reclad many bombed and damaged buildings
Sunset Consultants is an Architectural and Engineering Management firm that provides professional strategic planning and management consulting services for various entities, including those that need help with planning or architectural projects. Sunset's clients include well-established design firms and new professionals learning the basics of running an independent business. Sunset provides the following services:
Profit and Loss Analysis
Merger and Acquisition Analysis
Sales and Marketing Advice
Principal, David J. Brotman, FAIA, is an accomplished Senior Executive with a proven career and solid experience in all aspects of Architectural and Engineering Firm Management. Mr. Brotman's skills include all facets of Architectural Practice. His worldwide, multi-million dollar project experience includes retail, office, hotel, institutional, and mixed-use.
Mr. Brotman has a successful track record and expert qualifications in improving quality of work, market share, delivering strong revenue, and profit gains. His experience encompasses start-up, turnaround, high-growth, and multi-national operations. David Brotman holds a reputation among colleagues, subordinates, and associates for creative imagination, vision, team building, and leadership skills. He specializes in envisioning an end-result, then leading a management team to realize that result with marked improvements along the way.
Gene Farmer, AIA, NCARB, LEED-AP, is president of Gene Farmer and Associates, Architects and Planners an award winning architecture firm. He has over thirty years of experience in the Design of numerous Residential and Commercial Projects in Florida, Texas, Illinois and Minnesota. His work has been published both locally and nationally and he has received numerous awards including two F.A.M.E. awards and the prestigious Price Waterhouse South Florida Business Journal "Up and Comer Award for 1990."
Mr. Farmer holds a license to practice architecture in the State of Florida, an N.C.A.R.B. Certification, and a Dade County Sub-Builder Certificate. He is also a certified Florida Building Inspector, a certified Florida Building Plans Examiner, a certified International Code Council ICC Commercial Building Inspector and a certified International Code Council ICC Building Plans Examiner. Mr. Farmer currently holds an OSHA 30 hour certification and has been a certified OSHA 500 instructor.
Mr. Farmer has served as an Expert Witness in numerous cases ranging from Construction Defects to Construction Claims Analysis.
Gene Farmer is a Professor Emeritus in the Moss School of Construction, in the College of Engineering and Computing at Florida International University. His teaching specialties include Principles of Construction Management, Building Construction Materials, Sustainable Construction, Building Codes, Quality Control in Construction, and Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing Systems in Buildings.
In addition to his book entitled Architectural Detailing for Commercial Construction, published by McGraw Hill in 1991, he has a book entitled “A Contractor’s Guide to LEED Certified Construction” which was published in 2013 by Delmar-Cengage.
This is the consummate source of LEED information for anyone in or entering the construction industry. Unlike other LEED books that focus on the totality of LEED compliance, this one-of-a-kind resource focuses on the narrower topic of construction-related requirements. It offers detailed explanations of the rational for each construction credit, as well as strategies for achieving LEED compliance. With a clear, logical organization, the book will serve as a valuable constructor reference at the beginning of a project, as well as a useful step-by-step guide through the duration of the project.
Drebelbis Engineering is an Architectural and Engineering firm specializing in Forensic Engineering. Their combined background in architecture, engineering, and business make Drebelbis Engineering uniquely qualified to address the complexities found in forensic engineering assignments.
A Dallas-based company founded in 1996, their focus is structural, architectural and civil engineering as applied to buildings and site systems. They bring technical engineering knowledge, testimony, and remedy when construction fails to perform and when construction processes derail.
Principal, James R. Drebelbis, AIA, PE, is an Architect and Structural Engineer with over 40 years of experience in all phases of building construction and performance, project management, and producing documents for building construction (drawings, specifications, change orders).
Litigation Support - Mr. Drebelbis specializes in Forensic Engineering for attorneys and insurance companies. His understanding of building types and construction systems includes site construction and earth retaining structures as well as residential, commercial, manufacturing, and institutional buildings.
Mr. Drebelbis is retained for Cause and Origin of Structural Failures and disputes about construction performance that often emphasize the obvious (leaks, cracks, collapses). His expertise is available to attorneys representing both Plaintiff and Defendant. Services include engineering investigation, documentation, testimony, and preparation of Certificates of Merit.
Education/Licenses: - BS Arch. Engineering, MBA, Professional Engineer (Texas, Alabama, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico), Architect (Texas)
Daroff Design Inc. + DDI Architects PC, Architects, Planners, Interior Designers, and Consultants, partner with their clients such as Comcast, NBCUniversal, Disney, Marriott International, Hilton, and Ritz Carlton to create innovative environments that thoughtfully respond to their strategic branding, cultural, and operational objectives. They specialize 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.
James Rappoport, AIA, NCARB, Principal and Architect of Record at Daroff, has provided technical consultations for hundreds of clients. He is the author of several professional text books and trade journal articles, has been awarded multiple copy rights and is an active member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the International Code Council (ICC), and the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). He is certified by the National Council of Architectural Review Boards (NCARB) and licensed to practice in 31 states.
Dr. Randall Atlas AIA , CPP is a Registered Architect, NCARB certified, and he practices Criminal Justice Architecture and Environmental Security Design. Atlas is a certified protection professional (CPP) with the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), and is an appointed member of the ASIS Security Architecture and Engineering Committee. Atlas has his doctorate in criminology and a masters of architecture. Dr Atlas is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture for Justice Committee.
Dr. Atlas has taught CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) and criminal justice courses at Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, and the University of Miami, Keiser University, and he is a trainer with the National Crime Prevention Institute at the University of Louisville. Dr. Atlas has been a technical Assistance consultant with the National Institute of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, and the Florida Department of Corrections and U.S. HUD Drug Elimination CPTED Program.
He has conducted ADA accessibility compliance audits for private and public sector clients, and served as an expert witness on over 200 premises liability lawsuits.
Dr. Atlas has been a speaker and trainer at security conferences from New Delhi, India to Seattle, Washington and has written over 200 articles in various publications on security, safety, and counter terrorism issues.
BETWEEN LATE 2009 AND MARCH OF THIS YEAR, a national baked goods chain with franchises in Broward County, Florida, experienced a series of nighttime burglaries that resulted in thousands of dollars in stolen cash and damaged property.
When it comes to the issue of safety in schools, it is important to remember that long before the students walk the halls, a design team creates the building and its grounds, envisioning the subsequent relationships with its occupants.
This is the first and only book of its kind dedicated to the contributions and importance of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). It will educate the reader and design professional on the necessity of CPTED in reducing risks, threats, and vulnerabilities of and to our built environment post-9/11…