Forensic Engineering

Forensic engineering services may be necessary when a structure or system fails to perform as expected. A performance failure may manifest as occupant discomfort or inconveniences, such as sloping floors or sticking doors or as various forms and degree of distress or as the incapacity of an element or system. Failures may be caused by design or construction errors, deterioration or damage due to nearby construction, foundation movement, natural disaster or another catastrophe.

Richard J. Driscoll, Consulting Engineer (RJDCE) provides forensic structural and foundation engineering services to owners, contractors, attorneys and other parties, in connection with a variety of construction-related claims, failures and performance questions. Unlike firms offering forensic services exclusively, who may function as an “expert-for-hire” or serve the insurance industry exclusively, RJDCE is an active engineering practice, able to apply practical design and construction experience to solve problems in a broad range forensic matters, including:

  • Assessment of In-Service Structures: As buildings age, they may suffer deterioration and damage and latent construction defects may manifest. As part of the design process for rehabilitating or altering an existing structure, determining the cause of these conditions may be necessary to prevent future failures. Read more…
  • Construction Risk Management: Forensic engineering can be necessary to identify and to assess the risk exposure of existing structures and facilities potentially impacted by nearby construction. In addition, risk control strategies, like the “Observational Method” rely on forensic evaluations of performance deviations to implement contingency plans. For example, forensic analysis of monitoring data and construction records may be necessary to choose adjustments to construction methods and other countermeasures. Read more…
  • Claims and Litigation Support: Forensic engineering is often necessary to evaluate insurance claims, damage to structures adjacent to construction, potential construction defects, professional liability matters and other claims and litigation. Read more…

See also: Assessment and Rehabilitation of Existing Structures, Claims Support ServicesConsulting for A/E/C Firms, Protection and Monitoring, Risk Management