Construction, particularly in the urban environment, often exposes nearby structures and facilities to potentially adverse impacts, which require risk mitigation, protection and performance monitoring. When new construction and adjacent structures are both built up to the property lines, as is typical in many cities, these risks are increased and additional structural and building envelope problems can occur, especially if the adjacent building once shared a party wall with previous buildings on the construction site.
The owner and constructor of a construction project bear primary responsibility for damage to abutting properties and will manage that risk in a manner consistent with their respective risk tolerances. However, the abutting property owner and occupants will still face some residual risk exposure that may exceed their risk tolerances. Therefore, construction project abutters can benefit from retaining a consulting engineer to perform a pre-construction survey, review the protective measures and monitoring program developed for the project and provide additional measures to better align the abutter’s retained risks with their risk tolerance. This approach, which is used by large facilities owners, can be scaled for properties of any size, to prevent damage by identifying and communicating hazards and provide a means of communication for resolving disputes.
Richard J. Driscoll, Consulting Engineer (RJDCE) practice presents experience planning, designing, peer reviewing and overseeing a variety of protection and monitoring measures on a range of building and infrastructure projects in major cities like New York and Washington, DC. This knowledge and experience can assist abutters to construction sites assist and manage risk due to demolition, rock excavation deep foundation construction, excavation support, underpinning and other construction methods. In addition, RJDCE can provide forensic capabilities that facilitate interpretation of monitoring data, damage claim evaluation and development of remedial measures.