Washington, DC Metro / Baltimore

Both the Washington, DC and Baltimore metro areas have experienced a resurgence in development. Increasingly, this development has been taking place in or nearby traditional urban centers. These projects are characterized by the difficulties of building in a dense urban environment.

Richard J. Driscoll, Consulting Engineer (RJDCE) specializes in solving the technical and risk management challenges of construction on urban sites surrounded by existing buildings and underground infrastructure. RJDCE calls this integrated suite of service – which is not offered by most traditional structural and geotechnical engineering firms – ‘site-structural engineering’. In addition, RJDCE contributes project experience in the region and knowledge of local codes and construction practices. RJDCE’s specialty services for the DC Metro and Baltimore architecture, engineering and construction community include:

  • Foundation Engineering: Foundation engineering is something of a lost art in the DC Metro area with testing laboratories dominating the market for geotechnical services. These firms typically compete on price and provide little site-specific engineering analysis, resulting in unnecessary use of ground improvement and deep foundations. The construction industry can do better. Improved performance, lower construction cost and reduced risk is attainable with better engineering. RJDCE can perform type selection, analysis and design of foundations with consideration of constructability and risk management for adjacent construction. Read More.
  • Construction Impact Assessment: Local regulations, as well as transit agency and utility policies, impose strict requirements for protecting adjacent structures. RJDCE can assess potential construction impacts on adjacent properties, develop monitoring programs, and help stakeholders manage risk. Read More.
  • Excavation Support: Local practice often leaves the design of excavation support systems to construction contractors’ in-house staff, who may use simplified methods that neglect excavation support movement and effects on adjacent properties. This sometimes leads to damage to adjacent buildings, as well as to claims and delays entangling the entire project team. RJDCE provides a more rigorous and risk-targeted approach to excavation support problems, including analysis and detailed design of a variety of excavation support systems with consideration of impacts on adjacent buildings, utilities and other infrastructure. Read More.
  • Underpinning: The District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) requires submission of underpinning drawings to obtain permits. RJDCE can provide rigorous analysis and design, as well as construction documents for underpinning systems, including site-specific analysis of building load and provisions for lateral support. Read More.
  • Forensic Engineering: RJDCE presents experience evaluating a variety of construction-related claims in the region, including underpinning and excavations support failures and third-party construction damage claims. Read More.
  • Existing Structures: Washington, Baltimore and other urban centers in the region contain traditional wood and masonry row houses and commercial buildings, occupying narrow lots up to the property lines. RJDCE has knowledge and experience investigation and protecting these types of structures during nearby construction. Read More.

Learn more: Site-Structural Engineering for the Urban Environment.

For assistance, please feel free to call (202) 505-4141 or Email.