Investigation of Design and Construction Defects

The firm has extensive experience in the investigation of design and construction defects.  Mr. Norwood has testified or consulted on design and construction defects in a wide variety of building types and assemblies.  Past projects have included numerous consulting assignments that addressed issues with the envelope of the buildings often referred to as the building ‘skin’.  In addition, the firm has addressed multiple issues with the design and construction of fire resistive assemblies.

Our Investigation of Design and Construction Defect services include:

Building Envelope Investigation

Fire Assembly Investigation

Investigation of Ice Dams and Cold Climate Challenges

The analysis of building failures often includes a review of the relevant construction standards that can include building code, contracts, construction drawings, specifications, project correspondence, ASTM standards, and manufacturer’s requirements.  Changes to the design of the building may be documented in Requests for information (RFI) or Architect Supplemental Instruction (ASI) by the design professional.  It is not uncommon to see changes instituted through a Value Engineering process and/or design decisions documented in meeting minutes or correspondence.

Years of experience evaluating water intrusion in a wide variety of buildings is used to determine the best course of action to identify the cause of the failures and water leaks into the building.  We have developed a investigative approach that can include field investigation of the buildings through visual observation, intrusive observations, testing, and the use of infrared cameras and/or moisture meters.  In some cases, field water testing of the assemblies is performed and/or samples of the assemblies sent to laboratories for additional testing and evaluation.

The data gathered in the field investigation method can be summarized in graphic maps of the project to assist in the review and analysis of the data gathered.  This approach also translates to trial and arbitration graphics that allow the Judge, Jury, or Arbiter to quickly grasp the scope and nature of the issues identified.

Allocations of responsibility may be analyzed using this approach often coupled with detailed review of the parties agreements, contracts, and performance.