Category: <span>property assessment</span>

BE Structural forensic engineering services

The Various Ways Forensic Engineering Works

Forensic engineering comes in many different forms. Forensic engineering services are most often needed in order to determine why a building or structure failed. However, they can also be used in electrical engineering cases, power plant explosions and other types of investigations. A structural forensic engineer will never see the same case twice in their career, so there are many different ways they have to work in order to get to the root of the issue to determine fault.

Bridge Collapses

When a bridge collapses or starts deteriorating, you can guarantee expert witness services will be on the scene very shortly afterward. It’s important for these experts to get to the scene as soon as possible to look for any signs or clues of why the bridge failed. The failure could have been the result of a natural disaster that compromised the integrity of the bridge, or it could have been because of a design or construction malfunction from prior years.

Commercial Building Failures

Commercial buildings are investigated in a similar way as bridge collapses. However, with more people potentially in a commercial building at the time it could collapse, it’s even more important for forensic engineering services to find the cause.

A structural forensic engineer can be used in court to explain their expert opinion and what they saw when they visited the scene. Many times, their expert witness services can help solve a case and determine who is at fault. Unfortunately, injury, property damage and death and occur at the scene of commercial building failures. That’s why the importance of a structural forensic engineer is unmatched.

Forensic Engineers Get to the Root of the Problem

The main objective of any structural forensic engineer is to determine exactly what happened to cause the building or structure to collapse. Their job isn’t to convict anyone of wrongdoing. Instead, they present the facts as they see them. Many times, they have to re-create the entire story from the time the building was built until the time it collapsed. That’s exactly how they are able to solve a potential mystery.

At BE Structural, we have a team of structural forensic engineers ready to investigate any building or structural failure. We’ve provided expert witness services for these types of cases for many years, so feel free to contact us if you’re in the need of any of our quality services.

BE Structural expert witness services

Why You Shouldn’t Confuse Forensic Engineering With Other Types of Forensics

When most people hear the word “forensics,” they think of crime scene investigators trying to piece together evidence to solve a crime. While that is a true assumption in most cases, there are other types of forensics as well. Forensic engineers deal with investigating why a particular building or structure failed. The main goal of all forensic analysts is to get to the bottom of a particular issue, but they go about their jobs in different ways and shouldn’t be confused with one another.

Crime Lab Analysts vs. Forensic Engineers

A crime lab analyst may be directly involved in a legal proceeding in order to convict someone of a crime. A forensic engineer, however, is tasked with reconstructing a situation in which a structure failed, so evidence can be provided in a potential court proceeding. Both types of forensics are aided by expert witness services and other factors to help come to a conclusion.

Differences in Responsibilities

When it comes to building failures, many times an engineering expert witness is required to determine who is at fault for the failure that caused damage or injury. For crime lab analysts, a forensic expert witness may be used to provide a testimony as to what they saw that could have led to the potential crime happening. Crime lab analysts also may not even be involved directly in investigating the crimes. Instead, they just analyze the data and information given to them by the investigators in order to come up with conclusions.

Forensic engineers, on the other hand, are directly involved in the details. They provide their expert witness services to help put together the story of how a building failure occurred. In other words, they find the details themselves in order to determine how or why a structural failure happened and who is at fault.

Work Environments and Employers

Forensic engineers typically visit the scene of an accident personally to try to recreate exactly what happened. Many times these people are independent consultants, but can also be employed by law enforcement agencies. Crime lab analysts work primarily for law enforcement agencies and rarely visit the scene of a crime.

At BE Structural, our forensic engineers are out at the scene of an accident and are experienced in providing expert witness services in order to re-create a story exactly as it occurred. If you’re ever in need of forensic expert witness services to help with your building failure case, be sure to contact us.

BE Structural forensic engineering

Why Do We Use Forensic Engineering?

Most people have heard of forensics and relate it to investigating crime scenes. While forensic engineering includes just as much investigating, it is actually directed toward structural failures instead of crimes. Through forensic engineering, experts can determine the cause of a building or bridge collapse, or even smaller scale structural failures. In order to improve on construction processes, forensic engineers must be able to know exactly why buildings failed, so the same mistake doesn’t happen again in the future.

Determining Why Structures Fail

When any structure fails, a thorough forensic investigation is conducted to determine the exact cause—but what’s really the importance of making this determination? If there were any injuries or property damages as a result of the building or structure collapse, forensic engineering results can be used as evidence in a potential court case. Plus, if a certain type of material was the cause of the failure, it can be studied more in-depth to determine if it was the result of a faulty building material, or if it simply can’t withstand a certain amount of pressure or tension.

No Two Cases Are Exactly The Same

When it comes to forensic engineering, any professional will tell you no two cases are exactly alike. Because of that, it’s critical to do a thorough investigation with a clear slate every time there is a building or structural failure. Different structural forensic investigation services are tasked with analyzing debris, inspecting the site and immediate surroundings and interviewing nearby workers or bystanders to get witness testimony. The amount of detail analyzed in each case is extensive and necessary to tell the story of how and why a particular structure failed.

Forensic Engineers Tell a Story About a Structural Failure

In a forensic investigation, a forensic engineer will look at the broad scope at first and then narrow down the investigation as more details arise. The whole point is to basically conduct reverse engineering to determine exactly what caused the structure to fail. The process of getting together the full story could take weeks, months or even years, depending on the case. However, with the systematic process used in any forensic investigation, there is always a story to be told about exactly what happened.

Between our associates, we operate in 49 states nationwide to provide the best forensic engineering services in the industry. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the importance of or the reasons why we use forensic engineering.

B.E. Structural commercial property condition assessment

What to Know About the 40 Year Building Safety Inspection Program

The 40 Year Building Safety Inspection Program is a fancy way of saying your building needs to get a commercial property condition assessment when it is 40 years old. This program has been in effect for more than a decade, and applies to any commercial buildings, including schools, in Broward and Miami-Dade county. Property managers or business owners must consult with structural engineers to have a proper inspection completed at 40 years and then once every 10 years afterward. These inspections are designed to keep people safer from possible building failure during extreme weather conditions and other scenarios.

Purpose of the 40 Year Building Safety Inspection Program

The main purpose of the program is to ensure the building is safe from a structural and electrical standpoint. Many structural engineers spend the majority of their time conducting inspections on older buildings, and they are required to prepare a report of their findings. Buildings older than 40 years old may not be strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds and other weather phenomenons, so the purpose of the inspection program is to ensure the building is as safe as possible to prevent injury or death.

All 40 Year Old Buildings Must Undergo an Inspection

In Broward and Miami-Dade county, there are very few exceptions where a building would not have to have a commercial property condition assessment. Even if you haven’t used a particular building in years, the property owner is still responsible for participating in the program. The first step a property owner must take is to look for the best structural engineers. These engineers can help you through the process to ensure compliance from start to finish.

Timeline for the Inspection

When it comes time for a 40-year property assessment for commercial buildings in Broward and Miami-Dade county, the property owner will receive a notice that an inspection is due. At that point, the property owner will have 90 days to find a structural engineer to complete an inspection of the building and submit a report to either the city or the county. The report will indicate what parts of the building (if any) need to be repaired or replaced. The property owner will have another 180 days to complete the necessary repair work. The structural engineer will then prepare another report following the completed repairs.

It’s important to find only the  best Broward and Miami-Dade county structural engineers to complete your 40 Year Building Safety Inspection. Be sure to contact us to get in touch with one of our experienced professionals to help you complete your inspection.

Steel Structural Design

steel structural designStructural steel design can be incorporated into a variety of projects. There are numerous ways to include structural engineering and steel in a stunning, efficient manner. Some of the most popular ways is to include steel in mezzanine and staircase design.

The Basics of Steel Structural Design

In the most fundamental sense, structural steel members can be fastened, erected, secure, and braced together to form a framework for almost any structure. Certain structural design requires beams and grinders to support loads from the roof or floor. Steel structural design can also be used in wall bearing constructions and long span jobs.

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Structural Engineers and the Commercial Property Condition Assessment

Get a commercial property condition assessment.

Learn the benefits of a commercial property condition assessment.

When individuals are interested in purchasing commercial real estate, a commercial property condition assessment (PCA) is necessary to evaluate the current condition of the property. Many structural engineers use the ASTM 2018 Standard to assess commercial properties. A property assessment for commercial buildings can also be used to assure lenders that prospective buyers will be able to properly maintain the building and pay off their loan with their current cash flow. These extremely detailed reports must be completed by trained professionals to ensure the validity of the report.

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