Law school

Forensic Engineering, Expert Witness Testimony & Litigation Support

According to the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, forensic engineering is the application of the art and science of engineering in matters which are in, or may possibly relate to, the jurisprudence system, inclusive of alternative dispute resolution.

At BE Structural, we consider forensic engineering a perfect balance of science, art intuition and detailed investigation. Forensic engineering requires detailed investigation and documentation much like that of a criminal investigation/crime scene. In some ways, our structural, forensic engineers are detectives assigned to cases where the cause of current failure or problem is unknown.   Our forensic team determines probable cause (origin) of the problem in question. Once probable cause is identified, our team of experts can recommend an optimal solution for those we serve.

Forensic engineering is unique and not suited for all engineers or engineering firms. It requires a distinct level of confidence, global thinking and an out of the box approach. What we have found is that in many instances, a building or structure failure is not a result of one localized, event.

In other words, our forensic building science professionals must consider the whole picture. To understand all potential variables, our experts engage our clients in an interview process to determine a timeline of events leading up to the failure. “Who, what, when, where” are just a couple of the unknown variables we must understand prior to completing our initial, structural assessment.

Typically, we provide our forensic clients with a comprehensive report and photograph log after we perform our initial, structural evaluation. In some instances, a construction document review is required to identify if there are differences between the permit specifications and what was built.

We serve both residential and commercial clients, and although each require differing degrees of assessment, we find common themes for every forensic building case we take on.

Most of the time, a new building or structure failure is the result of one of the following

  • A natural disaster
  • Compromised site conditions
  • A design flaw within the building plans
  • A construction defect as a result of:
    • improper construction methods
    • incorrect building materials
    • substitution of specified construction materials
    • in-sufficient construction oversight and construction monitoring

At BE Structural, our forensic consultants will always attempt to achieve an amicable resolution for our clients and other parties involved. This means working together to resolve the problem, without compromising life and safety, structural integrity, serviceability and overall building system functionality. However, if this cannot be achieved through reasonable means, we are here to assist our clients through the legal process by providing:

  • Litigation support
  • Expert witness testimony for structural failures, construction errors
  • Deposition services
  • Building performance consultation

Our forensic experts have extensive experience in all of the above and we have represented both plaintiff and defense parties involved in lawsuits. We represent building owners, attorneys, insurance companies, homeowners, builders and building designers.