Tag: Forensic engineering

Forensic structural engineering

Hurricanes Force Building Codes to Improve

Building sustainable structures to withstand the harsh elements of hurricanes is one of the major challenges we face today. One of the main goals of forensic structural engineering is to analyze damage done to structures after a hurricane, so stronger and more sustainable building processes and materials can be used in the future. The combination of hurricane damage and forensic engineering has forced building codes to improve in various ways. Improvement of building codes is important not only to protect buildings, but to also reduce safety hazards for people in the area.

Focus on Exterior Building Components

Most improvements to building codes focus on the exterior components of a building. The first thing structural forensic investigation services will look at in a hurricane-damaged structure is what went wrong with the building envelope. If the exterior of a building gets damaged during a hurricane event, then the damage will likely be present on the interior as well, which can create big issues for that particular structure and surrounding structures.

The Role of Forensic Structural Engineering in Building Code Improvement

Since the role of a structural engineer is to ensure a structure is designed properly to withstand the force of a hurricane, forensic structural engineering is critical in order to make improvements and determine probable cause of the failure. The analysis and recommendations by forensic structural engineers play a big role in the improvement of building codes. In most cases, building codes become more stringent especially wind and seismic loading conditions. For instance, a hurricane- prone coastal city may change their design criteria for new residential and commercial structures after a devastating storm wreaks havoc with deadly wind speeds reaching all time highs. The new codes will require new structures to withstand a higher wind speed than they did prior to the storm.  The same is true after earthquakes and changes in seismic loading conditions.

As Technology Advances, So Will Engineering

Not only does emerging technology help provide forensic structural engineers with the proper tools to do a thorough analysis of buildings, but it will also help construct stronger buildings. Building codes will only become more stringent as storms get worse.

Forensic engineering

How Can Forensic Engineering Get to the Root of Structural Issues in Third World Countries?

Engineers have a duty to not only protect the population from structural issues in their own country, but countries across the world as well. With the increasing population globally, structural failures are occurring at a more rapid pace than ever before. The role of forensic engineering companies is to identify the root cause of these issues and take positive steps to correct them. However, this isn’t as simple as it sounds and could take a complete turn in the opposite direction in the engineering industry.

Shift From Controlling Nature To Cooperating With Nature

In the past, forensic engineering firms did their best to control nature in order to improve the living conditions worldwide. For the most part, they were successful in doing so. However, with the global population now reaching six billion people, and another estimated increase of two billion in the next two decades, there will have to be a huge paradigm shift.

Resources will not be as widely available as they are now, and this is already occurring in some third world countries. The types of land structures are being built on are unstable and the increased population is taking a toll on the availability of natural resources.

Understand Issues Other Than Technicalities

All forensic engineering companies have to take into consideration the environmental impacts on nature, as well as economic and social issues. Forensic engineers generally have not taken these factors into consideration much historically, but the changing times have forced them to focus on aspects other than technicalities. This will require a shift in how forensic engineering firms operate and hire engineers in the future.

Forensic Engineering Can Broaden Analysis

What we know about structural issues in developing countries is there are many aspects that need to be analyzed. The goal of forensic engineering is to understand the ecosystem in these countries, analyze projections and analyze data more deeply than at surface level.

At BE Structural, we take forensic engineering to the next level to not only analyze current situations, but also future projections. This is especially important in third world countries, where resources are more scarce. Be sure to contact us to learn more about the impact of forensic engineering worldwide and how the shift to cooperating with nature will get to the root of structural issues globally.

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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.