Building Envelope Investigations

MDCSystems® has performed building exterior envelope investigations for over forty years on all types of residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Some of these investigations have included unique aspects of work concerning:

Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS)
Traditional hard coat cement stucco repairs/replacements
Stone veneer failures/replacements
Shingle roof failures/replacements
Water penetration due to improperly flashed windows
Water penetration due to missing/defective sealant applications
Flashing omissions
Air and Vapor barrier failures/omissions
Defective design applications for both new and traditional materials

Construction Manager at Risk Held to Assume the Risk of Design Changes on Massachusetts Public Construction Project construction project analysis, claims and forensic engineer company-Construction management at risk delivery method

Written by James D. Hollyday, Partner, Pepper Hamilton, LLC
Republished with permission. This article was originally published in the May 2015 issue of AGC Law in Brief.

“Construction management at risk” or “Construction management at risk services” or “Construction management at risk delivery method,” a construction method wherein a construction management at risk firm provides a range of preconstruction services and construction management services which may include cost estimation and consultation regarding the design of the building project, the preparation and coordination of bid packages, scheduling, cost control, and value engineering, acting as the general contractor during the construction, detailing the trade contractor scope of work, holding the trade contracts and other subcontracts, prequalifying and evaluating trade contractors and subcontractors, and providing management and construction services, all at a guaranteed maximum price, which shall represent the maximum amount to be paid by the public agency for the building project, including the cost of the work, the general conditions and the fee payable to the construction management at risk firm.

Understanding and Surviving Project Complexity construction project analysis, claims and forensic engineer company-Understanding and Surviving Project Complexity

The article Complexity is Often the Culprit in Cost Overruns and Delays was published last year in the MDCAdvisor® (March, 2014) and garnered much feedback. In today’s article we will revisit the Complexity and Systems Thinking topics and foster additional discussion of how andwhy project failures are driven by complexity. Complexity often arises to frustrate even the best efforts of Architects, Engineers and Contractors working to complete projects on time and budget.

More Than Just Counting Rainy Days: Documenting Weather Delays construction project analysis, claims and forensic engineer company-Documenting Weather Delays

by Michelle N. Delehanty, PE, PMP
MDCSystems® Consultant

According to the farmer’s almanac, this upcoming winter is predicted to be more severe than last year, which already seems as if it were one for the record books. For many regions throughout the United States, that means a multitude of storms, extreme cold, and potential closings to schools, offices, and, most problematic, construction sites. These closings of construction projects can lead to schedule delays, change order requests, and ultimately claims. In order for a contractor to justify to the owner that there is indeed a weather-related construction delay, they must demonstrate four specific things: (1) that the delay is within the terms of the contract (2) that the activity delayed had a direct effect on the project end date (was on the critical path), (3) the weather event occurred in excess of the “normal” weather for the season, and (4) there is documentation of which specific activities were delayed on each weather occurrence.

What is “Substantial Completion” and How Do We Know When We Get There? construction project analysis, claims and forensic engineer company-substantial Completion

by E. Mitchell Swann, PE, MDCSystems® Consulting Engineer

Substantial Completion. These two words can change the course of history. Well, the course of your project or payment hsubstantial_completionistory, anyway. Many contracts contain that phrase as a key indicator of a major project milestone for the release of retainage, but there are other key elements of a project which can be impacted by the crossing the marker line of substantial completion even when you can’t be sure when it’s ‘done.’ New processes, requirements and performance objectives can greatly impact when a building is ‘substantially complete’ and with that many of the key acceptance elements that flow from that completion.

Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change to the United States construction project analysis, claims and forensic engineer company-SHORT-TERM CLIMATE THREATSRisks of Climate Change to the United States

Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change to the United States

This information was reposted from

The U.S. faces significant and diverse economic risks from climate change. The signature effects of human-induced climate change—rising seas, increased damage from storm surge, more frequent bouts of extreme heat—all have specific, measurable impacts on our nation’s current assets and ongoing economic activity.

TIA® – The Rosetta Stone for Critical Path Method (CPM) Scheduling construction project analysis, claims and forensic engineer company-TIA - The Rosetta Stone for Critical Path Method (CPM) Scheduling

Robert C. McCue, P.E., Consulting Engineertia-graphic
Stephen M. Rymal, P.E., Esq., Consulting Engineer


Critical Path Method (CPM) schedules and formalized methods of analyzing schedule impacts started to enter mainstream construction management practice in the early 1980’s. At that time, the industry recognized a need to accurately and scientifically measure schedule delays and conversely the affects of acceleration in real time during construction and also retrospectively after the work was completed. The ability to determine which party ultimately bore responsibility for schedule delays became the main focus on many projects as the assessment of liquidated damages or granting compensable time extensions became critically important to both owners and contractors. Just as the Rosetta Stone provided scholars with a means to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics into Greek text, Time Impact Analysis (TIA®) provides users with the means to translate Critical Path Method (CPM) activities into understandable schedule impacts.