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

Water Treatment: Not Just a Third World Issue construction project analysis, claims and forensic engineer company-Water Treatment

Donald R. Keer, P.E., Esq.clean-water
MDCSystems® Consulting Engineer

In March the United Nations celebrated World Water Day 2013 by choosing Water Cooperation (supplying clean, accessible water to vulnerable communities) as its theme. With continuous pressure being put on populations to use water wisely, attorneys in the construction industry are seeing issues arise that were not present two decades ago. Water treatment is a unique industry with its own problems.

Removing the Varnish – Project Survivability and Resiliency construction project analysis, claims and forensic engineer company-manhattan power outage,Removing the Varnish - Project Survivability and Resiliency

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

So originally the intent was for me to write something about green buildings and sustainability. However, in the context and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the many faceted world of sustainability got laser beamed into a narrower frame – survivability and resiliency. To be able to “sustain” one must be able to survive; and to survive with resilience is a valuable trait. In the world of engineering, construction and projects, survivability is a term more often than not applied to military or defense systems; resilience (and\or redundancy) to data centers and other critical systems. But as has been illustrated by Ms. Sandy, survivability and resiliency should not be considerations for just the hardened operations set.

Hurricane Sandy – Another Storm, Same Recovery Challenges construction project analysis, claims and forensic engineer company-hurricane Sandy recovery Challanges

by Robert C. McCue, PE
MDCSystems® Consulting EngineerhurricaneSandy

Fully two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, the recovery efforts are still frustrated by the lack of fuel and communication. There must be a better way to truly prepare for these events and to avoid the familiar storm after effects.

In my personal experience, gasoline lines (fuel shortages) and communications problems have been predictable after effects of major storms for fifty years. My first storm recovery effort was Hurricane Agnes in 1972. At the time I was a student at Penn State University (recently released from four years of active duty) and a Captain in the Pennsylvania National Guard based out of Lewistown, PA. During the storm we performed rescue and evacuation work in and around Lewistown and then food distribution and fuel delivery to local municipalities on the I – 80 corridor from Altoona to Scranton. Many roads were destroyed in Central Pennsylvania and many bridges were missing resulting in isolation for many communities.

Building Information Modeling – Boon or Bane? construction project analysis, claims and forensic engineer company-Building Information Modeling

MDCSystems® has recently become aware of a number of large projects exhibiting major problems despite the ‘spectacular’ abilities of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and other project technologies. Some of these projects have been highlighted in recent industry publications and legal filings. These issues often fall into several common areas which are summarized below.

• Implementation of the Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology
• Development of the base BIM model
• Failure to maintain the BIM model as work progresses
• The “irrational exuberance” of ‘computer-world’ accuracy (aka “false precision”)
• Insufficient data development (thin content or ‘dumb light’ models)
• Real to virtual drift – failure to as-built the model (reduces the effectiveness of the BIM model for life cycle asset management)