The basic function of a building is to provide structurally sound and environmentally controlled spaces to house and protect occupants and contents. If this basic function is not achieved, it is because some aspect of the building has failed. Exponent’s architects, engineers, and scientists have a broad range of expertise with failures in the built environment, and providing clients with in-depth investigations of individual building components, as well as the interdependence of components with each other and the outside environment. Failures of basic building functions can range from defects in single components such as windows, to extensive deficiencies in an entire exterior wall system, to the inability of HVAC systems to properly condition the air. The source of these deficiencies can include inadequate design, improper execution of the work, defective materials, or simply normal and expected aging perhaps coupled with lack of maintenance.
Building deficiencies such as water infiltration, excessive building movement, or premature component failures have become more common as buildings have become more complex. Builders are not content to continue using traditional materials, components, and construction methods, when budget pressures make promising new
components and building systems very appealing, sometimes before they have been properly tested or their long-term performance demonstrated. Also contributing to building deficiencies are the problems associated with continually changing roles of the design/construction teams.
Our services include:
- Site investigations, often including spray testing and invasive examination of building components
- Laboratory testing of building components, wherein a component can be studied under simulated (or accelerated) field conditions but in a controlled environment
- Engineering analysis of the design and performance of building components with respect to design intent, standard of care, and conformance of as-built conditions to construction drawings
- Identification and design of appropriate repairs for faulty or damaged building components and envelopes.