Damage from Adjacent Construction

Civil Engineering - practice page ​

Identify and address construction impacts to nearby buildings

Heavy construction in urban environments often affects adjacent buildings and the neighbors inhabiting them. Exponent helps protect property, document pre-construction conditions, and analyze post-construction property damage or disruption.

How do you effectively address risks from adjacent construction?

Construction immediately adjacent to neighboring properties creates substantial concerns, especially when those buildings must remain open for use by businesses and residents. High-level noise and vibrations, excavations, and dewatering can pose additional issues. Vibrations occur with pile driving or soil compaction, and if this motion is strong enough, it can cause discomfort to building occupants or damage adjacent property. Dewatering, which lowers the water table as a means of keeping the construction site dry, and excavation, which paves the way for construction, can distort or damage soil foundations that support existing structures.

Because few structures are entirely free of distress, it is often difficult to differentiate between preexisting damage and new damage caused by adjacent construction. Exponent performs pre- and post-construction surveys to help adjacent property owners differentiate between preexisting conditions and those caused by adjacent construction. Mapping cracking and foundation elevations before the start of construction can help business owners and residents determine whether the project had a direct impact on their property. Exponent's engineers consult with clients to recommend repairs and measures to minimize further damage.

Our Capabilities Are Unparalleled

With expertise in over 90 disciplines and hundreds of capabilities, tools, and methodologies — we get to the root of even the most complex challenges and give you the objective answers you need.


Our global and comprehensive expertise across industries gives us a deep understanding of current challenges, best industry practices, and the implications of emerging technologies.