New Book. Forensic Architecture, an Introduction.
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Forensic Architecture deals with the relationship and application of architectural facts to legal disputes. This book explains the cycle of Forensic Investigation and illustrates how you can do it with multiple examples.
The book is 300 pages long with 150 illustrations. It has 17 chapters and is a handbook for the professional, presenting typical examples and their methods of resolution. This is the first book to fully document when, and how a Lawyer goes about commissioning an Architect as an Expert Witness.
This is a vanguard work on the dynamics of Law, Architecture, and Expert Witness support, written by an Architect with 50 years of experience in Architecture, Building Inspections, Forensic Architecture, Interior Design, and Master Planning. Emphasis is placed on understanding architectural deficiencies within the legal environment that leads to resolution of disputes. Focusing upon due diligence and quality information gathering that feature architectural forensic report examples, this book leads you through the complete legal witness process of an Architectural Expert Witness..
- What is Forensic Architecture? A Forensic Architect is an expert witness who, in court, provides technical analysis, reports, and testimony. He provides forensic technical services towards the resolution of litigation and claims arising out of a wide range of activities for the plaintiff or defendant. For example; expertise with a wide variety of facilities and construction types applied to: Slip Accidents, Trip Accidents, Building System Failures, Building Safety, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ANSI A117.1, Security, Building Maintenance, Building Types, Building Design and Planning, Site Planning and much more. If it involves a building and analysis of same, a Forensic Architect can help you.
- When did this profession begin and why? This unique profession began roughly about 1990 (+/-). This was in response to an ever increasing need for experts to analyze and testify in court cases about deficient practices or acts in the building construction industry. This includes injured parties, insurance companies, property owners, facility designers, construction contractors, equipment installers, architects, engineers, maintenance companies and other providers of building services.
- What are some of the potential areas that might be involved? Facility design of architectural or engineering trades, codes and standards, design changes, design build, HVAC and energy comfort, site design and retaining walls, suitability of use, construction delays, construction changes, damage to work in progress, drawings adequacy, drawing clarity, drawing compliance, drawing interpretation, product substitution, workmanship, quality control, settling, collapse, site drainage, water intrusion.
- Who practices this new profession? Architects such as myself who have a very broad background in the profession coupled with many years of experience. This is truly a case where “an old architect is a good Forensic Architect”.
- Who uses a Forensic Architect and why? Lawyers, owners, insurance companies, individuals, and anybody who is searching for the truth through scientific fact finding.
- What types of activities might warrant the hiring of an Forsenic Architect? Personal injury, property damage, safety issues or economic loss as it relates to the built environment and architecture require an expert. Architects that have the additional experience and training in Forensic investigation are a unique individual well worth their added value.
Range of my forensic architectural services:
- Slip Accidents: Code compliance issues involving slip analysis of walking surfaces, wet and dry, slip resistant characteristics of special flooring materials in public spaces and health or industrial use environments, maintenance and cleaning slip involvement, at stairs, ramps, sidewalks, icy or snow covered areas, areas with bad or not adequate lighting.
- Trip Accidents: Have provided measurements and analysis of ramps, unmarked sloped areas, adjacent materials with misalignment between vertical materials such as sidewalks, parking lots, curbs and brick and pre-fabricated modular type walkways.
- Building System Failures: Window and door glazing failures, expansion joint failures, spalling brick, water intrusion, roofing systems failure, masonry and stone failures.
- Building Safety: Code compliance, HVAC and electrical, snow and water drainage control, fire and smoke alarms, window guards, glass, floor surfaces, refuse management, occupancy separations.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ANSI A117.1: Requirements; elderly and persons with disabilities; design and maintenance; accessible routes and facilities; parking and loading zones, ramps, stairs, bath rooms, handrails, grab bars, signage ADA compliance, hospitals and medical centers.
- Security: Access control, parking, lighting, vegetation, glazing, door and window hardware
- Building Maintenance: Maintenance of building envelope, and systems; roofing and drainage; snow removal.
- Building Types: Airports, including hangers, terminal buildings, maintenance buildings, cargo buildings, parking facilities, Signage and graphics; Bus Terminals, Police facilities, Bus parking & staging areas, Bridge toll booths, food facilities; Subway stations, storage, helicopter pads, Tunnels, Hospital and Medical Facility Design, MRI, Renal Dialysis, Critical Care, Pediatric, Nuclear and molecular science, Operating Rooms, Sterilization facilities, Waiting Rooms, Mobile Lithotripter facilities, Cafeterias and Recreation.
- Building Design and Planning: Facility planning of office buildings, industrial manufacturing parks, post offices, libraries, day care centers, public housing, multi-family residences, including code analysis, changes in use or occupancy, security. Design of modular housing units that could be “stacked”. Above Ground Fuel Storage Facilities: including ladder and access platforms; location and accessibility of emergency valves; weather insulation systems; emergency spill containment to meet EPA requirements.
- Site Planning: Site analysis; land use, zoning, parking, pedestrian circulation, security; vehicle and emergency vehicle access; lighting, signage, coordination of underground and above ground utilities; vehicular and rail transportation; slope analysis, flooding.
Listing of completed projects:
- Forensic Architect for Mastrangelo vs Manning: Putnam County Supreme Court Index No. 707/97
- Forensic Architect for Brian & Kathy Kearsey vs. PW Scott Engineering & Architecture: Court ordered arbitration hearing.
- Forensic Architect for George S. Bellstone, Esq. Representing Elizabeth Mrazek in a personal injury case. (With Robson Lipina).
- Forensic Architect for BASF vs Damon Douglas vs County Glass, Sylvester Esq. for BASF. (With Robson Lipina).
- ADA Study of Danbury Ethan Allen Inn, for falling and injury Litigation, (with Leigh Douglas Overland, AIA).
- Forensic Architect for Rose Arbor Condo Association vs Kalian Corp. (With Robson Lipina).
- Westchester Medical Center Complex. White Plains, N.Y. (Project architect in association with another architect (Sal Vasi, AIA) for complete ADA study, cost analysis, working drawings & specifications and supervision of contract documents and construction at three major buildings).
- Westchester County Building. White Plains, N.Y. (Project architect in association with another architect (Sal Vasi, AIA) for complete ADA study, cost analysis, working drawings & specifications and supervision of contract documents and construction at main County Exhibit Building).