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Forensic Architecture

Forensic Architecture generally involves the investigation, evaluation, and analysis of the built-environment. Forensic applications in buildings for example are typically implemented due to varying degrees of damage and distress to building materials and components. This may include water intrusion into the building-envelope, failure of structural elements, and damage by fire or inclement weather. Architectural forensic investigations are oftentimes performed for establishing building maintenance programs, facility audits, and life-cycle cost analysis. Forensic investigations of the built-environment are also performed when an incident occurs resulting in physical injury or death. Such investigations will determine whether or not certain characteristics making up the built-environment caused or contributed to the incident’s occurrence.

Forensic Architecture is a process commonly used in architectural and construction related disputes. Beginning with a comprehensive condition survey, the existing conditions of the built-environment are investigated, evaluated, and analyzed based on the damages or failures involved. Intrusive investigations and testing are sometimes necessary to ascertain specific information regarding covered or hidden materials and components. Special testing may also be necessary when certain factors are involved. The types and extent of intrusive investigations and testing necessary are typically determined throughout the condition survey process as additional information becomes available.

Logan Architectural Consulting (LAC) has performed forensic investigations and analyses on well over one-million square feet of buildings and facilities, including buildings dating back to the late 1800s. These investigations have been performed in the context of litigation support services, insurance claims, facility audits, controlled maintenance planning, and historic preservation. Many of LAC’s investigations have been related to design defects, construction defects, and noncompliant conditions. LAC has also performed numerous forensic investigations relating to claims involving personal injury and wrongful death.