Expert Details

Expert in Architectural Structural and Forensic Engineering

Expert ID: 724615 Pennsylvania, USA

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His degree is a Bachelors of Architectural Engineering where he learned the application of engineering principles and technology to building design and construction.

His specialty is in Structural Engineering but he took advanced courses in HVAC design as well as core course work in lighting and electrical engineering and construction management.

He regularly uses his broad based engineering in preparing reports and condition assessments relative to the entire building function and can coordinate the work of other Engineers due to his understanding of all Building Design considerations.

He regularly calculates the bending moments due to different load conditions due to dead, live and short term loads.

These bending moments can be for an individual structural component or be the overturning due to wind and/or seismic loads.

He regularly conducts building inspections to ensure that their construction, alteration, or repair complies with building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications.

Primarily he looks for conformance with building codes and standards to protect the health and safety of the general public as well as monitor compliance with additional safety regulations designed to protect structures and occupants during naturally occurring events like high winds, seismic activity or flooding.

Prior to becoming a licensed engineer he was a Special Inspector licensed with the City and County of Honolulu. The owner of a building or structure under construction employs the special inspector to ensure that work is done according to design specifications. Special Inspectors represent the owner’s interests.

Insurance companies and financial institutions also use his services for specification inspection to ensure the building was completed as specified in the Construction Documents and according to code.

Generally he specializes in such areas as structural inspection of buildings and other infrastructure. These inspections can be for new construction as well as existing construction that are exhibiting distress or that may have failed either during construction or after it has been completed and occupied.

For new construction he inspects the condition of the soil, the positioning and depth of the footings, placement of reinforcement. He makes site visits to the worksite before the foundation is poured. Later, he returns to the site to inspect the foundation after it has been completed.

He also conducts residential structural inspections of newly built or previously owned homes, condominiums, town homes, manufactured homes, residential-unit living (apartments), and at times commercial buildings.

He has conducted several forensic inspections of roof failures as well as developed remedial measures for addressing overloaded roofs to prevent collapse conditions or threats to occupants.

Two of the structures were constructed with wood trusses and collapsed due to high wind and in adequate temporary bracing during construction.

Another structure was experiencing overload during freeze and thaw cycles over the winter. The roof drains became clogged and caused progressive ponding to the point where deflections were visibly noticeable and the roof was severely overloaded relative to the code allowable loads. The remedial action was to monitor the roof until the ballast could be removed and the building re-roofed with a lighter roof system.

He has been practicing engineering since 1986 and graduated from an ABET accredited program in Architectural Engineering.

Routinely he applies scientific and technical knowledge to the design, analysis and preparation of construction documents.

He also applies his engineering education and experience to analyze and evaluate structural failures.

He investigates materials, products, structures or components that fail or do not function as intended. Some of these investigated failures resulted in personal injury.

Hid investigation is to locate the cause or causes of failure with a view to improve performance or life of a structural component, or to assist a court or insurer in determining the facts of an accident.

He has designed header beams in wood, steel, cold formed steel, reinforced masonry and precast concrete.

He regularly decides on the forces involved in the design and the analysis of structures. In the event that the loads are not specified in the code the determination of loads and forces may require additional research and calculation of the static load due to the dynamic forces involved.

He routinely designs buildings and other structures to resist the load combinations specified by the International Building Code and ASCE 7. Load Combinations considered include Dead, Live, Earth Pressure, Snow, Wind and Temperature Loads.

Load combinations are used for strength design or load and resistance factor design, LRFD. Structures and portions thereof are designed to resist the most critical effects from the combinations of loads for LRFD and Allowable Stress.

When using allowable stress design stresses are permitted to be increased or load combinations reduced where permitted by the code or other standards.

Design of wood structures with milled lumber is a regular activity of his engineering practice.

He has also investigated existing structures constructed of lumber and investigated their species through the Universities Extension service to determine the existing structures load capacity.

He has designed and consulted on a number of residential projects, mostly custom homes.

He has been involved in preparing construction documents as well as modification of plans to change the dimension and framing of the existing framing plans.

He routinely provides investigations and inspections for home owners who have had problems with new and existing structures as well as homes purchased to be renovated and resold by small developers.

He regularly use Structural Analysis to compute deformations, internal forces, and stresses. After determining structural loads, geometry, support conditions and material properties the analysis results in reactions, stresses and displacements and are compared to design criteria and material limitations.

He uses software as well as hand calculations to arrive at a complete solution. These tools are used to determine sizes and geometry during the feasibility stage through final design.

The International Building Code is regularly used to determine the limitations and requirements for each structure designed and reviewed by his office. His knowledge of the code requirements is essential to the success of his projects. He is also familiar with the code requirements of older codes that have expired and were used to design existing buildings that they are sometimes requested to evaluate for change of use and structural upgrades.

He has been engaged in the practice of Structural Engineering since graduating from The Architectural Engineering program in the Structural Option at Penn State University in 1986.

Structural Engineering balances serviceability, economy, and safety with the design and function of a structure. With substantial design experience in concrete, steel, timber, and masonry, he has provided structural engineering services to architects, owners, and developers in both the public and private sector. Projects include Public Facilities, Condominiums/Residential Buildings, Industrial/Warehouse Facilities, Medical Facilities, and Infrastructure Projects. He also has provided innovative technical services while adhering to cost and schedule requirements.

He has design experience with wood framing as well as engineered wood products. He has designed Wood Framed Structures as the primary load carrying members as well as used wood framing in conjunction with engineered wood and steel beams and columns to provide the best economy and serviceability of both materials.

Foundation Failure due to Sink Hole Development.

Retained by an Insurance Company to assess the damage and long-term liability due to foundation failure and subsequent repair due to the formation of a sink hole. On an adjacent property the township drained a water tower to prepare to paint the inside. The water was drained out of it to a catch basin on an adjacent site. The large amount of water created a sink hole to form adjacent to the insured's building. The loss of soils below the foundation required emerging shoring and remediation. We assessed the relevance of the construction cost and the action taken by the building owner's contractor in review of the insurance claim and made recommendations to avoid future problems at the site.
Agriculture Building Collapse.

Retained by the General Contractors Attorney. During construction high winds collapsed a wood framed agricultural building. We provided an on site assessment of the construction progress at the point of failure and made an assessment of the plaintiffs expert report as well as an assessment of the causes of failure. Our involvement aided the General Contractor's attorney in determining the merit of the claim against his client as well as the culpability of subcontractors hired by the general contractor to erect the structure.
Arbitration of Construction Dispute.

Retained by a contractor to evaluate a home he had constructed per prescriptive methods allowed by the code after the homeowner disputed additional charges and took possession of the unfinished home. The homeowner retained an inspector and claimed the roof was not adequate to support the loads and span of the as built condition.
Construction Related Fatality.

Retained by an Attorney to evaluate a claim which was the result of a basement wall failure during construction. We provided expert advise and analysis for the Attorney on the technical merits of the claim relative to his client, a subcontractor on the project.
Severe Deflection in Residential Construction.

Retained by the Plaintiff's Attorney to review an existing condition. A homeowner after purchasing a $350,000 home noticed an unusual slope of the floor. The contractor had made revisions to the original design and a second floor bearing wall now sat on the first floor joists and caused the floor to sag. Our assistance led to a resolution due to the difficulty the defense felt they would have disputing our findings.

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Allentown, Pennsylvania - Reading, Pennsylvania - Scranton, Pennsylvania - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania - Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Wilmington, Delaware - Baltimore, Maryland - Camden, New Jersey - Alexandria, Virginia

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Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1986 Degree: Bachelor of Architectural Engineer Subject: Architectural Engineering Institution: The Pennsylvania State University

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1999 to 2002 Employer: Benatec Associates Title: Chief Structural Engineer Department: Integrated Building Arts Responsibilities: Directed the efforts of the Structural Engineering Department as well as designed and engineered building structures. Provided Forensic Structural Investigative Engineering Services to Insurance Companies and Attorneys.
Years: 1997 to 1999 Employer: Whitney Bailey Cox Magnani Title: Structural Project Engineer & Manager Department: Responsibilities: Structural Engineer responsible for design and specification through construction.
Years: 1996 to 1997 Employer: Erdman Anthony Engineers Title: Structural Project Engineer Department: Responsibilities: Structural Engineer responsible for design and specification through construction.
Years: 1994 to 1996 Employer: Gannett Fleming Title: Structural Project Engineer Department: Transportation Structures Responsibilities: Structural Engineer responsible for design and specification through construction of Architectural Structures in support of the Transportation Industry.
Years: 1992 to 1994 Employer: Sato & Associates Title: Structural Project Engineer & Special Inspector Department: Responsibilities: Structural Designer responsible for design and specification through construction. Provided Special Inspection Services during Construction.
Years: 1989 to 1992 Employer: Martin & Bravo, Inc. Title: Structural Project Engineer & Special Inspector Department: Responsibilities: Structural Designer responsible for design and specification through construction. Provided Special Inspection Services during Construction.

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 1999 to 2001 Agency: United States Army Role: Structural Engineer Description: Provided Structural Engineering Services for the Renovation and Structural Modifications to Fort Dix Military Base Facilities for Training Center
Years: 2000 to 2002 Agency: Pennsylvania State Police Role: Structural Engineer Description: Provided Structural Engineering for the additions and renovations to the Pennsylvania State Police Academy, Hershey, PA.
Years: 1977 to 1999 Agency: United States Postal Service Role: Structural Design Engineer Description: United States Postal Service Distribution Center - Frederick, Md.
Design Build Expansion to an existing distribution facility. The roof was constructed using metal deck over open web steel bar joists, supported by steel columns and spread footings. Unique modifications required grade beams to straddle existing foundations. Details included interfacing with a pre-cast wall system and grade beams to avoid bearing on existing foundations. Provided a rigid frame at the exterior facade to allow for future expansion of the facility.
Years: 1996 to 1997 Agency: United States Navy Role: Structural Design Engineer Description: Mechanicsburg Navy Depot Bldg.'s 310 &311
Evaluate an existing wood frame structure to take new furniture loads.

Mechanicsburg Navy Depot Bldg. 210
Investigate the cause of the cracking in an existing 45 foot tall reinforced masonry fire wall.

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Has provided Investigation, Inspection and Structural Analysis in support of litigation as well as expert opinions on Structural Engineering issues. Provided Expert Testimony under oath in hearings.
Vendor Selection
Familiar with General Contractors in Central Pennsylvania.
Marketing Experience
Familiar recent developments in repair techniques relative to foundation wall failures. Carbon Fiber Repair Techniques.

Fields of Expertise

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