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Structural performance during a tornado: What you need to know

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 9, 2021 9:16:01 AM / by Greg Hoyt, PE

Statistically, there are few tornados above F2 on the Fujita scale (maximum wind speeds of 113-157 mph). This is a tremendous wind load to hit a structure and most buildings are not typically designed to survive those kinds of loads. The one good thing about tornados is that they are typically short-lived, on the ground only a few minutes, and averaging about 1,000 feet across. Regardless, the concentrated force of these rotating winds at that speed hitting the building for a short period can cause significant damage. Here, we will look at what happens to a structure when it is hit by a tornado.

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Responding to Catastrophes

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 17, 2021 6:30:00 AM / by Kenneth R Quigley, PE

Disaster can strike at any time—natural disasters like hurricanes, wild fires, earthquakes, tornadoes; and human-caused catastrophes like pipeline leaks, criminal acts, bridge or building collapses, or industrial, air, or rail accidents. After the initial emergency response, property owners and public officials turn their attention to restoring properties and restarting commerce. Business and property owners and their insurance companies want to know:

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Getting a building back to pre-storm condition: What to expect

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 27, 2021 10:30:44 AM / by Greg Hoyt, PE

Recovery after a hurricane or tornado is a multi-step process. After the storm has passed and it is safe to be back in the area, it is time for building owners, with the help of their insurance companies, to start the rebuilding process. There are several considerations in rebuilding structures to pre-storm condition, including assessing the damages, making repairs, and the associated costs.

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Four Greatest Risks of a Hurricane’s Impact on Buildings

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 16, 2021 8:19:49 AM / by Kenneth R Quigley, PE

Hurricanes can cause significant damage to structures in their path. A typical hurricane can span 25-150 miles, and typically involves winds of 74-157 mph. While tropical storm force winds can extend the width of the storm to 300 miles wide, the wind speed is highest near the center of the storm.

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A Structural Engineer’s Nightmare, Champlain Towers South

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 1, 2021 1:03:30 PM / by Kenneth R Quigley, PE

I am deeply saddened by the tragic news of the fatal collapse of Champlain Towers South Condominium in Surfside, Florida early Thursday morning. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I hope for the safety of my Urban Search and Rescue friends and their success in finding miracles in the debris of the building.

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When do you need a facility condition assessment?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 28, 2021 9:30:00 AM / by Robert Pfeifer, AIA

A facility condition assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of a property and its infrastructure to determine the current performance and understand how much longer it can continue to perform as designed. This information is critical for making decisions about needed repairs, maintenance, or improvements and the associated costs. This is similar to a property condition assessment for commercial real estate.

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Hurricane Damage Claims - A Primer

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 10, 2021 6:00:00 AM / by Robert Pfeifer, AIA

Insurance policies may or may not cover all your damages from a storm like a hurricane. In general, for residential policies, most policies cover damages caused by high winds, such as damaged roofing shingles, broken windows, water entering damaged building components, or damage from toppled trees.

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Owner’s Objectives: It Is Critical To Be Clear From the Start

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 2, 2021 1:32:00 PM / by John R. Manning, PE, CCM, LEED

For owners and Property Managers, one of the most difficult aspects of construction disputes is the mismatch between what the owner wanted and what the architect or contractor delivered. It is especially troublesome when a review of the project reveals that the problem could have been avoided with clear communication about the owner’s goals for the project. Because of the problems that arise when the owner’s objectives are not met, the most important role of the owner’s representative is to ensure that the goals and objectives of the project are clear.

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Construction Defect Litigation: Hiring an Expert Witness

[fa icon="calendar'] May 11, 2021 9:00:00 AM / by Mark McGivern, CSI, Aff. M. ASCE

Great expert witnesses are a critical part of a construction defect litigation team from start to finish. They can make or break your case, so it is critical to work with an expert who understands the technical side of the case and who can communicate clearly and objectively with all parties involved.

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Document Management for Construction Litigation

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 26, 2021 3:15:00 PM / by Philip B. Terry, Sr. Vice President

Documents tell powerful stories in construction defect litigation—from small, straightforward cases with a few hundred documents to highly complex cases with thousands of files and millions of pages. Attorneys working with these documents need a manageable way to cull, store, search, and review them. Some systems of document management are cumbersome and expensive while others are not robust enough. How do you choose the best document management system for your needs? 

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