Last year was the United States’ most costly on record for weather-related disasters. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather-related damages in 2017 totaled a staggering $306 billion.
Construction Defect Litigation • Claims Investigations • Catastrophe Management • Building Evaluations • Consulting and Design
Severe weather can cause extensive damage to a building’s roof, foundation, and interiors. If there is a breach in a structure's envelope, water is likely to find its way into the building. This is why it is critical to make a structure water resistant from top to bottom.
Do not believe that asbestos is not being used in building products that you specify or construct. Contrary to popular belief asbestos is not illegal in the U.S. According to the EPA many building products can be manufactured with asbestos.
Whose fault was it? This is a frequently asked question when an exterior wall leaks, rots, or falls down. During a construction failure investigation, contractors often highlight the defects of other trades that affected their work. Defects include those that were documented during construction but not corrected. This may be due to timing and scheduling constraints.
Often the findings from building failures are then used going forward as best practices for new construction. However, those learned best practices should not be the only guideline. Critical areas that need to be addressed include the points of intersection, as many times there are multiple layers of building materials which are put in place by various subcontractors. This step is known as a pre-covering inspection. A pre-covering inspection of each layer at each wall area would be ideal, so problems at each layer do not accumulate, influence other layers, or get concealed.
The following article looks at examples of pre-covering inspection criteria to illustrate the influence each layer may have. Continue reading….
Hurricane Irma bore down hard on single-family homes, severely damaging many. At the end of September residential insurance claims had been cited around a half-million. The story, however is quite different for commercial and industrial buildings where insurance claims had been cited around 25,000.
This is mainly due to the stricter building codes that were put in place following the wrath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. “Designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 175 mph, the Florida building code is the accepted benchmark for hurricane protection nationally.”
“Florida significantly strengthened its defenses after hits from past major hurricanes, and those improvements were instrumental in helping the state weather this potentially devastating storm,” Levy notes. “As a result, damage to Florida commercial real estate is relatively minor outside of the Keys.”
The hotel business continues to reach new heights with greater and greater demand for more occupancy. As such, developers continue to build and open new hotels across the country.
In fact, according to a recent article in National Real Estate Investor, the number of new hotel rooms planned for this year is up 9% as of the end of September.
Room demand is at an all time high. "The U.S. hotel industry - through August - has sold more rooms than ever before." This is mostly due to the U.S. economy being relatively strong: "Healthy corporate profits continue to create demand for business travel. And because unemployment is relatively low and the purchasing power of many families is strong, consumers continue to travel for leisure. The damage created by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma also inflated the demand for hotel rooms in Texas and Florida, as people whose homes were damaged needed to find other places to stay."
CCA is pleased to welcome John O'Rourke, Structural Engineer
With deep expertise in residential, commercial, and industrial engineering, John O’Rourke has recently joined CCA’s New York City office as a Structural Engineer.
Mr. O’Rourke’s experience in the roles of Structural Engineer and Project Engineer have spanned across a multitude of residential, commercial, and industrial engineering projects. His direct experience is the result of working within engineering groups consisting of Civil, Structural, Architectural, Building Mechanical, Electrical and Process Piping Engineering Departments.
In addition to his background in engineering, Mr. O’Rouke has gained in depth design experience. His designs include: structural steel buildings, seismic design, shallow foundations, wood structures and buildings, and masonry. Additionally, he has provided special designs for retaining structures and avalanche shielding structures.
CCA is pleased to welcome Paul Dudley Smith, PE, CEM
Dudley joins us as a senior Mechanical Engineer with over thirty years of experience in the design, construction and testing of HVAC, piping, and other mechanical systems. Mr. Smith has performed a myriad of mechanical system analysis projects, studies, reports, designs and specifications. Dudley has provided project management, construction oversight services, and client support for various projects. Mr. Smith is a Certified Energy Manager providing direction and support for energy decisions and conducts energy studies and audits.
2016 was recorded as the second-warmest year to date according to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information report. According to NOAA, "Some extreme weather and climate events have increased in recent decades." A staggering $46 billion has been spent in damages due to climate-based disasters in 48 U.S. states. Unfortunately, these types of disasters not only cause monetary damages but have taken the lives of at least 138 people.
The yearly report included seven types of climate related disasters, which included droughts, hurricanes, and winter storms throughout the country. The news is opening up new discussions on how best to resiliently build in coastal areas that could be affected and where would the funds come from to pay for such mitigation. Once catastrophes occur, insurance companies and governmental agencies, such as FEMA and states, pay for losses. In addition, individuals absorb losses.