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Diagnostic Engineering Services Critical to Solving Problems with Existing Structures

Tornado Damage

Expertise in facilities engineering has been an area of growth for Terracon, accomplished with training, project experience and acquisitions of firms with expert capabilities. Today, the Terracon team has more experience in providing consulting on roof/building envelope issues, blasting/vibration issues, construction support, civil/structural design, investigative/forensic engineering evaluations, and expert testimony. Terracon’s nationwide clients include building owners, property managers, construction contractors, architects, design-build contractors, claims adjusters of insurance companies, and attorneys.

A particular area of expertise is diagnostic (cause and origin) investigations. Diagnostic engineering investigations are often required by insurance companies and owners to investigate the proximate cause of a loss to determine if it was caused by a covered or non-covered peril. In addition to assisting insurers with coverage questions, Terracon engineers are frequently asked to determine whether or not the damage poses any danger to the structural integrity of the structure.

When Are Diagnostic Engineering Investigations Needed?
Natural disaster property damage assessments: hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, lightning, etc., cause billions of dollars of damage each year. Many of the losses incurred ultimately end up requiring some level of diagnostic investigation. Typically, insurance companies do not have abundant engineering expertise on staff and require the services of a third party firm such as Terracon to assist in the investigation.

Fire Cause And Origin Investigations
Fires can happen spontaneously from naturally occurring causes, by human error, or by human intent. To determine the exact cause sometimes requires the services of a trained professional.

Terracon has employed Certified Fire and Explosion Investigators (CFEI). They have evaluated the cause and origin of vehicle, equipment, and structure fires and provided subrogation support for financial recovery for various insurance companies.

Other Property Damage Assessments
Damage to real property can also occur as a result of other causes such as lack of soil stability, moisture intrusion, construction defects, vibrations from nearby blasting and construction activities, design failures, and equipment failures. Many times these causes ultimately require an investigation to determine where responsibility lies. Experts at Terracon have not only investigated hundreds of these types of losses, but have also served as expert witnesses on occasion to testify about their findings.

Terracon has become one of the premier facilities engineering firms in the United States partially due to strategic acquisitions and growing internal expertise. Regardless of the type of problem or damage a facility has experienced, Terracon has the engineering expertise to solve the problem and/or provide the support needed to determine the cause and origin of the damage.