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Structural Engineering

Packer/ITC Experts serves owners, builders, contractors, suppliers, and insurance and legal communities with top technical experts and industry leading testing resources.  It is a multi‑disciplinary team of professional engineers, structural engineers, material scientists, and chemists committed to providing sound and clear technical answers and practical solutions to the construction industry’s most challenging problems. With our technical expertise and extensive experience; combined with our state-of-the-art analytical, field and laboratory diagnostic testing capabilities; we have created the perfect environment to identify, collect, and analyze critical data required to clearly understand and solve the most complex construction problems.

Packer/ITC Experts specializes in structural evaluation, building science and the investigation of building enclosures, construction administration disputes, and site safety incidents.  Building enclosure expertise includes all types of exterior wall systems, roofing systems, foundations and windows.  Our structural engineers specialize in reinforced and prestressed concrete, steel, and timber structures; including building frames, facades, decks, bridges, towers, and tanks. Our construction management team and Certified OSHA experts provide investigation and analysis of construction administration disputes related to compliance with contract documents, differing site conditions, schedule and delay analysis, and jobsite safety related accidents.

Packer/ITC Experts investigates and identifies causal deficiencies attributed to design, construction, deferred maintenance, and/or owner operation that lead to problems of structural and building related distress, water intrusion, mold and rot, and costly damages. Packer/ITC Experts investigations are thorough and based on scientific methods that utilize document review, visual inspection, invasive openings, field testing, material property evaluations, and codes and standards assessments.  When necessary, laboratory testing of construction elements is utilized.  Testing, whether in the laboratory or the field, is performed under realistic and representative service conditions.

 

Structural Investigations

  • Field and Laboratory Testing to identify and evaluate defects and failure mechanisms or to validate performance of repairs.
  • Development of professional opinion reports clearly identifying defect cause and origin and resulting damages based on facts in evidence.
  • Support of opinions using Packer/ITC Experts extensive collection of codes, industry standards, technical publications, and literature. Evaluation of party responsibility.
  • An advanced understanding of the litigation and expert testimony process based on experience.
  • Professional investigations to identify defects in building design, construction, maintenance, management, or operation.
  • Use of the scientific method to plan, execute, and evaluate investigations and the collection of evidence.

Building Science

The majority of all moisture related building enclosure failures are generally caused by poor or inadequate control of water leakage, air infiltration, or vapor diffusion in and out of an assembly.Our building science related expertise include:

  • Water, Air, and Vapor Transport Evaluation.
  • Moisture and Condensation Investigations.
  • Hygrothermal Modeling – BEC staff are trained in the use of WUFI Pro hygrothermal modeling software.
  • Mold Cause and Origin Investigations.
  • Building Ventilation Evaluations.
  • Ice Dams.

Field Testing and Building Monitoring

We conduct customized field testing to identify and evaluate design and/or construction defects or to validate repairs. We also provide building monitoring to characterize the performance over time and conditions of the building structure, envelope, and mechanical systems.

  • Component isolation water leakage testing to evaluate water entry paths.
  • ASTM E 1105 calibrated spray racks for window and façade water penetration testing.
  • ASTM C 1601 calibrated test chamber to evaluate water penetration of masonry.
  • ASTM 783 and E 1186 testing to determine and evaluate air leakage in building envelopes and fenestration.
  • AAMA 501.2, 502, and 511 water penetration testing for diagnostic evaluation of water leaks in windows, curtain wall, and building construction.
  • Calibrated moisture meters; Infrared thermography; Metal detection equipment; Borescopes; Infrared thermometers; Air leakage detection equipment including blower doors, pressurization/depressurization chambers, smoke pencils, anemometers, digital manometers.

Exterior Walls

Exterior walls are comprised of multiple components and systems that are required to be properly integrated to control water leakage from rain and snow melt, air infiltration, vapor movement, provide thermal insulation, and resist deterioration. Packer/ITC Experts has extensive knowledge of all exterior wall types.

  • Masonry including Clay Brick, Concrete (cmu), Limestone, and Terra Cotta. Wall types include solid multi-wythe, cavity drainage, single-wythe, and brick veneer construction.
  • Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS).
  • Direct-applied Finish Systems (DEFS). Wall types include synthetic finish coats, tile, thin-brick, and embedded stone surfaces.
  • Exterior Portland Cement Plaster (Stucco). Wall types include proprietary one-coat stucco systems and code regulated three-coat stucco systems.
  • Cultured Stone Systems.
  • Precast and Cast-in-Place Concrete.
  • Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) Cladding Panels.
  • Metal Panels.

Windows and Curtain Walls

Building fenestration (windows, window wall, and metal/glass curtain wall systems) provides vision glass, venting, and often ventilation louvers. Windows and curtain walls are integrated with adjacent wall and roof systems, air barriers, water-resistant barriers, vapor retarders, flashing, and sealants to resist water and air infiltration. Packer/ITC Experts has a thorough knowledge of these systems and the investigation skills and experience to evaluate non-performance issues.

  • Wood frame windows.
  • Aluminum and vinyl clad wood windows.
  • Solid vinyl windows.
  • Aluminum frame residential and store-front windows.
  • Aluminum frame window wall systems.
  • Aluminum curtain wall systems.
  • Field water penetration testing following AAMA and ASTM Standards.

Hurricanes and Other Large Loss Events

Our team of construction professionals, building scientists, and engineers provide the insurance community and their attorneys with investigation and evaluation assistance on property loss claims. We investigate commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential properties damaged by wind, water/flooding, hail, and fire. We have extensive experience with investigating and identifying markers indicating pre-existing damage after sudden weather events such as hurricanes. We can assist adjusters with both emergency site mobilizations to help with their evaluation process or post hurricane evaluation of claims during or after the repair/remediation process. Our team of construction management professionals provides evaluation of Builder’s Risk Claims following catastrophic events such as wind, flooding, and fire. Property damage can be evaluated. The existing Schedule of Values at the time of the event can be established. Impact of delays on schedule and costs can be quantified.

Our collaborative team of environmental professionals and certified industrial hygienists provides environmental assessments after catastrophic events involving water infiltration and flooding that may lead to mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms in the air, water, and/or ventilation system. When an Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) evaluation reveals active or potential indoor air or water pollutants, we can conduct subsequent sampling and analysis to identify and quantify the pollutant. We also can analyze scopes of work by others to identify potential excessive scopes of work and associated expenditures.

Our team of fire investigation professionals has extensive experience in the determination of the cause and origin of fires and explosions in any environment. These include, but not limited to industrial manufacturing, chemical/petroleum facilities, commercial and residential buildings. We have the expertise to address fires stemming from fuel gas distribution or equipment failures, electrical system failures and/or lightning. Investigations include evaluation of the pre-storm conditions, potential code violations, equipment or piping failures, or failures in storm preparation that may have contributed to the loss.

Environmental Health and Safety

Our company and our collaborative have conducted microbial investigations at hundreds of industrial, institutional, health care, office buildings, and single- and multi-family residences over the years. Our preliminary evaluations concentrate on visual inspections and assessments to determine the source of moisture ingress, impacted materials, the presence of resultant visible fungal growth, as well as providing a wide variety of proactive IEQ services.

We generally begin a building diagnostic evaluation by reviewing the ventilation system design and operating procedures (also see Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP)). We also obtain direct-reading measurements of temperature and relative humidity, and indoor air contaminants such as respirable particulate and carbon monoxide. Diagnostic evaluation includes relative pressurization checks and air movement checks (also see Field Testing and Building Monitoring). Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system deficiencies are many times associated with IEQ problems. These deficiencies can occur in the design, installation, maintenance and operation of the HVAC systems.

When an IEQ evaluation reveals active or potential indoor air pollutant sources, we can conduct subsequent air sampling and analysis to identify and quantify the indoor air pollutant. Our team of skilled professionals can evaluate additional stressors contributing to IEQ complaints, such as noise, ergonomics and lighting levels.

When appropriate, we carefully design sampling regimens targeted to address a specific hypothesis. Sampling is conducted following the principles of nationally recognized guidance documents including those published by the ACGIH, AIHA, and WHO. We can sample for bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms in air and in source (bulk) samples. We work with our clients to educate them about the usefulness and limitations of microbial sampling. We then, if needed, design sampling protocols that meets the clients’ needs.

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP)

  • Residential, institutional, educational, commercial, multi-family, medical and pharmaceutical facility HVAC systems.
  • Hot Water heating, piping & pumping systems.
  • Chilled water cooling, piping & pumping systems.
  • Central campus heating/cooling systems.
  • Low and high pressure steam & piping systems.
  • Air handling, constant volume, variable air volume, multi-zone systems.
  • Ductwork and air flow analysis.
  • Central/Thermal comfort.
  • Geo-Thermal systems.
  • Direct expansion refrigeration systems.
  • Thermal storage systems.
  • Industrial make up air/ventilation systems.
  • Exhaust systems.
  • Life safety pressurization systems.

Trips, Slips, and Falls

Probably the most common type of premises liability injuries are slips or trips leading to a fall. A thorough understanding of human gait dynamics/mechanics, tribology, anatomy and physiology, and perceptual and aging processes allows the skilled Human Factors professional to evaluate such accidents and to determine whether they could or even be likely to have occurred as described.Good examples of this would be such issues as:

  • Is a walking surface sufficiently slip resistant under normal (or even abnormal) conditions to make a slip and fall unlikely, absent other contributing factors?
  • Are lighting conditions or other environmental/perceptual factors such as to make it difficult for pedestrians to detect and avoid potential obstacles or unusual conditions?
  • Are particular environmental or structural considerations such that they could potentially lead to a trip and fall regardless of whether or not they may meet building codes and standards?

Insurance Services

Packer/ITC Experts provides technical support to the Insurance community for a multitude of claims ranging from small residential issues to large high-rise, commercial, or institutional construction defect related issues. We help insurance adjusters, third-party administrators, and counsel understand the true causes that have created the damages being claimed. Professional investigations are performed, and concise cause and origin opinion reports are issued, in a timely manner to help quickly resolve the insurance claims.

  • Professional investigations to identify defects in building design, construction, maintenance, management, or owner operation.
  • Development of professional opinion reports clearly identifying the cause and origin of the defect(s) and resulting damages based on facts in evidence.
  • Support of opinions using Packer/ITC Experts extensive collection and knowledge of codes, industry standards, technical publications and literature.
  • Use of advanced building science skills and knowledge to evaluate heat, air, and moisture (and moisture vapor) transport in and out of the building enclosure to assess causation of mold, condensation, and deterioration of building components.
  • Extensive knowledge and experience with roofing, masonry, exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS), exterior stucco systems, window and curtain wall systems, attic and building ventilation systems making us capable of helping to resolve the myriad of issues generating the building claim.

Litigation Services

Packer/ITC Experts offers litigation support services for the multitude of dispute resolution alternatives. We understand the litigation process and can effectively communicate the technical issues in depositions, trial, arbitration, and in mediation presentations.

Packer/ITC Experts has sophisticated computer modeling, animation, and graphics capabilities to create demonstrative visual exhibits that provide a clear understanding of complex technical issues to a judge or jury.

  • Expert Testimony.
  • Trial, Arbitration, and Mediation Support.
  • Development of Trial Exhibits / Demonstrative Graphics.
  • Computer Animations and Simulations.
  • Court Room Mock-Ups / Physical Model Construction.

Contact Us

Mary Pappas
(630) 757-5369
mpappas@itcexperts.com
Client Liaison, Packer Engineering Group/ITC Experts
Dan Roig
Vice President Structural & Bio-mechanical Engineering
(630) 701-7724
droig@packereng.com

Structural Engineering

Bio-mechanical Engineering

David Curry, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, Packer/ITC Experts
(630) 757-5329
dcurry@itcexperts.com
Human Factors and Safety