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Forensic + Litigation Support

Mr. Avelar is the founder of AVELAR, formerly Richard Avelar + Associates. He is responsible for litigation support, expert witness services, forensic investigation, code compliance review, construction documentation, building performance evaluation, repair specifications, and contract administration.

A Letter From Our Founder

Richard Avelar founded Richard Avelar & Associates designing small residential projects after completing his internship with a local architectural firm, and passing the California State architectural exam in 1976. His intern experience included work restoring fire, water and smoke damaged schools in the East Bay. This experience would become particularly important later in the consulting work Richard Avelar & Associates would perform when conducting forensic evaluations of building failures.

RA&A’s first office was a small waterfront office in Oakland, California. Early in the 1980’s, RA&A was asked to provide repair design documents for a large condominium complex in San Anselmo. RA&A provided the design, administered the contract, tracked the repair costs and developed an allocation for the responsible original subcontractors. Richard made a presentation at a mediation with Special Master John Griffiths on behalf of the developer. This project launched RA&A into the litigation arena.

As the demand for RA&A’s services grew, the company moved several times to accommodate a growing staff of experienced and well-qualified architects, general contractors, structural engineers, and qualified and brilliant support staff. Since the 1980’s, in addition to Northern and Southern California, RA&A has provided services in Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma and Georgia.

For approximately 20 years, Richard led RA&A. Partners were added from the mid-1990’s to the mid-2000’s. A core of 5 managing partners was formed along with senior and junior partners to lead the firm forward. Rich’s shares were purchased by his fellow partners over a 10-year period (2007-2017). Starting in 2018, complete ownership of the company was transferred to Richard’s partners to handle the growing responsibilities of corporate operations, and to continue the legacy of excellent services RA&A had provided to its clients over the previous 42 years.

The company, with a humble beginning, has grown to a 50-person firm with multiple departments including litigation, repair design, and waterproofing. The company, rebranded to “AVELAR” in 2020 to coincide with a move to a new office in Walnut Creek, is now more sophisticated and has expanded capabilities never anticipated by Richard. AVELAR is the vehicle which will continue to provide the core of talented people to render the same level of superb service it has over the decades. Richard now enjoys the position of Senior Architect, and is still an integral part of the AVELAR team.

Professional History

In 1974 (to 1983), Mr. Avelar developed an articulated architecture program for UC Berkeley and Cal Poly while an instructor at Chabot College. During that time, he instructed on Structural Systems for Buildings, Architectural Drafting Principals, Construction Materials and Methods, Introduction to the Architectural Profession, Architecture in the Community, and Construction Cost Estimating.

Educational History

Richard Avelar received his Bachelor of Art and master’s degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley as well as his teaching credential from California Community College.

Professional Affiliations

Mr. Avelar is an NCARB Licensed Architect and Licensed General Contractor, Class A &B, in 6 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, and Texas). Additionally, Richard is a member of the Forensic Expert Witness Association and American Institute of Architects (AIA).

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