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FORENSIC + LITIGATION SUPPORT

With backgrounds as architects, general contractors, cost estimators and code specialists — combined with extensive hands-on experience in the field — the team at AVELAR is uniquely qualified to investigate, analyze and testify about deficiencies and damage to buildings of all types, and to provide the necessary services to implement repairs.

CODE COMPLIANCE

It is vital to consult with building code experts who understand the complicated process of determining the codes that were in effect at any given time in each jurisdiction. 

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AVELAR maintains a massive library of current and historic code books that allow us to pinpoint the codes in force for any building at any time. Our architectural expertise in code analysis is supplemented by staff that includes one of the longest tenured certified ICC (International Code Council) Master Code Professionals in the area.

AVELAR has a team of building code experts that can provide reports on current and historical building ordinances, regulations, the Uniform Building Code (UBC) and the International Building Code. For claims that allege code violations, the litigants must first identify which local and/or state building codes — if any — were in effect when the building was constructed (or last repaired or reconstructed). Therefore, it is vital to consult with building code experts who understand the complicated process of determining the codes that were in effect at any given time in each jurisdiction. AVELAR maintains a massive library of current and historic code books that allow us to pinpoint the codes in force for any building named in a lawsuit. Additionally, our architectural expertise in code analysis is supplemented by a team that includes one of the longest tenured certified ICC (International Code Council) Master Code Professionals in the area.

LITIGATION EXPERT SUPPORT

With backgrounds as architects, general contractors, cost estimators and code specialists — combined with extensive hands-on experience in the field — the team at AVELAR is uniquely qualified to

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investigate, analyze and testify about deficiencies and damage to buildings of all types, and to provide the necessary services to implement repairs for both plaintiff and defense parties.

These services include:

  • Construction Defect Investigation
  • Expert Witness Testimony
  • Research and Analysis
  • Code Compliance
  • Standard of Care Analysis
  • Testing Services
  • Construction Cost Analysis
  • Schedule Analysis
  • Injury Causation Analysis

INVESTIGATION & TESTING

The AVELAR team has the comprehensive background, training and experience required to effectively investigate building defects and failures and analyze the cause and extent of damage.

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Our services include:

  • Evaluation of as-built conditions to determine compliance with design and construction documentation
  • Field investigation, including visual surveys and destructive testing, observation for quality assurance, water testing, and code compliance
  • Determination and allocation of responsibility for building component failures, construction issue analysis, defective analysis reports
  • Repair recommendations and estimated costs for remedial repairs
  • Clear, concise reporting which includes photographic evidence and graphic presentations that illustrate the construction defects, repair concepts and specifications

CONSTRUCTION COST ANALYSIS

Evaluating appropriate construction costs for all types of buildings is a critical component of forensic investigations. When construction costs are in dispute, AVELAR can assess whether the cost overruns are justified and/or appropriate.

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The expertise of our general contracting staff is based on experience in all phases of non-litigation construction work, including plan review and quantity takeoffs, subcontractor bidding, detailed estimate development, contract negotiation, job cost analysis, employee and subcontractor management, and overall responsibility for the execution of a construction contract from start to finish. This gives us the background and credibility to accurately estimate repair and construction costs in the litigation arena.

This database and our team’s extensive experience uniquely qualify us to provide a realistic assessment of the value of work that is in dispute, as well as estimate the cost to properly complete or repair work that was built defectively.

The AVELAR team has the comprehensive background, training and experience required to effectively investigate building defects and failures and analyze the cause and extent of damage.

Our services include:

  • Evaluation of as-built conditions to determine compliance with design and construction documentation
  • Field investigation, including visual surveys and destructive testing, observation for quality assurance, water testing, and code compliance
  • Determination and allocation of responsibility for building component failures, construction issue analysis, defective analysis reports
  • Repair recommendations and estimated costs for remedial repairs
  • Clear, concise reporting which includes photographic evidence and graphic presentations that illustrate the construction defects, repair concepts and specifications.

Expert Witness Testimony

Our Litigation support team is comprised of licensed Architects, Engineers and Contractors, with litigation experience including forensic analysis of large scale residential, commercial, industrial, houses of worship, and public works projects. They have extensive experience and can offer technical expertise for the Plaintiff or Defense team providing testimony in a deposition, court trial or binding arbitration for any issues relating to construction defects, design and code deficiencies and non-compliance, improperly maintained building components, and deviations from acceptable architectural and construction standards.

Some other services include:

  • Deposition and trial testimony
  • Participation in expert meetings, settlement conferences, mediation, and arbitration
  • Analysis of building assemblies and architectural elements for personal injury claims
  • Projections of repair and reconstruction design costs

Research and Analysis

The AVELAR forensic + Litigation support department reviews documentation and data related to the design, construction, and maintenance of a structure to identify discrepancies, oversights and parties that may have contributed to problems with the project.

  • Document review and analysis to evaluate the course of construction sequencing, construction administration and compliance with both local building codes and industry standards
  • Evaluation of compliance with all contracts and design documents
  • Assessments of life-safety components
  • Verification of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Research into adherence to current and past building codes
  • Review of compliance with the manufacturer’s recommended installation requirements and specifications
  • Evaluation of cost discrepancies

Code Compliance

For claims that allege code violations, the litigants must first identify which local and/or state building codes — if any — were in effect when the building was constructed (or last repaired or reconstructed). This is why it is vital to consult with building code experts who understand the complicated process of determining the codes that were in effect at any given time in each jurisdiction. RA&A maintains a massive library of current and historic code books that allow us to pinpoint the codes in force for any building named in a lawsuit. Our architectural expertise in code analysis is supplemented by staff that includes one of the longest tenured certified ICC (International Code Council) Master Code Professionals in the area.

Standard of Care Analysis

Architects and general contractors are required to perform their work with reasonable care and competence. The professional standard of care is what an architect or general contractor of good standing would do in similar circumstances and conditions. If an architect’s or general contractor’s performance comes into question, an objective peer review can determine if the appropriate standard of care was achieved.

AVELAR has extensive experience providing standard of care analysis for both architects and general contractors in litigation cases.

This analysis includes the review of:

  • Reports, plans, specifications, contracts and project files
  • Project type, location, building codes and conditions under which the work was performed

Testing Services

AVELAR has the in-house staff and other resources to provide building performance testing services to support building investigations.

Testing services include:

  • Spray rack and vacuum chamber testing. We assess the performance of window assemblies and other building envelope penetrations with equipment that is calibrated in accordance with ASTM and AAMA standards.
  • Non-destructive testing. Using infrared thermography, we determine the presence and extent of moisture intrusion without having to open the building envelope.
  • Destructive testing. If an investigation requires destructive testing to understand the root cause and/or the extent of the damage due to possible construction defects, RA&A has the resources to both open the areas that need to be tested and repair these openings to their original condition.
  • Indoor temperature and humidity testing. Using data loggers and in-situ concrete moisture testing, we can evaluate interior conditions where excessive condensation has caused damage to building components.

Construction Cost Analysis

Evaluating appropriate construction costs for all types of buildings is a critical component of forensic investigations. When construction costs are in dispute, AVELAR can assess whether the cost overruns are justified and/or appropriate.

The expertise of our general contracting staff is based on experience in all phases of non-litigation construction work, including plan review and quantity takeoffs, subcontractor bidding, detailed estimate development, contract negotiation, job cost analysis, employee and subcontractor management, and overall responsibility for the execution of a construction contract from start to finish. This gives us the background and credibility to accurately estimate repair and construction costs in the litigation arena.

This database and our team’s extensive experience uniquely qualify us to provide a realistic assessment of the value of work that is in dispute, as well as estimate the cost to properly complete or repair work that was built defectively.

Schedule Analysis

Disputes related to cost overruns that are attributed to scheduling problems and project delays are common. AVELAR’s Architects, Engineers and Contractors have real-world experiences that provide perspective for evaluating the substance and merit of claims related to construction project delays.
Our decades of developing, revising, and updating construction schedules for both new construction, remodeling and repair work provides the basis for evaluating where schedule assumptions have gone awry, or where unrealistic expectations have led to contract disputes. We take a practical and realistic approach to problem-solving that allows us to focus on the causes of scheduling delays and disputes, and to evaluate the appropriate cost ramifications.

Injury Causation Analysis

Personal injury claims often involve allegations of building code violations, construction defects, design deficiencies, water infiltration and/or improper maintenance. AVELAR has an experienced team of specialized professionals ready to assess and evaluate the merits of these claims, whether for the Plaintiff or Defense team.

CONTACT AVELAR

You can reach AVELAR with any questions, requests for information, or estimates at:

Email: info@ravelar.com  Phone: 925-954-4978   Fax: 510-893-5874

Jobs: jobs@ravelar.com      Accounting: acctgdept@ravelar.com

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