Structural Failures

The engineers and architects at Western Engineering & Research Corporation (WERC) assist claims adjusters in the evaluation of damages as they relate to the construction of buildings, foundations, and bridges. We investigate and determine the cause of these failures and assess the extent of their resulting damages, to help you quickly close your case.

  • Construction Defects: Constructed residential and commercial buildings are complex systems, and there can be defective construction that adversely affects the system performance.  Deferred or delayed maintenance can also cause damage.  The professionals at WERC are seasoned in the investigation and evaluation of construction defect claims.  We investigate and analyze damages that occur to commercial and residential properties in order to answer the “what” and why” of a construction defect claim.  Our focus, whom ever our client is, is to identify the damage and work to achieve successful corrective action.
  • Weather Related Damages: Structures and building systems may be damaged due to a variety of natural phenomenon, ranging from snow and hail, to wind, tornadoes and hurricanes, to earthquake damage.  When damage occurs, WERC professionals are available to investigate.  We provide damage assessment, repair design, and evaluation for subrogation efforts.
  • Earth Movement: Structural failures may be caused by sinking or swelling of soils, landslides, or slope movement.  There are varying degrees of risk associated with each of these soil movement problems, and WERC’s licensed professional engineers have worked extensively throughout the US in the investigation of structure movement or structure performance when damaging soil movement occurs.  Earth movement can cause cracking in buildings and foundations, separation of exterior retaining walls, can damage underground plumbing and utility lines and even cause the total destabilization of structures, bringing about the collapse of buildings and bridges.
  • Materials and Metallurgy: Building failures may relate to the performance of structural materials (wood, steel, concrete, aluminum, masonry, etc), and connections such as welds, bolts or nails, WERC performs metallurgical analysis of fractures, material issues, corrosion/degradation and weld failures as they relate to failures and accidents.  Some of our projects have included playground equipment, catwalks, hand railings, scaffolding, wheelchair lifts, pipelines, and large and small structures.  Metallurgical investigation is often instrumental in evaluating the cause of material failures.  These evaluations often involve analysis of the design and material selection process and the suitability of the material for the intended application, as well as installation procedures.