Forensic Architecture

Forensic Architecture Process Overview


Forensics Architecture Investigation


Foreniscs on building side

What To Do When Your Building Goes Bad
50% of the buildings in the United States were built in the last quarter century. Many new construction techniques and methods of assembling building materials were developed as a response to the energy crisis of the 70’s and the persistent inflation it caused.  The inflation forced an all out effort to develop new and cheaper building materials and that’s where many of today’s problems come from. Many buildings have incorporated new materials and methods that were developed during this time.  Some of these have not withstood the test of time.  Products such as: ureaformaldehyde foam insulation, fire retardant plywood, polybutylene piping, EIFS and hypalon roof membranes were some of the better known building product failures that were part of the response to the 70’s crises.  Even buildings with tried and true materials have been experiencing problems as those old materials are put together with new methods.

Buildings with persistent problems have been around as long as man has been creating shelter. That’s not new. What is new is the extent of the problems.  As buildings have gotten larger, taller and Taking Measurementsmore complicated the magnitude of the defects has greatly increased.  As architects have pushed the envelope of technology and form, the ability of the workman has not kept pace and defects have been the unwelcome consequence.  Famous failures such as the John Hancock Building in Boston and the Kansas City Hyatt Skywalk collapse have captured much attention, but small insidious defects have actually caused more damage.  Leaks are more damaging because they often go undetected, or they don’t get the needed attention until the damage is done.  That’s where Architectural Building Forensics comes in.  It is the study, evaluation and testing of buildings with persistent deficiencies to determine their cause and solution.

DLM Architects consists of registered architects who are experienced in the evaluation of defects and damage to existing buildings and buildings under construction.  We have various investigative techniques and instruments which assist our architects in determining the cause and origin of the building’s problems.

The services we provide to building owners are as follows:

  • Hail damage assessment
  • Structural settlement
  • Subsidence
  • Wind damage
  • Wall leak investigations
  • Window leak investigations
  • Roof leak investigations
  • Storm damage assessment
  • Structural damage
  • Water damage assessment
  • Building material failure
  • Specifications and drawings for repair or replacement
  • Bidding and contractor procurement
  • Construction compliance inspection


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