Nobe Forensic Engineers engages in the practice of applying the science of engineering to legal cases decided by courts of law in determining the cause of failed structures and their components. Typical types of failure investigations are the structural failures of commercial and residential building systems. Forensic engineer provides cost effective, timely engineering support for the investigation and analysis of insurance claims and expert witness testimony to the legal profession for depositions and trials. Investigation of building failures and accidents requires a multi-disciplined experience background in education, training, and skills as well as a knowledge of design engineering, construction operation, and regulatory requirements.

Nobe Forensic Engineers emphasizes the importance of the interdisciplinary nature of the knowledge of technical/scientific translations to clarify the technical aspects of the cause or causes of failure and the value engineering for system cost optimization. Our clients include attorneys, insurers, claims adjusters, developers, building operators/owners, City/State/Fed agents, and homeowners. This web site explains to the trier of facts the importance of the interdisciplinary nature of the knowledge of technical/scientific translations. The following examples may validate the interdisciplinary nature of forensic engineering supporting the attorney at law.


Example Case A:

Question to be answered by Lawyer: Did the plumbing leak under the foundation slab cause the exterior and interior distresses in the house?

The above translated by Engineer: Is there a causal connection between the water migration in the soil and the slab deformation pattern? Is the deformation of the foundation slab commensurate with the structural distress pattern?

The above example would necessitate the understanding of multi-disciplined fields such as the following:

  • The liability situation
  • Building code standards
  • Plumbing test record
  • Environmental conditions; hydrology and hydraulic condition of the house envelope
  • Structural assembly of the house
  • Foundation type; applicable ACI code
  • Geotechnical information about the soil
  • Survey of the house; geometrical interpretation
  • Documentation of the investigation

Example Case B:

Questions to be answered by Lawyer: Was the accident of the operator of the electric welder due to a defective welding machine, improper installation or faulty operation? Does the liability attach to the machine's manufacturer, the installation contractor, or the operator?

The above translated by Engineer: Does the machine meet the industry standard codes, was it manufactured in accordance with suitable codes and practices? Did the operator violate standard orders or procedures? The essential inquiries are: what technical standards apply to this case, in what sequence, and what relevant technical issues can apply in this case?

The above example would necessitate the understanding of multi-disciplined fields of the following:

  • The liability situation
  • Building code standards in accordance with the Federal, State and/or City regulations
  • Safety codes from the National Fire Protection Association, Occupational Safety and Health Act, American Welding Society, and other industrial standards
  • Design of welding machine and connectivity
  • Environmental conditions
  • Operator's practice
  • Electrical engineering; certification process and design standards and electrical load and sizing
  • Maintenance practice of the welder
  • Evaluation and assessment of the problem
  • Documentation of the investigation

Example Case C:

Question to be answered by Lawyer: What caused the roof collapse in the storm?

The above translated by Engineer: What structural members failed? What is the maintenance record of the roof? Is the roof drainage system adequate? The essential inquiry is: what is the design and construction of the entire building system?

The above example would necessitate the understanding of multi-disciplined fields of the following:

  • Understanding the liability situation
  • Building code standards in accordance with the Federal, State and/or City regulations
  • Environmental conditions
  • Building operator's maintenance practice
  • Understanding the design of the building systems
  • Evaluation and assessment of the problem
  • Documentation of the investigation

Nobe Forensic Engineers provides you professional investigatory services solving technical concerns through analyzing information relevant to the science of construction failures. This includes the cause and effect determination of failures of unsatisfactory design and construction cost evaluation investigation as described below.
Example Case D:

Question to be answered by Developer/Investor: Is there an alternative method for lowering construction and overall development costs to bring the project within the original economic goal?

The above translated by Engineer: Do the plans, specifications, and details clearly establish what is required to minimize construction delays at each stage of construction? Are the specifications excessive or more stringent than required? Is the land plan the most economical to develop? Are the responsibilities and scope of each trade clearly established? Does the grading plan reduce overall project cost relative to site and topographic conditions? Is the foundation properly designed or can there be a reduction in concrete or reinforcement without sacrificing the structural integrity of the slab? Are the mechanical and HVAC systems designed to reduce energy costs and design to require fewer maintenance concerns over time?

The above example would necessitate the understanding of multi-disciplined fields of the following:

  • Full scope of construction means, methods, and schedules
  • Valuation of land planning
  • Value evaluation of Architectural, Structural, Civil, and Mechanical disciplines
  • Building code standards in accordance with the Federal, State and/or City regulations
  • Assessment of environmental conditions
  • Value consideration of building operator's maintenance practice
  • Evaluation and Assessment of the problem
  • Documentation of the investigation

Nobe Consulting Engineers * PO Box 460008 * San Antonio, Texas 78246 * Email: nce@nobeinc.com * Phone: 210-379-7915