MEP Forensics

MEP Forensics

For the third year in a row AE 537  is pleased to host a Visiting Practitioner Lecture on MEP Forensics.  The session speaker is John T. Boyer, Sr., P.E., Principal and MEP Leader of Thornton Tomasetti (TT).  Mr. Boyer presented an overview of forensics work at TT with an emphasis on MEP forensics including touching on Cause & Origin Investigations, Expert Witness / Litigation Support, Thermal Imaging, Investigation Tools and Forensic Information Modeling (FIM).

The presentation included a number of mini-case studies of projects ranging from the recreation of MEP drawings and building models in the aftermath of a major fire to damage to a HVAC water riser piping system (FIM project) to damage to the the current WTC Towers as a result of  brackish water inundation during CAT-90 Sandy.   In addition, this presentation took place literally a few days after Hurricane Irma and Mr. Boyer provided some first hand comments on the situation as it relates to buildings and infrastructure.

As Architectural Engineers and others interested in building related failures of all types you will encounter MEP failures of many kinds.  For example, many fires are electrical in origin and you will deal with the aftermath even if you are not charged with the cause and origin investigations.  A common MEP failure issue in residential construction is related to  PEX Plumbing Failures available on Failures Wiki under Systems Failures.   Students are encouraged to share their personal experiences, to discuss the interdisciplinary nature of forensic consulting and to research and discuss other MEP type failures including comparing them to the ones discussed by Mr. Boyer for similarities or patterns.

One document of interest on this topic that also contains other resources is the Hurricane Sandy – Lessons Learned from FEMA Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) summary slide show.

 

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29 Responses to “MEP Forensics”

  1. CamilleS
    September 28, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    I really enjoyed learning more about a different profession of forensics in this guest lecture from Mr. Boyer. As many in the class, I had never heard of MEP forensics and was very impressed with the level of detail and scope of work that goes into a MEP investigation. I believed that cataloging and identifying structural elements was hard enough, but I could not imaging the attention to detail that would be required to catalogue and evaluatie each piece of equipment in a damaged mechanical room. Not just the pieces of machinery, but the moving parts within that machine.

    I was curious if MEP forensics could come into play outside of litigation support. Although large disasters or building failures, such as the Dubai Hotel fire and Hurricane Sandy foooding, cause large scale catastrophic failure, I also believe the case study involving the deteriorated cooling coil failure showed that serious damage can come from a single issue. These case studies all seemed triggered by an insurance claim, but do owners and users outside of insurance claims bring MEP failures to forensic companies? Or do they just call it a day and replace the machinery.

    Mechanical systems are so large and complex, I believe that the most powerful tool that Mr. Boyer spoke on was the visual presentation of systems and their failures that Thirnton Tomasetti develops. It is necessary to awknowledge that for people without a background in mechanical engineering, or even those with some background (such as myself) can still easily get lost with the intricacies of the system. For successful communication, sometimes an engineer has to step back from the jargon and technical documentation and provide something as simple as a cad drawing to communicate with others. I would agree that this is an extreamky successful tool that TT utilises.

  2. HarryB
    September 26, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    I was most interested to hear John’s diagnosis of the hurricanes in Florida and Huston. He seemed way more concerned about the damage in Huston because they were way less prepared but the Huston buildings were not insured for floods. This reinforced the concept that engineers, with enough time and money, can design for to withstand most events. It is often other factors like the local design standards and the amount of money and time that the owner is willing to invest in the project.
    Another interesting part of the presentation was the interactions with the insurance companies and the owners. It was important for John and his team to created easily understandable content because both of those parties are not engineers. It is also notable that forensics extends beyond the structure of the building, often mechanical failures can cause catastrophic damage too.

  3. Tyler J
    September 26, 2017 at 8:05 am #

    Prior to Mr. Boyer’s presentation on MEP forensics, structural forensics was the only type of forensic engineering I had been exposed to. I found Mr. Boyer’s presentation on MEP forensics to be extremely interesting and thought provoking.

    One term continually mentioned throughout the presentation was subrogation. Subrogation is the idea that after a disaster, one person or company may initially pay or be held responsible for damages. Though after further review, this debt or cost may be transferred to a different party. Subrogation can apply in small buildings such as homes affected by hurricanes and to much larger buildings such as One World Trade Center where the responsible parties are still in discussion from flooding that happened years ago.

    The One World Trade Center case study contains over 50,000 elements that needed to be documented and analyzed. In order to keep track of each of these elements, a data matrix was created. Though structural forensics requires precision, tracking 50,000 separate elements to determine their level of damage would require incredible attention to detail.

    I also found the case study regarding the riser investigation interesting as it combined MEP forensics with structural forensics. Here, the load from the self-weight of the pipes needed to be placed onto the structure of the building. I imagine the two fields of structural forensics and MEP forensics often overlap as they did in this case study. The structural systems and mechanical systems together were causing a failure. Both systems needed to be analyzed in order to find a solution.

    • Megan F.
      September 26, 2017 at 9:22 pm #

      Tyler,

      Prior to Mr. Boyer’s presentation I had not been exposed to MEP failures either. I think before the presentation I had just assumed that MEP failures would just lead to human discomfort. However, from all the case studies presented, MEP failures can lead to major catastrophes. The one case study in particular that opened my eyes to how severe these failures can be is the Dubai Hotel Fire. A small fire caused the whole building envelope to go up in flames. Due to no fire breaks, the fire was able to spread all the way up the building. Thankfully the fire did not navigate into the building core and everyone was able to escape safely. Fire seemed to be a common occurrence with the MEP failures discussed. Design professionals need to properly address all fire hazards life safety plans should be up to date for all people occupying the building.

      • David K
        September 27, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

        Tyler, Megan;

        I had similar thoughts after Mr. Boyer’s presentation; this was the first time I had been exposed to MEP forensics. Something that interested me after the presentation is when these types of failures occur. Many of the case studies that we have been exposed to thus far have involved failures during construction (usually of the structural variety). With MEP forensics, it seems that many of the failures occur after the building is occupied. MEP and building enclosures failures, therefore, are similar in that it takes time to reach a failure within the respective systems. A question that could come out of this is: what can be done during the construction phase to prevent the eventual failure of MEP systems?

        • Perry H.
          September 27, 2017 at 10:19 pm #

          David,

          This is an interesting point that you bring up about MEP failures happening sometime after the building is occupied. My first thought on prevention during the construction phase is systems testing. However being able to run all the MEP systems at full capacity before the building is occupied will only find any blatantly obvious mistakes. Mistakes that are time bombs such as the Sumitomo Coil Failure discussed by Mr. Boyer are harder to find because it takes more operation time for these failure to happen and there is a reasonable limit on the amount of time a system can be testing before occupancy. Also other failures such as Patrick Cudahy Inc. (where a signal flair falling on the roof cause the failure) and the World Trade center (where a natural event caused the failure) are uncontrollable events that cannot be planned for or prevented. So to answer your question for a lot cases I do not think anything can be done to prevent these types of failures.

        • Keunhyoung Park
          September 28, 2017 at 12:19 am #

          As a student in part of structural engineering I think that your question has a greatly interesting point. Because it seems that there is a few places for the process of construction to consider MEP systems. Although designing spaces for MEP system is occupied with whole design part, architecture designer, structural engineer, and construction engineer can not expect all the problem which will occur after the construction.
          I think there is the key for this situation in plant design. Plant design has main purpose of operating the machines in the plant. To accomplish drawing before construction contains all MEP components as a part. In these days, more advanced design and BIM program will help to do that. By considering all component will be placed after the construction at the time of before construction, preventing MEP failure due to its radical character in MEP system and building design.

  4. Shangmi X.
    September 26, 2017 at 8:02 am #

    Mr. Boyer gave us a lecture about MEP forensics by showing us couple cases. I learned at forensics is not just the investigation of structure and building enclosure but all the components of building causing the human injury and property damage. And the investigation tools introduced in the lecture which is Forensic Information Model, Damage Matrix, Thermal Imaging and Maps. Especially the Forensic Information Model that allow the forensics engineer to investigate and analysis quickly by showing evidence clearly in the model.
    MEP forensic has to be include in the investigation scope because mechanical failure can be very dangerous that it usually can cause fire with a thermal overload or a exposure of equipment. In addition, The MEP system has influences to structure that the place of the MEP equipments are always considered during the structure design. The openings in the beams for MEP systems can result less strength in the beam which need to be considered. So the MEP and structure is strongly relating to each other and investigation scope should include both.

  5. WangjaeY
    September 26, 2017 at 1:12 am #

    It was a great lecture from Mr. Boyer last Thursday about MEP forensic engineering. It was quite different approach to the building failure compared to other guest speakers the class had so far whom have backgrounds in structural engineering mostly. However, those failures presented by Mr. Boyer were still related to structural engineering as well. I think it was a great opportunity for us to think about how the different disciples are interacting to each other. I also learned that MEP failures are as catastrophic as the structural failures are and sometimes even more and cause the structural failures as well.

    It was also informative that Mr. Boyer introduced the legal aspects and insurance related cases for forensic engineering. I was also very impressed about the damage matrix that Thornton Tomasetti use to organize and analyze the failures. Especially, Forensic Information Modeling (FIM) was a quite impressive since we, architectural engineer, are familiar with Building Information Modeling (BIM) to coordinate with multiple disciples.

  6. Keunhyoung Park
    September 26, 2017 at 12:22 am #

    Mr. Boyer from Thorton Tomasetti introduces MEP forensic cases performed by him to us. Through the lecture we saw detail side of failures of MEP components. As a student in structural engineering section, unfortunately, I have seen just few cases related to MEP performance in the field. Therefore Mr. Boyer’s explanation about the MEP forensic cases has more impact on me with its importance.

    I think that MEP components in building are like an organs in human body. Without them building can not be operated appropriately. At the same time, huge discomfort or damage of building or users are followed by malfunction of MEP components. At the same time, increasing new buildings require more advanced indoor environment quality. Thus, it is natural that importance of MEP forensic is increasing as much as increasing building’s population, because MEP forensic is critical way to manage and develop building quality.

    He showed us 9 cases (Patrick Cudahy Inc., Scotiabank Riser Investigation, World Trade Center, Sumitomo Coil Failure, ADM Grain Elevator, Transportation Authority, Distribution Facility Fire, Dubai Hotel Fire, 1717 Broadway). Through the all cases, same process for forensic investigation was appeared. First, harvesting the evidences to explain its failure. Second, assessing damage based on the damage matrix. Then, verify and define the damage by using collected damage data. Lastly, finding solution to resolve the failure, or providing opinion about the failure as experts based on analyze of the data.

    The process what Mr. Boyer showed to us share same procedure of most general forensic investigation. And what I learned from his lecture were systematic methods to manage the collected data of failures such as damage matrix, and that using advanced techniques will help to search evidences.

  7. EllenW
    September 25, 2017 at 11:56 pm #

    The MEP Failures lecture, given by Mr. Boyer of Thornton Tomasetti, was very interesting. The MEP side of forensic investigations was new to me. The basics of the investigation are the same, but because the components of MEP systems are so much smaller than the structure there are more pieces of the puzzle to evaluate and record. This requires TT to be highly detailed and organized when recording data on site. Their use of excel to create ‘damage matrices’ allowed the information to be recorded efficiently. These matrices can then be used by insurance companies to evaluate and justify the claims made by the building owners. For most of the case studies presented, this was the reason for conducting the investigation. In other cases, TT would evaluate all of the components in a system that failed in order to determine the cause of the failure. Each component that had an impact on the failure would be analyzed so that the financial responsibility can be determined and the manufacturer or the installation crew can be held accountable for their mistakes. It was interesting to me that not only do they find the parties responsible for the failures, they determine what percentage of blame each party is responsible for. Does anyone know how these percentages are determined?
    Thank you to Mr. Boyer for taking the time to come speak with us.

    • Richard T.
      September 27, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

      Ellen,
      I think it’s important to use tools like the damage matrix developed by Thornton Tomasetti because projects these days are becoming more and more complex. Could you imagine keeping track of disasters and their damages before the creation of excel? I think this helps owners be confident in their investment. It makes them more willing to spend the money because they know that everything can be tracked.

      Although I don’t know how the damage percentages are determined, It’s nice that they can split the cost of the loss between different parties. Each individual takes less of a burden.

    • Geoffrey T.
      September 27, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

      Hi Ellen,

      I would say that they need to go back to the original contract. It is interesting to see on how TT, an engineering company relates all these information to non-engineers and explains to them why certain things fail.

      It was definitely a very informative presentation as we were never exposed to MEP failures and how it affects other parts of the building.

    • Geoffrey T.
      September 27, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

      Hi Ellen,

      My guess, TT will need to go back to the original contract to find out the percentage of blame. It was definitely an interesting presentation by Mr. Boyer as we were never exposed to how MEP failures affect other parts of the building.

  8. David K
    September 25, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

    Mr. Boyer’s presentation on the topic of MEP forensics provided the class with a different perspective on the field of building forensics. Since the class is largely populated with Architectural Engineering students (with a structural engineering focus), many of the students have taken classes on mechanical systems for buildings. I believed this allowed the class to make a quick connection between the structural and MEP side of forensics.

    Mr. Boyer presented a series of case studies that the MEP group within Thorton Tomasetti was involved in that demonstrated different levels of owner/engineer involvement and case outcomes. Many of the cases that were discussed during the presentation required identifying the entities at-fault for the recorded damage. For cases in which damage was caused by natural causes (ex. flood), many of the investigations performed were to decide which parts of the system required replacement to construct a report to send to insurance companies. Similarly, for cases in which damage is caused by the owner, tenant, or contractor, insurance companies often require a 3rd party opinion to determine the party at-fault.

    This presentation provided the class with an opportunity to learn more about and develop a more well-rounded understanding of the forensics side of the building industry.

    • mkev
      September 25, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

      David,
      Glad to see your AE background is of value in this case. Our goal is to identify the cause of failure and repair in many cases. Unfortunately, once the cause is found, it often points toward a responsible party but that is not our initial goal. If the project goes to court, then finding fault or who is responsible is the job of the jury. The engineer is the finder of fact in that situation.

  9. Richard T.
    September 25, 2017 at 8:32 am #

    It was nice to hear Mr. Boyer’s experience in the field of building forensics. His background in MEP brought a different perspective to what we’re currently learning from everyone who’s coming from a structural background.

    One case from his presentation that I found really interesting was the flooding that occurred in the World Trade Center during hurricane Sandy. Photos that he showed depicted a lot damage to the building materials in the lower parts of the museum. An outsider can only guess how much it would cost to replace all of it. I liked how the team at Thornton Tomasetti is using software such as excel to create matrices that help document the destruction of these materials. I think it’s a great way to keep track of all the damages. The use of photos in the software is a great way to incorporate modern technology into this process.

    Another thing that I liked during his presentation was how Thornton Tomasetti was consulting with the insurance companies. I liked how they were providing flood maps to help insurance companies create their policies.

    • Tyler J
      September 26, 2017 at 8:22 am #

      I also found the World Trade Center case study interesting. I realized from the news in 2012 that the site was flooded. What I did not realize was that it was flooded with brackish water. Brackish water causes significantly more damage than typical flood water as it immediately begins to corrode metal.

      It is amazing how powerful of a tool software such as Excel can be. I cannot imagine trying to keep track of the 50,000+ elements Mr. Boyer said they are evaluating. Even in structural engineering, a simple excel sheet can often do an excellent job in predicting building behavior and organizing data.

      Due to the unusually high number of strong hurricanes this season, I also believe it is necessary for companies such as Thornton Tomasetti to work with insurance companies to redesign policies and flood maps. The current flood maps that predicts the probability of a significant hurricane happening each year do not seem to very accurate. Using data collected from Thornton Tomasetti and others is an excellent way to help improve upon these maps.

      • CamilleS
        September 28, 2017 at 11:22 am #

        Photo tracking during investigation can be a huge task, especially when dealing with hundreds of photos from each person on site. Photos can be extremely significant to the analysis of conditions, as well as proving existing conditions in litigation. I agree that the excel format that Mr. Boyer used in the investigation of damage at One World Trade was impressive and seemed very successful at tracking the photos taken of each item investigated. Previously I have used blu beam as a photo tracking tool, but I believe the hyperlinking would be more efficient to track and locate the photos over time.

    • Nick S.
      September 26, 2017 at 8:35 am #

      Richard,

      I also thought that the World Trade Center case study was interesting and provided great insight into what Thornton Tomasetti is all about. What particularly grab my attention was the magnitude of the project. It showed that before a resolution can be found it takes a extremely long time to gather all the necessary information before a conclusion can be determined. In the case of the World Trade Center it took a total of 6 months of data collecting by Thornton Tomassetti and to this day there is still no resolution. Another interesting part of this case study was the vast number of insurance companies who were involved. Trying to deal with one or two insurance companies would be tough but 26, that’s extremely difficult to manage. This is where the use of exceptional documentation comes into play and making sure your entire team is on the same page. Overall, I thought that each case study unique and brought a different challenge that Thornton Tomassetti had to try and resolve, but through their extensive use of technology and expectional documentation, it looks like they are more than capable to help out any company in need of their assistance.

  10. Geoffrey T.
    September 23, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

    I found the talk given by Mr. Boyer very interesting and informative. When I first took Building Failures class, I thought most of the failures were focused on either structural or building enclosures. I never thought MEP as one of the failures that we were going to learn in this class. Thus, Mr. Boyer definitely opened up another failure types that could occur in the building.

    I could not agree more with Mr. Boyer about the importance of documentation when it came to documentation. When I saw the ‘damage matrix’, I recalled my internship experience with SGH last summer. I remembered that when I documented all the failures in the building, each column in the excel spreadsheet represented failure types and each row represented failure locations. The spreadsheet that I worked on also documented pictures associated with the failure. I completely agree that when it came to forensic investigation, pictures spoke a thousand words. The most important thing for creating ‘damage matrix’ was it helped in summarizing all the failures within the building. Most of the clients did not want to know the details (e.g: location of failures), they only wanted to know out of x number of units that had the specific system, how many of them failed.

    Litigation is a lengthy process, even though most of the cases ended up with a settlement, some of them go to trial. As Mr. Boyer said that most of the projects lasted around 6 months, some of them could definitely go longer. During my internship, I was working on the project that had gone under litigation process for ten years before it finally settled.

    • EllenW
      September 27, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

      Geoffrey,

      In situations when projects enter litigation and can end up in court, I agree that documentation is critical. An engineer can be asked about a project months or years after the initial failure and it would be impossible to recall all the details of the project without proper documentation and supporting photos. Additionally, the engineer who visited the site may not be working at that firm anymore and someone new will have to review the case files. Therefore these files need to have every condition, calculation, and conclusion made by the original engineer so the new engineer has the complete and correct information to pass along to the other parties involved in the litigation.

    • WangjaeY
      September 28, 2017 at 12:20 am #

      I agreed your point that the pictures are important in forensic engineering. Nowadays, it is very easy to use the technology to take pictures such as using smartphones, tablets, nice camera, and even drones and these devices would definitely help engineers to work on any types of failures. To keep track of all the process in the project is crucial. Do not forget to backup all the files!

      I also want to add that the documentation is also important to the design phase. Change of order is always happened in the design phases and even after it hits the ground. It is crucial to keep track of all the changes in design as well.

    • Shangmi X.
      September 28, 2017 at 5:33 am #

      Geoffrey,
      MEP forensics is new to me too. The Damage Matrix as a investigation tool is very useful for documentation that it records all systems and individual items inspected in details. I am very agree that pictures are very importance supports in documentation. Some details are hard to understand by the word description especially the clients. The photos then make a very clear visual explanation about the failure. Damage Matrix makes people easier to track the cause of a failure. People now often use tablet to work on site which made easier to document immediately or do investigation on site according to the detail information on the list. This documentation will also be a great tool to learn about the failures and summarize the main cause which will help with improvements in the future work.

  11. Nick S.
    September 21, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    On Thursday, September 21st, the AE 537 Building Failures class had the pleasure to hear a presentation by Mr. John T. Boyer Sr. Mr. Boyer Sr. is a 1985 Penn State graduate from the Architectural Engineering (AE) program. During his time in the AE program he focused in what todays terminology would be the Mechanical option. Currently, Mr. Boyer Sr. is working for Thornton Tomasetti in their Fort Lauderdale, FL office where he the Principal MEP Leader. Mr. Boyer Sr. gave a brief introduction on Thornton Tomasetti and explained how they provide engineering design, investigation and analysis services to clients worldwide on projects of every size and level of complexity.

    The presentation was focused on discussing MEP Forensics and how it is used on cases where building failures occur. This was done through the use of ten (10) different case studies that ranged in a variety fo building failures. During the presentation Mr. Boyer Sr stated that the most common cause of building failiures he has experienced have been due to water. This is not a shocking statement, as we have discussed numberuous times during the semester, water infiltration is one of the primary causes in building failures.

    Overall, I found the it to be an extremely interesting presentation. Mr. Boyer Sr introduced the investigation and litigation side of building failures in a light that I know little about. I always knew that building failures occurred, either from lack of coordination, understand, or just plan ignorance, but I never really knew the part on how the settlement is reached and how the cause is found. Throughout the presentation explained how Thornton Tomasetti uses a number of resources to help its clients needs. For me, the part that really grab my attention was Thornton Tomasetti’s ability to use technology.

    From the very start, it was evident that technology is intertwined in the makeup of the company. This is seen through the use of 360 degree cameras, drones, TT smart maps, and even their own form of BIM, which they call Forensic Information Modeling (FIM). All of these different technologies play a crucial role in helping provide closure and understanding on how their client’s building failed. This goes to show how useful and dependent we are on technology. Today, you see every individual with a cell phone, whether its talking, on social media, or surfing the web. That piece of technology, provides an avenue to receive a vast wealth of resources. This use of technology provides the same benefits to Mr. Boyer Sr and his team, by allowing for better ways to understand and determine the root cause of a failure in the hopes of minizmizing the amount of down time for a company. It is taking the pressure off of people and allows for a resolution to be found faster, easier, and most importantly safer.

    As we all can see, technology is everywhere. It provides many benefits for allowing people to have unlimited access to a number of resources. Like we saw, it allows Mr. Boyer Sr and Thornton Tomasetti, to be one of the top companies in forensic engineering industry. By being able to incorporate these technologies into their everyday business they are able to provide a better product to their clients. It really gets you to think why don’t more companies aren’t following suit and taking part in utilizing all that technology has to offer.

    • mkev
      September 25, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

      Nice summary Nick. All this technology is opening up career and advancement opportunities for all of you as well. Many firms will be asking employees to get certified to operate drones, obtain their Certified Welding Inspector credentials, operate and interpret GPR, become SPRAT certified for rope access etc. By taking the initiative to obtain these extra skills and certifications makes you a more valuable employee to the company and often opens up doors in the future

  12. Megan F.
    September 21, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

    When responding to and evaluating a building failure the most important thing to do it collect and preserve the evidence. John talked a lot about how they collect evidence and how they document everything. The damage matrix that Thornton Tomasetti puts together is very organized and is extremely helpful when resolving litigations between owners and insurance companies. Having that detailed list of each item damaged and photographs that correspond ensures that all evidence is accounted for and will be thoroughly investigated to see if it was the cause of the disaster. In a lot of cases, owners want to get more fixed/updated than was damaged and still have the insurance company pay. This is why the damage matrix is important because each element in the building can be assessed and determined what needs to be repaired or replaced. John also mentioned that sometimes repairing can cost more than replacing so both options must always be considered. It was helpful to learn about MEP forensics and what to look out for in those disciplines when evaluating a failure. Water has been a common area of discussion for structural elements and is also a cause of failure with MEP equipment. Water, especially salt water from flooding can cause pipes to corrode and leak causing problems to spread throughout the building. Water can also be extremely dangerous around electrical equipment so those situations need to be handled very carefully.

    Hurricane Sandy affected my area pretty dramatically. My town was without power for about a week and so many homes were damaged from the high winds and falling trees. Most areas that were heavily hit are still not fully rebuilt from the damages that occurred. After reading the Lessons learned article from the FEMA Mitigation Assessment Team, I learned more about what these natural disasters can do to hospitals and health care facilities. These centers cannot go without power because some patients require power operated machines to live. The utilities are also impacted due to loss of power and water intrusions. The water lines and HVAC systems were unable to operate for several days along with no access to elevators. People in NY and NJ were not prepared for the magnitude of the storm and needed to preplan in order to protect buildings that need to operate 24/7.

    • mkev
      September 25, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

      Megan,
      You may recall that there is another part of preserving evidence beyond documentation which is the actual physical preservation process. I have supervised the labeling, cutting up and moving to storage an entire building in one case! You saw the WJE talk about preserving the fracture surfaces, much of which was then removed to labs and storage. One of our guest speakers later in the semester will talk more on this including maintaining the chain of custody and associated records.

    • HarryB
      September 28, 2017 at 8:48 am #

      Meghan,

      It was really cool to read your recount of the damage in your area due to hurricane sandy. I remember from the news that the NY NJ area was not prepared for how large the storm was. As we learned in the code presentation given by Ryan often it takes disaster to change the codes. Have you seen any changes in the building codes or any changes in common practice when designing buildings in the New York, New Jersey area due to hurricane sandy?

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