Forensic Architecture


Forensic Architecture involves the evaluation, investigation, and analysis of the built-environment.  Forensic applications in buildings for example are typically implemented due to varying degrees of damage and distress to building components.  This may include water intrusion into the building-envelope, failure of structural elements,  and damage by fire or inclement weather.  Forensic investigations are oftentimes performed for establishing building maintenance programs, facility audits, and life-cycle cost analysis.  Investigations of the built-environment are also performed when an incident occurs resulting in physical injury or death.  Such investigations will determine whether or not certain characteristics making up the built-environment caused or contributed to the incident’s occurrence.

Forensic Architecture is a process commonly used in architectural and or construction related disputes.  Beginning with a comprehensive condition survey, the existing conditions of the built-environment are evaluated, investigated, and analyzed based on the damages and or failures involved.  Intrusive investigations and testing are sometimes necessary to ascertain specific information regarding covered or hidden materials and components.  Special testing may be necessary when certain factors are involved.  The types and extent of intrusive investigations and testing necessary are typically determined throughout the condition survey process as additional information becomes available.

Upon completion of the forensic investigation process data management and analysis becomes the focus.  A forensic investigation on a multi-building project for example can result in thousands of photographs, hours of video, hundreds of pages of notes and multiple material samples.  Adhering to strict guidelines regarding document management, preservation of evidence, and chain-of-custody is vital to ensuring accurate findings and conclusions.

The Architectural Alliance Group has performed forensic investigations and analyses on well over one-million square feet of buildings and facilities, including buildings dating back to the late 1800’s.  These investigations have been performed in the context of litigation support services, insurance claims, facility audits, controlled maintenance, and historic preservation.  Many of AAG’s investigations have been related to design defects, construction defects, and non-compliant conditions.  AAG has also performed numerous forensic investigations relating to conditions resulting in injuries and death.

The Architectural Alliance Group brings a unique approach regarding forensic architecture.  Upon request by the client, AAG will prepare design and construction documents, incorporating the necessary recommendations for repair.  AAG will provide construction management and administration services necessary to assist in ensuring the repairs are implemented in accordance with the design requirements.

  • Forensic Examples

    Balcony collapse at a multi-story single-family residence

    Water intrusion at through-wall scupper

    Water intrusion into ceiling

    Balcony railing failure

    Water intrusion at joist penetrations

Consulting Services

Owner Representation
Risk Management
Forensic Architecture
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Litigation Support
Expert Witness

Forensic Architecture

Facility Assessments
Compliance Studies
Controlled Maintenance
Cause and Origin
Incident Investigations
Evidence Documentation
Design Defects
Construction Defects
Repair Design

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