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Forensic Engineering

A significant portion of SPC's consulting services lies in forensic civil and geotechnical engineering, as well as providing expert witness testimony. Forensic engineering focuses on exploring and identifying the mechanisms that have caused foundation failure, earth and slope movement, or unexpected performance of an engineering design. Professionals at SPC have been working on forensic cases for 30 years, assisting clients with unmatched expertise in both civil and geotechnical engineering.

Professional Experience

Geotechnical issues that are typically evaluated are:

  • Subsidence
  • Expansive soils
  • Corrosive soils
  • Retaining wall failures
  • Slope movement
  • Construction vibrations
  • Earthquake damage
  • Liquefaction

Civil engineering issues are related to determining concrete quality, design and performance, drainage and water intrusion, and asphalt pavement design and performance. Some of these issues include:

  • Concrete cracking
  • Concrete corrosion
  • Efflorescence
  • Sulfate attack
  • Reactive aggregate
  • Pavement distress
  • Drainage
  • Water intrusion
  • Analyses of water consumption records
  • Analyses of rainfall records
  • Surveying

Failure Analyses

In addition to geotechnical and civil, our expertise in forensic engineering includes:

  • Recognition, documentation, and evaluation of structural damage (distress)
  • Damage causation
  • Timing of damage occurrence
  • Determining likelihood of on-going civil/geotechnical/geological influences
  • Evaluating site performance and potential future problems
  • Investigating design/construction-related defects
  • Monitoring movement of soils and foundations
  • Alternative mitigation designs and recommended options for a best-fit solution

Client Representation

SPC has represented both Plaintiffs and defendants in forensic engineering projects. Various trades that have been represented by our company include:

  • Asphalt contractors
  • Civil engineers
  • Concrete contractors
  • Concrete suppliers
  • Construction companies
  • Developers
  • Equipment operators
  • Finish grading contractors
  • Framers
  • General contractors
  • Geotechnical engineers
  • Governmental agencies
  • Homeowners
  • Homeowners associations
  • Insurance companies
  • Landscape architects
  • Landscape contractors
  • Masonry contractors
  • Moisture proofing contractors
  • Paving contractors
  • Plumbing contractors
  • Real estate agents
  • Rough grading contractors
  • Surveyors
  • Utility line contractors

Forensic Testing

Forensic testing is performed as needed to evaluate the performance of a structure or monitor changes in stress levels. Types of forensic testing include:

  • Manometer surveying
  • Concrete coring
  • Soil boring
  • Inclinometer installation and monitoring
  • Piezometer installing and monitoring

Expert Witness

SPC provides expert witness services for litigation cases in the fields of engineering and geology. We have been retained as experts on many cases spanning from Southern California to North Las Vegas.

Court Exhibits

SPC's graphics department is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and software to produce site plans, graphics, models, and court exhibits. Using the latest technology, we are able to create a variety of visualizations such as vector/raster overlays, contour maps, and 3-D models. Our graphics are prepared either for phases of design or to convey our analyses in a manner that easily understood by non-experts.