Moving from the Minors to the Majors
September 2, 2011
By: Jean A. Dalmore
For the Defense
Excerpt from, "Moving from the Minors to the Majors"...
Structures are awe-inspiring, magnificent things. They are designed and constructed from a variety of materials to accommodate their intended use and anticipated loads. How materials react when a structure is damaged play a Structures tend to endure events that seemingly should result in catastrophic failures because of safety factors and redundancies in their design and construction.
These safety factors are built into the building codes that establish the minimum design loads for a structure and into the allowable capacities of the materials used in their construction. When a catastrophic failure does occur, a forensic engineering expert must look beyond the obvious and determine why the failure occurred.
When a catastrophic failure occurs, typically someone with very little expertise has identified an “obvious” cause, a trigger, before a qualified, forensic engineering expert steps in. In identifying and documenting what made a structure susceptible to damage, a forensic engineering expert can move an evaluation “from the Minors to the Majors.”
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