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Forensic Engineering Services: The Importance of Accurate Report and Investigation

10 June 2020

The construction of a building would usually involve numerous assessments, inspections, meetings, and other rigorous processes before finalising the whole plan and initiating the actual construction works. And despite a long time of planning and finalising everything, some errors and mistakes can still occur. However, if these erroneous elements and variables have caused serious risks, hazards, and lawsuits, then forensic engineering may come into place.

Fundamentals of Forensic Engineering

Forensic engineering is the application of engineering principles to effectively figure out the root cause of a faulty structure or damaged components. This type of engineering usually gathers all available data that concerns the affected area or portions of the building, as well as the results or effects of the actual application of construction-related data. From plans to the actual execution, all these elements are collated to know the truth behind the catastrophic damages or failure of a building. Testimonies can also be collected to solidify evidence or crossmatch them with the gathered data.

Finding out what went wrong might be the simplest way to explain the basics of forensic engineering. People who are tasked to conduct forensic engineering will have to reverse the construction process of a faulty area, component, or structure so they can pinpoint the detrimental variable. They must also plainly state all the main causes of a specific construction or engineering failure.

Importance of Accurate and Clear Report

The investigation brought by forensic engineering would usually end up with the most anticipated report. Forensic engineering reports are mostly recommended to be stated in clear and concise language so all involved parties will understand the elements, processes, and others that have resulted in structural damages or failures. All the information and data presented by the comprehensive report must also be accurate and precise so that any discrepancies are avoided. 

Accurate and clear reports are also favoured over the technical ones since most forensic engineering investigations would be conducted and end up with court proceedings. Technical experts, non-technical individuals, jury members, and other involved parties are usually present with these proceedings. The technical terms on the report can be easily understood by technical experts, but others would consume a very long time just to understand and decipher everything in the report. Submitting a clear, accurate report is much applauded by all court.

Supporting the Results of the Report

Any report that will be released must be done truthfully. Forensic engineers must clearly state everything they have done to come up with the result. Some elements that they must put into the report include technical information about their site visits, accurate description of the building or site, observations about the building or site, and the specific people and witnesses who were interrogated. These elements can be further proven by including photographs, video clips, source documents, backup materials, voice recordings, and other media to the report. After collating these elements, an analysis of all the gathered data must be included to support the conclusion. Engineering principles, methodology, theories, and others can all be used to confirm the shortcomings or inadequacies of a faulty site or building. Recommendations must be also stated so that the parties can decide for their respective future course of action.

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