In this article, Structural Engineer Anthony Volonnino, P.E., discusses excavation engineering, the common issues that arise with excavations in urban settings, and some of the failure points that we consider in our forensic investigations.
Failed structure investigations take many forms: from conventional examples such as buildings and bridges to the less obvious such as traffic signs, tents, trees, and chairs. From a lay perspective, the unifying theme is that something became unstable or collapsed; but from an engineering perspective there was a system failure that caused the structure to not support the loads it was exposed to, and perhaps was intended to support. Structures can fail in different ways and do not always collapse; this article focuses on structures that collapse.
Structural Engineer Anthony Volonnino P.E. sets the stage for looking at the world from the perspective of a structural engineer. For lawyers and insurance professionals, the article attempts to provide a framework for understanding causation, notice, standard of care, and ultimately liability in a broad range of cases where buildings, products, and natural systems fail or collapse.
The structural failure or collapse of a wood utility pole is often the result of advanced rot, vehicle impact, overloading, or some combination thereof. As part of a forensic investigation, experts will often seek to determine the pre-failure condition of the pole to understand if maintenance operations or loading considerations were contributing factors.
In this article structural engineer, Anthony Volonnino, P.E. discusses the engineering involved in utility pole design and some of the technical concepts relevant to their failures.
Construction projects in urban and other congested environments frequently require deep excavations and/or the use of heavy vibrating equipment in close proximity to existing structures. These activities require careful planning and engineering in order to prevent damage to nearby buildings and structures.
In this article, structural engineer, Anthony Volonnino discusses the issues relevant to urban construction and some of the precautionary steps that engineers utilize to prevent damage to adjacent structures.
Cellular towers require frequent service calls to repair, upgrade, or install new communications equipment. They are also subject to routine inspection related to the structural integrity of the tower and associated climbing facilities. In this article, Structural Engineer Anthony Volonnino looks through the lens of a specific fall incident to discuss some of the standards and safety features intended to protect communications workers when working at heights.
Baseball umpires are responsible for officiating the game and safeguarding the well-being of participants. Responsibilities of an umpire include enforcing rules, making judgment calls on plays, evaluating field conditions, equipment use, and potential weather hazards.
This article explores the standard of care for baseball and softball officials by focusing on matters our seasoned umpire experts are most frequently asked to investigate.
Un-level floors, inoperable windows/doors, and various misalignment issues of cladding and partitions in high-rise buildings are sometimes the result of a phenomenon known as differential column shortening. This article provides an introduction to this topic and discusses the standard of care for structural engineers of record relative to this issue.
How can you determine if the property damage in your case (or claim) was caused by vibrations originating from a nearby construction project?
Damages are often expensive, conditions prior to construction activity are not always documented, and the science behind ground vibrations is esoteric.
In this webinar video, Structural Engineer Anthony Volonnino unravels the assessment of construction vibration claims into three main variables: the source of the vibration energy, the distance between the source and the structure, and the nature of observed distress. By reviewing causation in two forensic cases, attendees will learn scientific and engineering principles that can be applied to their own casework.