Albert J. Kerelis, Jr., AIA, NCARB, ARM Architecture, Construction & Premises Safety Expert

Albert J. Kerelis, Jr., Architecture, Construction & Premises Safety Expert

Albert Kerelis is an architect with over 25 years of experience in building design, construction administration, and property management. He applies his expertise to forensic casework involving construction claims, premises liability disputes, and matters involving architectural professional liability.

Albert's architectural experience includes building design, land planning, construction document preparation, and construction administration. As a Principal Architect, Albert's project experience includes health care facilities, medical offices, commercial and office spaces, warehouses and industrial facilities, and single and multi-family residences.

Mr. Kerelis has extensive experience in Property Management, from the perspectives of both owner and manager, involving residential and commercial properties. Albert developed, constructed, and managed multiple properties, seeing them from acquisition and zoning approvals to site improvements, general contracting, and ongoing maintenance. As a result, Albert has extensive experience in walkway and parking lot maintenance, building maintenance codes and compliance, building repairs and renovations, as well as lease agreements and collections.

Mr. Kerelis is a Registered Architect in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and is also a certified user of the English XL slip tester. He earned his B.S. in Architecture and M.Arch from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.

Associate

2019 to present

Provide technical investigations, analysis, reports, and testimony for failure analysis, and toward the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation involving slip, trip and fall injuries, code compliance, accessibility, construction claims and disputes, construction materials and systems, property management practices, and professional liability. Areas of expertise include:

Facility Failure/Property Damage:

  • Building foundation settlement / failure
  • Water intrusion
  • Building envelope failures
  • Roof system failures
  • Wall system failures
  • Fire protections, sprinkler systems
  • Structural systems
  • Pre-engineered structural systems
  • Building hardware devices, manual and powered
  • Electrical, HVAC, plumbing systems
  • Building maintenance, repair failure
  • Walking surface ice and snow removal
  • Site unsuitable soils investigation and related remedial costs
  • Parking lots, loading docks

Premises Safety:

  • Stairway design and safety
  • Handicapped accessible ramps, ramp safety
  • Guard rail, railing and baluster failure, safety
  • Ingress and egress safety
  • Special users safety, elderly, handicapped, disabled
  • Swimming pool design, safety
  • Walking surface safety, slip, trip, stumble and fall incidents
  • Conspicuousness of hazards, contrast, warning

Accessibility:

  • Accessible components, ramps
  • Accessibility standards, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Areas of rescue assistance, two way communication
  • Site accessibility
  • Building accessibility, accessible routes

Contracts:

  • Architect default of contract
  • Contractor default of contract
  • Subcontractor default of contract
  • Owner default of contract
  • Construction defect claims
  • Delay claims

Codes and Standards (building/site design and planning):

  • Building codes and safety standards violations
  • Zoning codes, ordinance and standards violations
  • Planned unit development violations
  • Accessibility codes and standards
  • Special use and conditional use violations
  • Covenants and restrictions claims

Facilities Design Group, P.C.

2004 to present

Architect 2016-present
Design firm providing architectural services for private sector residential, commercial and industrial projects. Responsibilities for new construction include: site analysis, code review, code compliance, ADA review, schematic design, structural design, mechanical, electrical and fire suppression designs, cost estimates, construction documents and construction administration/observation. Responsibilities for additions and renovations included: documentation of existing conditions including: structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; code review and compliance; design of new structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; construction documents and construction observation.

Consultant 2004-2016
Duties included review of construction documents, structural system design, wall section and detailing for constructability, construction observation/administration for industrial, commercial, institutional and residential projects. Provided expert witness services including: investigations, analysis, reports, depositions and testimony for residential projects.

Kerelis, Inc.

President

2005 to 2015

Ran the day to day operation of a property management company and expanded the business into real-estate development. Procured real estate, created Planned Unit Development working with Village Staff, presented to planning commission and village board to obtain zoning approval, annexation, and final plat of subdivision for an 11 unit townhouse development. Was the Construction Manager for site improvement including: site grading, storm sewers, site utilities and roadway as well as for the construction of three buildings containing a total of 11 units.

Responsibilities included: bidding and negotiating, construction phasing and timelines, contract performance, change order analysis, enforcement of contract provisions, site safety, closeout procedures, warranties and repairs.

Facilities Manager 2000-2015
Managed residential and commercial properties. inspected site and building conditions and investigated site and building defects. Repaired or contracted and directed maintenance personnel and contractors including roofers, HVAC, landscaping and snow management. Contracted, managed and directed the remodeling of bathrooms, kitchens, and door/ window replacement projects. Created budget and long-term maintenance plan for buildings and their sites.

Additional Facilities/Property Management Experience:

  • Parking lot maintenance, repair and replacement including wheel stops
  • Sidewalk maintenance, repair and replacement
  • Roof maintenance, repair and replacement (flat and pitched)
  • Foundation repairs
  • Flood control of units (storm and sewer)
  • Flooring maintenance and replacement including common areas and stairwells.
  • Snow and Ice management
  • Stairwell and railings
  • Landscaping and grounds maintenance
  • Exterior Lighting
  • Decks and balconies
  • Curbs and ramps
  • Pest control
    • Insect infestation (ants, cockroaches)
    • Rodent infestations
      • Squirrels and raccoons
      • Rats, mice and bats

Facilities Design, Ltd.

1993 to 2004

Principal Architect 1995-2004
Design firm providing architectural services for public sector institutional projects and private sector commercial, industrial and residential projects including prison security doors, space planning, retail, medical offices, high hazard warehouse and chemical processing facility

Intern Architect 1993-1995
Responsible for construction documents including wall sections and details. Coordinated consultants work. On-site representative for public and private sector projects including institutional, commercial, residential and industrial projects.

Additional Architectural / Design Services:

  • Public Hearings, special and conditional uses
  • Legal proceedings or arbitration
  • Construction / project owner representation
  • Programming / needs analysis
  • Site evaluations / surveys
  • Construction cost estimating
  • Quantity and existing condition surveys
  • Bidding and negotiating
  • Construction time-line creation and maintenance
  • Interior design services
  • Owner consulting services

Peter Kamnitzer and Associates

Staff Architect

1992 to 1993

Responsibilities included the schematic design of assisted living facilities, creation of presentation drawings for client and zoning appeal meetings.

Facilities Design, Ltd.

Intern Architect

1986 to 1992

Design firm providing architectural services for public sector institutional projects including schools and a prison’s multi-purpose building, as well as private sector commercial, industrial and residential projects; assisted with building surveys, field measurements and construction documents including wall sections and details; provided on-site representation on public sector projects.

Professional Credentials

  • Registered Architect: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, South Carolina, Wisconsin
  • Certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
  • ASCA-C Professional Certified
  • Certified XL Tribometrist (CXLT)
  • Accredited Residential Manager (ARM)

Education

M.Arch., University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, 1993
B.S., Architecture, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, 1990

Continuing Education:

  • “Aging Infrastructure: A Universal Approach to Managing Condos,” IREM 2022
  • “Managing Industrial Properties Effectively 2022," IREM, 2022
  • “Fair Housing Skill Badge,” IREM, 2022
  • “How to Avoid and Mitigate Personal Injury Claims in the Property Management Industry,” IREM, 2021
  • “Window Code Fundamentals 20,” Anderson Windows, Inc., 2021
  • “2019 Chicago Construction Codes,” ICC, 2020
  • “Deck Safety and Codes,” ICC, 2020
  • “Real Estate Management Ethics Online,” IREM, 2020
  • “Managing Residential Properties,” IREM, 2020
  • “Best Practices for Residential Property Managers - Before, During, and After a Tenancy,” IREM, 2020
  • “Residential Maintenance Operations: Working with Contractors,” IREM, 2019
  • “Professional Conduct Part V: Conflicts of Interest,” NCARB, 2019
  • “Professional Conduct Part IV: Honesty,” NCARB, 2019
  • “Professional Conduct Part II: Accountability,” NCARB, 2019
  • “Professional Conduct Part II: Competence,” NCARB, 2019
  • “Professional Conduct Part I: Registration,” NCARB, 2019
  • “Why Buildings Fail Part V: Errors During the Construction Phase,” NCARB, 2019
  • “Why Buildings Fail Part IV: Errors During the Design Phase: Material Selection and Detailing,” NCARB, 2019
  • “Why Buildings Fail Part III: Errors During the Design Phase: Structural Engineering,” NCARB, 2019
  • “Why Buildings Fail Part II: Fundamental Errors at the Outset of a Project,” NCARB, 2019
  • “Understanding the Architect’s Standard of Care,” NCARB, 2019
  • “Understanding and Specifying with WDMA’s Architectural Door Standards,” Hanley Wood University, 2019
  • “ADA, Building Codes, and Standards Relating to Handrails and Guards,” BNP Media, 2019
  • “Understanding Health Care Door Systems,” BNP Media, 2019
  • “Designing with Tile,” International Masonry Institute, 2019
  • “Codes and Standards Update – IBC 2012,” American Wood Council, 2019
  • “Maximum Daylight and Ventilation,” BNP Media, 2019
  • “Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement System Design and Construction,” BNP Media, 2019
  • “Specifying Natural Stone,” BNP Media, 2019
  • “Universal Design and Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population,” BNP Media, 2019
  • “Composite Wood Products in Cladding and Architectural Trim,” BNP Media, 2019
  • “Building Enclosures: Moisture-Control Fundamentals – Parts 1, 2 and 3,” BNP Media, 2019
  • “New Options for Insulating and Ventilating Wood-Framed Sloped Roofs,” BNP Media, 2019
  • “2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) Updates,” SEDAC/UIUC, 2018
  • “Structural Design for Wood Construction,” HalfMoon Education, Inc., 2018
  • “Healthy Walls= Rainscreen and Ventilation,” ALA, 2015
  • “Top Framing Concerns,” APA – The Engineered Wood Assoc., 2015
  • “Mid Rise Design: Understanding Building Size and Fire Protection,” Wood Products Council, 2015
  • “Foundation Restoration,” ALA, 2015
  • “Lightweight Honeycomb Reinforced Stone Cladding System,” Ron Blank & Assoc., 2012
  • “Polished Concrete Floors,” Ron Blank & Assoc., 2012
  • “From ANSI to ISO: Differences Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles and Differences in Dry and Liquid Latex Thinsets,” ALA, 2010
  • “Introduction to Aluminum and Natural Metal Composite Material,” ALA, 2010
  • “Risk Management and Business Planning Seminar for Design and Const. Professionals: The Administrative Side of the Practice,” Schuyler, Roche and Crisham, PC, 2010
  • “Corrosion Prevention in Construction Fastening Systems,” SFS Intec, 2009
  • “Green Roof Technology,” ALA, 2008
  • “Building Envelope Systems: The Devil is in the Details,” ALA, 2008
  • “Illinois Accessibility Code: History, Implementation and Future of Accessibility,” State of Illinois Capital Development Board, 2006
  • “Bayport Production Tour-1, Safety and Impact Glazing, Combined Mulling Systems, Glass Performance Systems,” Anderson Windows, Inc., 2006
  • “Concrete: Your Aggregate Knowledge,” ALA, 2006
  • “Land Use Issues and Strategies Concerning Developments: Subdivision, Annexation, Zoning and Environmental Laws in Illinois,” National Business Institute, 2005
  • “Factory Pre-blended Mortar for Masonry Construction,” SPECMIX, 2005
  • “Moisture Prevention in Masonry Construction,” Mortar Net, 2004
  • “Metal Lath, Beads and Trims: Stucco and Plaster Products and Applications,” AIA, 2004
  • “Pedestrian Cable Railings (Guardrails with Cable in-fill),” AIA, 2004
  • “Helping Your Clients Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality,” AIA, 2004
  • “Assuring Water Resistance of Masonry Construction,” AIA 2004
  • “Design-Build Model: Utilizing Cold-formed Steel Framing System,” AIA 2004

Professional Memberships

  • American Institute of Architects
  • ASTM
    Technical Committees:
    • D08 - Roofing and Waterproofing
    • D08.20 - Roofing Membrane Systems
    • E06 - Performance of Buildings
    • E06.25 - Whole Buildings and Facilities
    • F13 - Pedestrian/Walkway Safety and Footwear
    • F13.50 - Walkway Surfaces
  • International Code Council (ICC)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • Capital Development Board Project Manager
  • Alpha Rho Chi Professional Architects’ Fraternity
  • Institute of Real Estate Management

Community Involvement

  • Lithuanian Cultural School of Chicago
    • Board of Directors since 2004-2019
  • Lithuanian Scouts Association, Inc
    • Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2021
    • Chief Scoutmaster-Boys Division 2013-2020
    • Local Troop Leader since 2009
  • Jesuit Fathers’ Lithuanian Center, Inc.
    • Board of Directors 2010-15

v. 06/22/22

Related Resources

See All of Albert's Published Content

Snow & Ice Removal: Property Manager Responsibilities

By Albert J. Kerelis, Jr.
Expert Article

At commercial, residential, and institutional properties, the property manager is responsible for maintaining a safe premises, which includes snow and ice management. Typically the removal of snow and…

Technical Evaluation of Property Management & Premises Liability Cases

Wednesday, July 01, 2020
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Featuring Albert J. Kerelis, Jr., Thomas J. Lodge
Video Webinar

This webinar introduces attendees to the technical issues frequently reviewed in forensic casework involving injuries in the built environment. Experts specializing in Property Management and Premises…

Snow & Ice in Premises Liability and Property Management Disputes

Thursday, March 18, 2021
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Featuring Sylvia B. Deye & Albert J. Kerelis, Jr.
Video Webinar

Addressing the standard of care in premises liability and property management disputes involving snow and ice can be complex. In these cases, issues of causation and notice can be complicated by site…