Catherine Peterman, AIA, NCARB Architecture, Construction & Premises Safety Expert

Catherine Peterman, Architecture, Construction & Premises Safety Expert

Catherine Peterman investigates cases involving construction disputes and defects, workplace and construction site safety, premises safety, and professional architectural practice. Catherine has experience as an architect and construction manager.

She brings over 20 years of practical experience in preparing construction documents and performing construction administration services to her casework. Through her experience as both an architect and construction company project manager, she brings a unique perspective to the analysis of construction disputes. Catherine provides technical investigations and expert analysis on construction contract disputes, construction defect claims, architect professional liability, and conditions related to slip, trip, and fall incidents.

Catherine earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Michigan and her Master's Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Kent State University. She is licensed in multiple states throughout the Midwest and is board certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Catherine is a certified operator of the English XL slip tester. Her memberships include the American Institute of Architects, International Code Council, and ASTM International.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.

Associate

2016 to present

Provides technical investigations, analysis, reports, and testimony for failure analysis, and towards the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation involving slip, trip, and fall injuries; construction materials failures; code compliance issues; construction defects and claims, construction site safety, as well as architect professional liability.

Building Safety: Application of building codes and safety standards, stairs and ramps, means of egress, unprotected floor openings, walls and roofs, guard rails and safety paint/striping, standard glass, and fire/safety glazing, doors and windows, floor finishes, transitions and thresholds, vestibules and floor mats, hazards in pedestrian paths of travel, commercial displays.

Construction Safety: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidelines, staging and scaffolds, ladders and lifts, temporary fencing and guards, trenching and shoring, overhead and underground utilities, personal and site safety equipment, cranes and lifts, delivery and storage of materials, concrete and reinforcing steel, construction machines, and equipment, temporary roads, and walks, roof parapets and penetrations, temporary stairs and elevators, as well as contractor and subcontractor standard of care.

Premises Safety/Trips: Trips involving; stair geometry (rise and run) of steps, short-run stairs and curbing, door thresholds and stair landings, handrails, guards, misaligned walking surfaces, floor/wall, and ceiling grates and access panels, sidewalks, parking lots, walkways with low overhead obstructions, delineated areas of flooring materials and finishes, unmarked sloped areas, wheel stops.

Premises Safety/Slips: Slips occurring on stairs, ramps, parking lots, sidewalks, grocery & big box stores, restaurants/bars, site and building analysis related to the accumulation of snow and ice that contributes to slip and fall accidents.

Accessibility: Analyzing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance; accessible routes; accessible building components, ramps, guard and handrails, entrances, restroom facilities, protruding objects, walking surfaces, curb ramps, signage, detectable warnings, and special requirements for accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Building System Failures: Concrete slab and foundation cracking, differential settlement, waterproof barriers and stops, atmospheric and weather-resistive barriers: roof, wall, and stair collapse.

Construction Materials Failures: Drainage and flashing systems, expansion and isolation joints, sealant and caulk systems, water intrusion related issues, exterior insulating and finishing systems (EIFS), masonry, concrete block, precast wall panels, window and door system failures, cracked and spalling concrete.

Construction Defect Claims: Construction claims/counterclaims, contractual obligations under different contract types, code, standards, and quality issues.

Building Design and Planning: Horizontal and vertical egress pathways, building codes and standards, parts of the means of egress, adaptive re-use, accessibility for persons with disabilities, occupant safety during weather or phased construction events, industrial equipment, and utilities, commercial fixtures, and material storage, minimum separation and safety clearances.

Architect Professional Practice: Standard of Care, Owner-Architect Agreement, Contractor-Subcontractor Agreement, General Conditions, errors and omissions, change order review and administration, interpret construction drawings and shop drawing review, punch lists, and interpreting contract performance.

Public Agency Claims: Contract bid/award protest, change order submittal/analysis in areas of capital improvement.

Design Expertise: Convenience stores, big-box & grocery stores, large scale retail shopping centers, medical hospitals, educational facilities, data centers, multi & single-family homes, retirement facilities, VA facilities, developmental disability facilities.

Construction Expertise: Project manager for contactor/subcontractor responsible for construction schedule, crew, safety, and budget. Standard of Care, Owner-Contractor Agreement, Contractor-Subcontractor Agreement.

Fabcon

Project Manager/Architect

2014 to 2016
  • Managed projects involving the manufacturing and erection of precast wall panels.
  • Responsibilities included construction contract administration, building code review as it related to the precast wall panels, contractor coordination, change orders, and the field supervision of the erection of the panels.
  • Construction field supervision.

WD Partners

Project Manager/Architect

2013 to 2014
  • Architectural/Engineering firm serving corporate and commercial clients on diverse high profile project types.
  • Supervised multi-disciplined teams during the production of construction documents and coordinated the construction administration activities.
  • Surveyed new and remodeled commercial facilities for contract document conformance, code, life safety and ADA compliance.

Catherine Peterman, Architect

Sole Proprietor

2011 to 2013
  • Architectural practice with an emphasis on building code safety and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Single-family home design and construction.

Ohio Department of Administration Services

Project Manager/Architect

2010 to 2011
  • Managed projects and infrastructure facilities for the State of Ohio Architect’s Office.
  • Responsible for overseeing design and construction documents, bidding and award, construction administration for extensive health care facilities, higher education, and correctional institutions.
  • Evaluated existing facilities for safety, the Americans Disabilities Act, and code compliance.

Marathon Petroleum, L.L.C./Retail Design Team

Senior Lead Architect

1995 to 2009
  • Designed and developed construction documents in reference to Marathon’s convenience store and travel facilities.
  • As senior architect ensured state building code and ADA compliance of all construction documents.
  • Evaluated existing retail spaces for code compliance and conformance with the Americans Disabilities Act.
  • Staff technical expert on all building safety-related matters.
  • Supervised a multi-disciplined team during the production of construction documents and coordinated related activities throughout the construction administration phase.
  • Developed and implemented new company specifications to streamline construction administration, field activities, and the change order process.

Akron General Medical Center

Chief Staff Architect

1993 to 1995
  • Directed the design and construction of a new patient wing.
  • Responsible for maintaining hospital code compliance and safety issues about the building environment.
  • Oversaw in-house and outside construction staff.
  • Maintained safety blockades between public and construction areas.
  • Responsible for the protection of the public in construction areas.

Professional Credentials/Certifications

  • Registered Architect: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia
  • Certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
  • Certified XL Tribometrist

Education

Kent State University/College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Kent, Ohio
Master of Architecture and Urban Planning

University of Michigan/College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Bachelor of Science in Architecture

Professional Memberships

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
International Code Council (ICC)
ASTM International

Continuing Education

  • “Cast to Last: Architectural Metal Castings,” Marcoza Castings, 2019
  • “Beyond Barrier-Free: Restrooms for All,” Scranton Products, 2019
  • “Cutting Edge Code Compliance,” OMG Roofing Products, 2019
  • “Designing with Texas Limestone,” Texas Quarries, 2019
  • “Railing Made Simple,” AZEK Building Products, 2019
  • “One Coat Stucco in Modern Society,” NOCSA, 2019
  • “Specialty Steel Doors: Blast & Bullet Resistant, Acoustic, Forced Entry and More,” SDI, 2019
  • “Forced Entry Resistant Doors and Frames,” SDI, 2019
  • “Rigid Foams: Understanding the Advantages of Molded Insulation and Geofoam,” AFM Corporation, 2019
  • “The Advantages of Covering an Indoor Pool,” Spectrum Aquatics, 2019
  • “Powder and Liquid FEVE Coatings for Curtain Wall & Infrastructure Applications,” AGC Chemicals, 2019
  • “CFS Truss Systems,” Alpine Truss Steel, 2019
  • “Barrier-Free Restroom Design Strategies Utilizing Optimal Hand Drying Solutions,” World Dryer, 2019
  • “Specifying the Best Sports Floor for Your Facility,” MFMA, 2019
  • “The Surface of the Future,” Meganite, 2019
  • “Advanced Rainscreen Design for Moisture Management,” James Hardie, 2019
  • “Enduring Beauty: High Performing Open Jointed Cladding Systems,” AZEK, 2019
  • “Snow Retention Devices: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” S-5 2018
  • “Why Thru-the-Wall? A Guide to HVAC Specification for Multi-Unit Application,” National Comfort Products, 2018
  • “Lath: Selection & Specifications to Enhance Stucco Performance,” Clark Dietrich, 2018
  • “Proper Specification and Installation Recommendations for Nonstructural Wall Framing,” Clark Dietrich, 2018
  • “Do I Really Have to Do That?...On My Tile & Stone Installations?,” Noble Co., 2018
  • “The Evolution of Glulam - High Performance, Cost Conscious Structural Design,” Rosboro, 2018
  • “Hard Wax Oils: A Weapon Against Decay,” Rubio Monocoat, 2018
  • “Specifying Security Solutions: Bullet, Blast & Forced Entry Resistant Products,” Armortex, 2018
  • “Total Design and ADA in Restrooms,” TOTO, 2018
  • “Modern Hand Dryers for Modern Restrooms,” Mitsubishi Electric2018
  • “Modern Rustic,” Coeur d’Alene Wood, 2018
  • “Avoiding Moisture Problems During Construction,” Polygon, 2018
  • “Design Engineering & Cold-Formed Steel Basics,” Clark Dietrich, 2018
  • “Lightweight Molded Architectural Limestone,” Livers Bronze, 2018
  • “Autoclaved Aerated Concrete: Old Technology, New Applications,” AERCON, 2018
  • “Introduction to Entrance Flooring Systems,” Nystrom, 2018
  • “Architectural Protective Coatings: FEVE Technology,” Ron Blank, 2018
  • “Designing with Shear Walls for Low to Midrise Construction,” Ron Blank, 2018
  • “Design Engineering and Exterior Light-Gauge Steel Framing Basics,” Ron Blank, 2018
  • “Designing Adhered Masonry Veneer,” IMI, 2018
  • “Cold-Formed Steel Framing 101-An Introduction to the New Metal Framing Industry, CEMCO 2018
  • “Steel Doors and Frames 101,” Steel Door Institute, 2017
  • “Architectural Fire Rates Joint Assemblies,” California Expanded Metal Comp., 2017
  • “Fire Rated Doors and Frames,” Hollow Metal Manufacturers Association, 2017
  • “Assuring Water Resistance of Masonry Construction,” Mortar Net U.S.A., 2017
  • “Security Grille Door Solutions in the Design Project,” Dynamic Closures, 2017
  • “Architectural Applications of Water Protection Systems,” Savannah Trips, 2017
  • “MCM/ACM Paint Systems and the Building Envelope,” ALPOLIC, 2017
  • “Reflective Insulation, Radiant Barriers and Control Coatings,” Reflective Insulation Manufacturer’s Association 2017
  • “Masonry Wall Insulation, Air Barrier, Water Seal and Moisture Vapor Control with CCSPF,” NCFI Polyurethanes, 2017
  • “Continuous Insulation: Spray Polyurethane Foam vs. Rigid Foam Board,” Icynene, Inc., 2017
  • “Architectural Castings: Traditional Elegance & Tomorrow’s History,” MARCOZA Castings, 2017
  • “Access Ladders & Stairways: Design and Code Solutions,” Precision Ladders, LLC, 2016
  • “Roof Hatch & Smoke Vent Design: Life Safety & BIM Integration,” Nystrom Building Products, 2016
  • “An Introduction to BIM & Automated Specifications,” Inter Spec, 2016
  • “Managing Building Movement with Joints,” Nystrom Building Products, 2016
  • “Designing for the Future: Understanding Light Density and Medium Density Open Cell and Closed Cell Spray,” Icynene, Inc., 2016
  • “Design and Specification of ACM/MCM in Today’s Architecture,” Alpolic, 2016
  • “Climate Zoned Cladding and Contemporary Commercial Solutions with Fiber Cement Siding,” James Harding Building Products, 2016
  • “Applications of Spray Foam Systems,” NCFI Polyurethanes, 2016
  • “Laminated Timber Columns; Structural Characteristics,” Cox Industries, 2016
  • “Assuring Stucco Performance Using Noncorrosive Components,” Plastic Components, 2016
  • “Advantages of Using Cover Boards in Low Slope Roof Assemblies,” Nation Gypsum, 2016
  • “Protecting Wood-Framed Structures & Topical Lumber Coatings,” Eco-Building Products, 2016
  • “Fire Retardant Treated Wood for Commercial and Residential Structures,” Viance LLC, 2016
  • “Improving Timber Connections Through Design,” Timberlinx, 2016
  • “Step Up to Safety,” Nystrom Building Products, 2016

Publications

Architect Error and Omission Change Orders,” Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA) Quarterly Review, Winter 2018

v. 04/30/20

Related Resources

See All of Catherine's Published Content

Slip & Trip Hazards Posed by Floor Mats & Runners

By Catherine Peterman
Expert Article

In this article, architect and retail premises safety expert, Catherine Peterman discusses the appropriate use of floor mats and runners. When properly selected and maintained, floor mats can be part…

Retail Operations - Expert Checklist for Premises Safety

By Catherine Peterman
Expert Article

The experts at Robson Forensic are frequently engaged to investigate matters related to the operations and management of retail stores. The focus of our investigations varies from case to case, but…

Stairway Design Standards

By Catherine Peterman
Expert Overview

In this article, the premises safety experts at Robson Forensic provide an introduction to the International Building Code stairway design requirements for new buildings. Particular attention is paid…