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.

Areas of Expertise

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

Construction Management: Subcontract scopes, construction schedules, manpower requirements, safety, and budget. Standard of Care, Owner-Contractor Agreement, Contractor-Subcontractor Agreement.

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) requirements, 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.

Building System Failures: Concrete slab and foundation cracking, differential settlement, waterproof barriers and stops, atmospheric and weather-resistive barriers, below grade waterproofing: 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, codes, 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.

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

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

Premises Safety/Slips and Trips: 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. slips occurring on stairs, ramps, parking lots, sidewalks, grocery & big box stores, restaurants/bars, snow and ice.

Accessibility: 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.

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

Construction 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
  • Managed staff, client relations, and production 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, New Jersey, 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

Publications

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

v. 02/2/23

Related Resources

See All of Catherine's Published Content

Premises Safety in the Retail Built Environment

By Catherine Peterman
Expert Article

Retail spaces should be designed and maintained to provide safe walkways and merchandise displays that are free of unreasonable hazards. In industry, this is achieved, in part, through…

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…

Architect Error and Omission Change Orders

By Catherine Peterman
Expert Article

In this article, experts from the architectural practice at Robson Forensic provide an overview of error and omissions change orders. The discussion includes an explanation of change orders, the…