E&B is regularly retained by insurance carriers on behalf of their insured in response to errors and omissions professional liability claims and construction defect claims. The matters range from simple trip-and-fall injury claims to multi-million dollar construction claims. The principals have testified both on behalf of claimants and defendants in trials, mediation and arbitration.
Some lawsuits in which E&B is involved go beyond simple single-issue claims, and instead involve multiple disciplines, multiple parties, and multiple conflicting claims. In these instances, E&B is retained as the lead consultant charged with overseeing the activities of numerous experts, and assisting in developing a unified and consistent position for the client, as well as providing testimony. Clients have come to trust E&B’s expertise in cutting through complicated claims and providing the “big-picture” assessment of the matter. As well, E&B is respected for providing strategic advice in assessing and prioritizing claims, making technical issues understandable, developing effective courses of action and providing “jury-friendly” testimony.
As part of real estate transactions, E&B retained to assess conditions of architectural components of existing buildings, and to develop strategic advice regarding current and anticipated costs for maintenance and repairs. The buildings reviewed by E&B have ranged from mid-town New York City high-rise office buildings to suburban office parks. Typically, E&B is asked to review windows, curtain walls, roofs, storefronts, public lobbies, means of egress, and public bathrooms. The review includes both condition assessment as well as compliance with current building codes and standards, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
When clients encounter suspected instances of environmental contamination, E&B can assist in assessing the risk, determining the proper investigation and testing protocol, and if necessary obtaining the specific technicians to address the condition. Such investigations have involved such materials as mold, carbon monoxide, mercury, asbestos and irritants as simple as fugitive odors between apartments. E&B has the tools as well as the expertise to diagnose these and other environmental contaminants and to develop and oversee remediation actions.
The proper design of the exterior of buildings in critical to their proper performance. During the design and construction phase of projects, E&B is retained by design professionals, contractors and owners to review and provide design advice on the performance of building envelopes: roofs, foundations, and exterior walls. The consultation ranges from practical constructability issues to integration of waterproofing components to proper design documentation.
When the building envelope including walls, roofs and waterproofing do not perform properly, it can lead to a variety of unacceptable conditions such as water and air infiltration, cracks and discoloration. E&B has the expertise to perform both hands-on inspections of facades, roofs and basement components using a variety of diagnostic tools, as well as undertake a holistic investigation of causation of the defective performance. E&B has provided such analysis on projects ranging from high rise buildings to single-family homes; and on construction typologies including solid masonry, cavity wall construction, wood framing, curtain walls and EIFS.
In addition to providing consulting services to other professionals, E&B has also been requested to act as designer of record on exterior designs for both conventional repairs to existing buildings as well as recladding of existing buildings. E&B can provide full construction documentation and contract administration services.
E&B has provided consistent and effective consultation to the Insurance Industry in assessing claims after fires or severe weather events as well as other events. Such investigations result in a precise identification of the root cause of the condition and extent of the impact, and can assist in a proper determination of coverage issues.
E&B can provide full mechanical design for projects, and is particularly adept at providing effective redesigns and upgrades of defective or aging systems within existing buildings. Projects have included complete ventilation replacement for high rise buildings, commercial kitchen ventilation systems and high-end residential mechanical plants.