“The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill.” - Albert Einstein
The above quote captures the essence of our approach to solving our Client's problems. We are often consulted about a problem where the cause is already considered a foregone conclusion, but is not actually the real or whole cause of the problem. Understanding how building components all work together is crucial to understanding what the actual problem is. And your solution is only as good as your understanding of the problem.
We have even been consulted on several projects that were already completed by contractors and managed by other engineers, only to discover that they missed a critical component of the problem resulting in an under or non-performing solution. Some of these situations end up resulting in law suits, and the work must be completely redone.
At Consult we spend extra time going through all of the possible causes of the problem, whether that problem is water intrusion, a failing roof, cracks in the building, or other failing building components. The known contributing factors are then extensively documented, recorded, and tested if necessary. We use thermal imaging, moisture detection, metal detection, non-destructive testing, destructive testing, and structural analysis to fully understand the scope of the problem so that the client receives the correct solution the first time.
Our findings often culminate in a Condition Survey Report which not only outlines our findings and recommendations, but also includes construction estimates and serves as an historical record of the building. An added benefit for Condominium and Homeowner Associations is that the professional opinions contained in the report provide a basis for future decision making that is devoid of any perceived impropriety, a very important consideration of board members who are responsible to protect the interests of the other owners in these matters.
This is the first step in any well-conceived project and often provides the basis for creating a detailed Project Manual for bidding purposes.