A Building's First Line of Defense: The Exterior Cladding
Attendees learn about problems that can develop with commonly installed exterior claddings on residential buildings. Some of the commonly installed exterior claddings include fiber cement board siding, brick veneer and stucco. Attendees are guided through several case studies highlight the issues that were observed during those investigations. Additionally, design and repair details are discussed. [view details]
Building Envelope 101
This course explores the most common issues that result in water intrusion through the building envelope. Attendees are guided through building envelope basics, mechanisms of water intrusion, problems that arise with roofing, exterior walls, windows and foundations. [view details]
Design Professionals & Contractors: Up Against The Wall
Discuss construction details that cause design professionals and contractors to be brought into construction litigation. The presenter highlights building code requirements, industry standards and manufacturer instructions related to roofing, exterior walls, windows and other issues common to construction litigation. Conclude with a series of case studies of the alleged defects, the consequence and/or damage and the parties responsible for the repair costs. [view details]
EIFS: Practical Solutions for Addressing Damages to Existing Buildings
Buildings clad with Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) barrier cladding have been documented to have problematic water intrusion issues that can result in damage. In numerous construction litigation cases the proposed repair included complete removal and replacement of EIFS. Experience gained during such repairs revealed that most damages are localized and associated with wall penetrations. The presenter describes repair solutions that address damages without complete EIFS removal and replacement. Design and repair considerations are discussed in detail. [view details]
Dealing With The Challenge Of Mid-Rise Wood Frame Construction
Recent changes in the building code helped fuel the current surge in mid-rise wood frame construction projects. Over the past several years, there have been an increasing number of water intrusion claims in relatively new mid-rise wood frame buildings. While the code requires the building envelope to provide protection from the weather, it does not provide the details necessary for designers and/or contractors to meet this requirement. Typical construction details that have had limited success on one to three story wood frame buildings are even more problematic on taller buildings. Specifically, vertical and lateral movements, caused by frame compression, wood shrinkage, external loads and material incompatibility, can compromise the function of flashing and waterproofing details. Differential movements between the wood framing and exterior cladding components can cause physical damage to building envelope components that increases the extent of water intrusion. Once water reaches the wood framing components, significant damage such as rot, corrosion, and mold, can result. Additionally, once compromised, the effectiveness of products used to meet fire resistance requirements is unknown. If our design and construction of the building envelope does not incorporate “best practices,” mid-rise wood frame buildings may become the black eye of the construction industry. [view details]
Expert Witness 101 - Balancing Professional Ethics with Client Desires
Attendees learn about problems that develop when experts value the desires of the client above their professional integrity. Learn about the true role of experts in construction litigation, how to avoid hidden bias and advocacy. Standards of care are discussed based on professional licensure, professional memberships and accepted industry standards. Examples of possible ethics violations are provided for discussion. [view details]
Forensic Engineering 101
This course provides a unique insight into forensic engineering. Learn the typical parties that retain forensic engineers, the types of assignments forensic engineers investigate, the tools used during investigations, a forensic engineer’s role as an expert witness, and the various types of testimony provided by forensic engineers. A summary of case studies highlight the wide variety of issues investigated by forensic engineers. [view details]
Forensic Engineering Comparison of Two Masonry Cladding Systems
This course highlights the technical requirements of a masonry veneer cladding system and the primary areas of concern. The presentation provides the technical highlights of this case study and identifies the issues where the building codes and applicable standards require further clarification. [view details]
Fundamentals of Foundations: Getting Down to Earth
Gain an understanding of different types of foundation systems and the influencing factors when selecting appropriate foundation systems. Discuss the applicable building code sections regarding foundation design and construction requirements. Common foundations failures are examined and the associated repair techniques. Real world case studies are provided for discussion. [view details]
How Not to Build a Roof
CSE shares photo highlights of years of roof failure investigations. The photos provide attendees with obvious (and not so obvious) roofing mistakes on both low and steep slope roofs in the United States and Caribbean. Failures include combinations of design errors, manufacturer defects, and construction defects. [view details]
Load Path
Survey building code requirements for structural load paths for light frame wood construction. Participants are exposed to design considerations for gravity and uplift loads including connections. Specifically, by exploring load paths that are transferred from roof framing to walls, through floor cavities, and to the foundation. Typical failure modes and suggested repairs are discussed. [view details]
Lessons Learned During Sliding Glass Door Replacement and Concrete Balcony Repairs in a Hurricane Coastline
Coastal environments are considered to be some of the harshest conditions that a building can be subjected to. Over time, the combination of salt, humidity and wind can significantly decrease the service life of important building envelope components. Since the early 1980’s, a twelve (12)-story oceanfront condominium building has been subjected to these harsh conditions. During a preliminary investigation of the building, conditions of the aluminum framed sliding glass doors and exterior balconies revealed that they were in various states of deterioration and corrosion, such that repairs were considered to be necessary. This presentation highlights the first phase of this case study and identify the issues experienced during the repair project. [view details]
Loads on Steep and Low Slope Roofs - The Starting Line
Examine key elements for proper attachment of steep and low slope roof coverings to resist wind uplift. Review the basic interaction between wind and roof assemblies. Various steep and low slope roof coverings are discussed, including relative costs, performance and durability. Discussion includes design concepts, applicable building codes and standards, and manufacturer instructions. Attachment details are discussed for steep and low slope roof coverings, including critical details and lessons learned from approximately 20 years of damage investigations. [view details]
Masonry Stone Veneer: DOS and DON’TS
Explore common issues that result in water intrusion through the building envelope due to improper installation and integration of masonry stone veneer. Attendees are guided through industry standards and code requirements for water intrusion and damage that may arise when masonry stone veneer is improperly installed. [view details]
Metal Roof Failures
Learn about various types of metal roofing products for low slope and steep slope roofs, including metal roof design building code requirements, industry standards and typical manufacturer installation details. Various metal roof failure investigations are discussed, including lessons learned and recommended repairs and/or modifications. [view details]
Problems with Brick Veneer
Learn about problems that develop with brick veneer cladding, even when following the building code. CSE shares photo highlights of brick veneer investigations. The photos provide examples of obvious (and not so obvious) problems with brick veneer construction. The problems include combinations of design errors, shortcomings in the building code,and construction defects. [view details]
Siding Attachments: Facts & Fantasies
Examine common construction allegations regarding siding attachment. Attendees are guided through building code requirements, industry standards, typical manufacturer information, construction litigation allegations and repair recommendations. Additionally, attendees are walked through an example of an engineering exterior siding attachment analysis. [view details]
The Tale of Two Stones
A recent construction litigation case highlighted the technical requirements of a masonry veneer cladding system on a residential structure. The classification of the cladding system as a cast stone or adhered masonry veneer directly impacts the requirements of applicable codes and standards. The primary areas of concern included the attachment of the panels (i.e. anchored vs. adhered) to the masonry substrate, the extent of water intrusion and the need for water management details (i.e. flashing and weepholes). The presentation provides the technical highlights of this case study and identifies the issues where the building codes and applicable standards require further clarification. [view details]
Top 10 Alleged Construction Defects
Explore the most common issues alleged in construction defect cases. Attendees are guided through construction basics from the roof to the foundation. The most common defects in each area are discussed, along with building code requirements, accepted industry standards, consequences and/or damages and repair recommendations. [view details]
Top 10 Stucco Issues
Explore the most common issues alleged in construction defect cases involving stucco. Attendees learn stucco basics, including conventional stucco vs. proprietary systems, building code requirements and industry standards. Each of the top 10 issues are described in detail, including which issues may require a repair and which issues are of little, to no consequence. [view details]
Understanding Code - Prescribed Building Loads
The building code requires all buildings and components thereof to resist code-prescribed loads. This presentation breaks down the various loads to describe exactly what the code requires. The presentation describes dead and live gravity loads, wind loads, and seismic loads. Attendees are guided through the basics of structural analysis, how buildings receive and distribute loads, and what the code requires for various building elements. Attendees learn the difference between main wind force resisting systems and components and cladding. Building code requirements are discussed in terms of geographic location in the southeastern United States. Specifically, various in code-prescribed seismic and wind loads will be shown to illustrate the diverse design requirements that apply to new construction. [view details]
What About the Trim?
Explore the history of trim products, along with applicable codes and standards. The discussion expands to include experiences with damaged engineered wood trim products, how these products are evaluated by manufacturers and where damages typically occur. Repair protocols and a discussion of best practices for exterior trim details are included. [view details]
Why Buildings Leak
The presentation describes the most common modes of water intrusion that occurs in existing buildings. Learn about the building envelope and the ways that water enters the various components, including the roof, exterior walls and foundations. Construction defects are discussed in contexts of the building code, industry standards and manufacturer specifications. Products defects that resulted in water-related damages are also discussed. Real world examples associated with various cases are provided. [view details]
Windows and Doors: Evolution of Performance and Installation Requirements
Attendees are provided with the evolution of building codes, industry standards and manufacturer instructions for the installation of windows and doors. Specific attention is given to issues of water intrusion and structural performance. Case studies are used to highlight the various issues discussed. [view details]


  • Hurricane Damage Assessment
    Construction Science & Engineering, Inc. (CSE) Is Available To Help With Damage Assessment Caused By Recent Hurricanes

    Our firm has established a great reputation from work performed in the eastern United States an .. [more]