Occasionally engineered structures fail. There can be many reasons for the failure including inadequate design, unanticipated conditions not accounted for in the design, faulty construction, improper or inadequate materials, and many others. Because of our geotechnical engineering expertise, D'Appolonia is often retained to perform an independent forensic study of a failed structure in order to identify the reason or reasons for the failure. We typically perform site reconnaissance and exploration, obtain and test samples, and perform engineering analyses related to these studies. We are experienced in the preparation of engineering reports in support of legal case development, and our staff is experienced with depositions and providing expert testimony.

D'Appolonia was retained to determine the cause of the failure of this wall.

Some typical D'Appolonia projects related to forensic analysis and remedial design are provided in the following:


Forensic Analysis of Foundation Movements and Remedial Design

D’Appolonia was retained to investigate the cause of movements of structural foundations associated with a coal preparation complex in West Virginia. We developed and managed the implementation of several remedial measures including vertical drains, horizontal drains, pond liners, and surface drainage systems.

Evaluation of Changed Conditions and Embankment Redesign

D’Appolonia evaluated various design alternatives related to stabilizing a roadway at several locations. Modifications of the original designs were developed and provided to the Arizona DOT.

Forensic Analysis and Redesign of Failed Rock Slope

D’Appolonia was retained by the City of Pittsburgh to determine the reason for the failure and to redesign a failed 100-foot-high rock slope adjacent to a heavily traveled route. The work included geologic reconnaissance, review of designs by others, stability analyses, development of a remedial design, preparation of plans and specifications, and full-time monitoring of the repair work.

Slope Stability Evaluation at New England Superfund Site

D’Appolonia was retained to plan a geotechnical exploration program, to evaluate the stability of the debris mass associated with a failed landfill embankment slope, and to develop remedial design concepts for closure of the landfill site.

Forensic Evaluation of Floor Slab Cracking and Ground Heave

D’Appolonia performed a forensic geotechnical evaluation for identification of the cause for floor slab cracking and crawl space ground heave at a school in Western Pennsylvania. Our evaluation included review of design and construction documents; reconnaissance of the building interior, exterior and crawl space; a floor slab level survey; and sampling and testing of mine spoil from the crawl space and around the outside of the builing.