Geotechnical Engineering ExpertWhat areas may construction experts consult on? These experts are called upon to review many areas of construction litigation including construction defects, construction damages, structural analysis, and more. Homeowners in the San Francisco luxury Millennium Tower have filed a $500M class action lawsuit against the developer over the building’s excessive settlement and tilting. The homeowners’ association (HOA) hired a geotechnical engineering expert who forecast the building may sink another 15 inches in the future which would total nearly three feet. The tower was constructed on a landfill and the engineer opined that Millennium Partners should have used 200 foot piles down to bedrock to prevent the building settling instead of going down 80 feet for a foundation.

While expected to settle six inches over its lifetime, the fifty-eight story tower has sunk 16 inches in height and tilted two inches northwest since 2009. The plaintiffs accuse Millennium Partners of hiding the high rise’s problems even though the issues have been documented since 2010. Millennium Partners, however, charges the Transbay Joint Powers Authority with responsibility arguing that continued dewatering of the soil for the Transit Center and Salesforce Tower construction and additional sites in the area is causing the Millennium Tower’s problem. Engineersdaily.com tells us:

Construction of footings of various buildings, powerhouses, multistory buildings and many other structures requires excavation below the water table into water-bearing soils. Such excavations require lowering the water table below the slopes and bottom of the excavation to prevent raveling or sloughing of the slope and to ensure dry, firm working conditions for construction operations. De-watering is done to lower the water table to achieve above mentioned goals.

Dewatering should be halted if the area shows signs of erosion or instability.

Construction consultants such as Plaintiff’s geotechnical engineering expert are able to determine whether a construction defect is due to an error in the engineering design process, construction management, construction inspections, etc. They may also opine on how a construction defect affects the overall value of a structure. ForensisGroup can help find the right construction expert that best fits the specific requirements of a lawsuit.