What are Construction Investigations?

One of NAI’s specialties is in the area of construction investigations.  Construction investigations can consist of background checks, surveillance, site security, contract disputes, job site accidents, witness interviews, etc.  Construction investigations are often carried out by several agencies, especially when a particularly severe incident has occurred with loss of life or injury. While all interested parties probably do a creditable job of investigating a construction incident, the ideal investigator should be a private one, for several reasons.

Reasons to Hire a Professional Construction Investigator

First of all, our private investigators will be impartial, having no vested interest in the outcome, and that means all reported results can be relied upon as accurate. Secondly, NAI private construction investigators have access to tools that can be used to help determine causes and points of failure.

Along those same lines, North American Investigations is staffed by construction experts who know exactly what to look for, and often have years of experience in the construction business themselves. Police and other local agencies simply do not have the knowledge or expertise to conduct such investigations with any real hope of resolution. It also happens that instead of multiple investigating bodies, there are none qualified to take up an investigation, so a building owner might literally have no one else to turn to in order to have a construction incident probed.

Construction Investigations Can Take Several Forms

Construction investigations can include accident investigations, structural failure cause and effect, and forensic investigations that seek to determine sources of building problems. Accident investigations include building incidents where fatalities or injuries occurred, and ‘near-miss’ investigations where some type of building failure was involved which could have resulted in injury, but for whatever reason, did not. Structural failure investigations often involve some kind of unforeseen collapse, either partially or entirely bringing down a building. Forensic investigations seek to identify the source of building problems such as water leaks, significant mold growth, and materials failure. Presumably, once the real problem has been uncovered, some kind of corrective action would be adopted to stave off worsening of the situation before it becomes a more serious incident.

In order to conduct investigations of the forensic nature described above, our private investigators make extensive use of modern technology to track down building problems. Some examples of the types of technology investigators use in construction investigations include Infrared thermography which is extremely useful for the identification of air leaks, water penetration of walls and roofing, and for examining walls to find moisture problems and to determine effectiveness of insulation. Infrared imaging can be used to assess heat loads in electrical panels, and to identify heating and cooling bypasses in the exterior part of a building.

Complications to be Aware Of

Investigating collapses and specific building failures is usually more complicated, and heavily relies on computers to assemble background information on the structure of interest, analyzing everything from materials used to the engineering and architecture of the building. This kind of thorough analysis will often point to a structural weakness or material defects when reviewed by a knowledgeable investigator.

From this it can be seen that any really effective construction investigation is best handled by private investigators from a firm which has the needed construction experts on staff, and is equipped with the right tools to analyze causes of a building problem.