VERTEX provided forensic engineering investigation on a masonry siding failure of a manufacturing facility in Calumet City, Illinois. The two-story structure’s exterior walls consisted of a concrete masonry unit (CMU) with brick veneer cladding. VERTEX was retained to determine the cause and extent of the masonry wall failure by the insurance carrier of the property owner. VERTEX inspected the exterior of the building and observed an area of approximately 150-sf of exterior wall that became detached with fallen brick cladding. VERTEX’s scope of work included a cause and origin analysis and conceptual scope of repairs.
VERTEX’s expertise in the structural evaluation of existing masonry construction allowed us to identify several deficiencies in the masonry, including evidence of historical water intrusion and heavily corroded masonry ties, which contributed to the wall failure. VERTEX’s scope of repairs addressed not only the area of visible failure apparent at the time of our inspection, but also addressed additional areas of concern in the structure’s cladding which had not failed but exhibited similar characteristics of long-term deterioration and which were prone to additional failures. The insurance carrier will use our findings to assist in their determination about insurance coverage and to prepare their cost estimates for the repair work. Because this was a large and complex structural masonry failure, our client benefitted from our forensic engineering experience in assessing this loss.