Civil & Structural Engineering


Under abnormal or extreme conditions such as hurricanes, floods, winds, fire, and earthquakes almost any structure may fail.

When objects fail and McDowell Owens engineers conduct a failure analysis and investigation, many questions need to be answered such as:

  • Who is responsible?
  • Why did the failure occur?
  • Was it a design flaw or deficiency?
  • Was it due to poor construction or improper materials?
  • Is the structure safe, salvageable or does it need to be leveled?

By evaluating the design, materials and methods employed in the construction of a structure or foundation, we are able to determine loading and stability factors that may have contributed to the loss.

Over the past 30 years, McDowell Owens experts have examined and evaluated thousands of buildings, roofs, bridges, process plants, grain elevators, sewers and drilling and production structures.

Specific areas of forensic assessment include:

Roof Analysis
Post-Damage Structural Analysis
Stress Analysis
Structural Failure

A few examples of our civil engineering failure analysis experience includes but not limited to:

  • Analysis of the support columns of a Florida commercial greenhouse, which collapsed under the winds of a hurricane
  • Review of construction designs of a condominium project damaged during a California earthquake
  • Evaluation of the Texas state capitol storm drainage system after a large underground building flooded during construction
  • Foundation failures and roof damage