Our architecture and engineering professionals are regularly retained to perform an integral role assisting legal professionals, representing both plaintiff and defense. Our experienced design professionals serve as expert witnesses from initial case evaluation to deposition, mediation, and trial. Fuller provides forensic analysis or premises liability consultation related to design and construction defects, life safety, standard of care, code compliance, property damage, and failures of building components or systems. Whether consulting on a single-family homeowner claim or an extensive, multi-million dollar dispute, our experts provide objective and impartial opinions.
Our professional staff provides expertise on elements related to the building envelope, including, but not limited to air and water intrusion, material failure, structural failure, condensation, cladding and fenestration performance, waterproofing, and roofing, as well as accessibility issues. Through investigation and research, we work to understand and identify the causes of the issues being experienced. Fuller outlines applicable codes and industry practices, develops successful repair strategies, and produces compelling presentations of our findings through the use of reports, photographs, supporting documents, and 3D graphics, models, and renderings.
North Greenville County, SC
- 3-story custom single-family residence (Approx. 3900 square feet)
- Originally constructed in 2009
- Wood framed construction with concrete foundation
- Hard-coat stucco cladding with aluminum windows
- Served as Plaintiff expert for homeowners
Following original construction in 2009, the homeowners began to experience interior water intrusion at various areas after rain events. To address the water intrusion, the homeowners originally retained a contractor who attempted repairs by modifying the existing window flashings at localized areas. However, the repairs were unsuccessful and portions of the stucco cladding began to buckle as the water intrusion continued. Fuller Group was then retained to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the building envelope, including a visual survey and destructive testing of the stucco cladding.
Our investigation revealed significant levels of deterioration to the exterior wood sheathing and framing, as well as saturated fiberglass insulation. During the investigation, we identified multiple sources of water intrusion through the building envelope and observed deficiencies throughout the residence due to improper construction. Observed deficiencies included, but were not limited to:
- Improper cladding installation
- Improper installation of weather-resistive barrier
- Improper integration of flashings
Fuller also determined that the damages were worsened by the installation of a polyethylene sheet vapor barrier on the interior side of the exterior wall assembly. Due to the geographic location of the residence, this condition provided an environment conducive for the formation of water condensation within the insulation cavity of the wall.
Our detailed investigation, comprehensive report, and expert witness testimony assisted the homeowners in reaching a successful settlement with the original contractor and other defendants.
Bluffton Residential Community Development
- Residential community with 38 individual units (2,400 to 3,450 square feet)
- 12 buildings consisting of duplexes and quadplexes
- Originally constructed from 2007 to 2009
- Served as Defense expert for the developer of the community
Shortly after the Property Owner’s Association (POA) acquired ownership of the buildings and common elements from the developer, the POA alleged numerous construction deficiencies at the residences. Following an investigation by an expert retained on behalf of the POA, the plaintiff produced a report and associated estimate for repairs to the alleged deficiencies in excess of $2.2M. Alleged deficiencies claimed by the plaintiff, as outlined within their retained expert’s report, included:
- Improper site grading
- Water infiltration at elevator shafts
- Improper paver driveway installation
- Travertine tile cracked at first floor slab-on-grade
- Cracked stucco cladding
- Inadequate lateral bracing for roof trusses
Fuller Group was retained to perform an investigation into the alleged deficiencies and to serve as an expert witness. Review of project documents and our visual surveys revealed project information that contradicted claims by the plaintiff. The case went to trial and concluded with a successful jury verdict in favor of the developer, determining that the development team was neither negligent nor responsible for the deficiencies alleged by the POA.