Structures consist of a unique combination of materials, design and detailing. Construction is in constant motion as a result of product development, changes in the surroundings, budgets and architecture. This makes construction interesting, but at the same time not risk-free. Unfortunately damage occurs on occasion.
Damage expertise is done on the basis of various areas of knowledge, including building physics, construction engineering, concrete, steel and timber construction, systems technology and construction technology. In addition, the responsibility of the parties or the legal aspect may also be important. In assessing damage it is essential that the damage is assessed on the basis of the context. Structural damage could have a structural engineering cause or vice versa. In our damage consultancy we combine the knowledge present in breadth within ABT with specialist knowledge in various professional areas. This results in constant interaction between the various professional areas, and also between the design, construction and management of buildings.
Prevention is better than cure
Damage may arise in different ways, for instance by applying incorrect detailing. Often incorrect use of components or details is not the problem, but rather failing to see certain aspects. Consider here the maintainability or thermal effect of building components in the use phase. Damage expertise is in direct relationship to the maintenance of buildings; damage may be the result of maintenance that has fallen behind. On the basis of NEN 2767 ABT can provide advice on the maintenance of buildings. The aims can be harmonised here with the available financial resources with respect to the maintenance level and operating life remaining.
Not only technology
ABT is an independent consultancy. Concretely this means that ABT treats cases of damage objectively and independently. If there are different parties and interests at work, ABT will listen to both sides to form an objective opinion on the basis of facts and observations. We are regularly called in by the courts as independent or as ex parte expert. We are also able to support lawyers in attributing blame. Within its own organisation ABT has available lawyers and contract specialists.
ABT approaches an investigation into damages systematically and in accordance with a fixed ‘roadmap’.
Repair solutions and engineering
In the case of several repair variants, from ‘patching’ to complete replacement of components, the costs of the variants can be made comprehensible. Direct building costs may be involved, but also indirect costs such as reserves or maintenance costs over the long term. The effect of executing for example actions that improve performance can be expressed in money terms. The choice for one of the repair variants is determined among other things by the structure's remaining operational life, the severity of the damage, the risk of consequential damage and the readiness to invest on the part of the client.
With the engineering of repair solutions we combine generalist and specialist knowledge (such as adhesive reinforcing) that we have in-house. We also make use of our knowledge of advanced calculation techniques where necessary.
The repair proposal is worked out in detail and engineered to a repair plan or to a work description for putting the repair work out to tender. The repair work can be carried out by a specialist on the basis of this repair plan. ABT can of course supervise this.