Structural Analysis of Buildings and Structures

Structural analyses of existing buildings or structures may be performed for several different purposes including a failure causation analysis, a design or construction defect evaluation, or after a code review where the building code allows for reuse of an existing damaged component. The sophistication of a given structural analyses is project-dependent. Certain projects may benefit from state-of-the art analysis techniques including static or dynamic finite element modeling, where others may only require straightforward numerical calculations.

In a structural analysis, forces applied to the building or structure may be gravity-related, such as dead, live or snow loads, or may be lateral forces resulting from wind or seismic. Additional external forces that may need consideration include water ponding, drifting snow, soil and hydrostatic effects, wave and tidal flow, construction loads and foundation settlement. In addition, the analysis may also need to consider internal forces such as creep and shrinkage.

An analysis of a building, structure, or structural component should be based on common-sense techniques and first principles of engineering. For older structures, a capacity analysis may benefit from historical research and an understanding of archaic construction materials and techniques.

YAES offers guidance to building owners, restoration contractors and insurance carriers regarding appropriate levels of analysis and the various techniques available for causation studies, design or construction defect investigations, or to determine repair versus replacement. Our engineers have decades of experience in all levels of structural analysis techniques and are knowledgeable in the performance of most typical structural components including wood, structural steel, light gauge steel, reinforced concrete, post-tensioned concrete, and reinforced masonry.

YAES services include:

  • Causation Studies
  • Failure Analysis
  • Design or Construction Defect Evaluation
  • Code Review
  • Static and Dynamic Finite Element Modeling
  • Destructive and Non-Destructive Testing to Determine Material Properties