The challenge with structural steel is that analysis can be difficult without proper testing and use. It could be years after a structure is completed that faulty steel presents a problem. If proper testing is conducted, a structural steel expert can determine the point of failure and assess proper damages to help with any legal disputes related to the faulty materials. The trick is doing all of this without a catastrophic building failure.
The best resource you have to defend against serious liability is to utilize a steel fabrication expert as early as possible to attempt to catch any errors in the manufacturing process. Such an expert should be budgeted into the costs associated with any major commercial construction project, but starting this process early is crucial.
Failure to start early could mean the steel is already encased, and the project near completion. Detecting errors at that point is not only costly, it’s quite difficult.
Consider that once a building is erected, construction turnaround services may be required to demolish a portion of the structure once the faulty beams are found. It’s true that experts and consultants can calculate damages, and that these disputes can be hashed out in court, but work stops in the meantime.
If the problem is caught prior to construction, damages are usually minimized. If any demolition work needs to be done to deal with the problem, there will be additional costs associated with that work. In the event of litigation, experts can also fill in as witnesses on behalf of your case to help explain your side of the dispute.
Lyle Charles is a steel fabrication expert with more than 40 years of experience helping to resolve construction disutes related to materials, personnel and other common factors.