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Who We Are

C. B. Goldsmith and Associates, Inc. (CBGA)

Established in 1955, CBGA has developed into a professional organization specializing in the building sciences with a unique dimension: a firm providing technical consulting related to Forensic Architecture – the professional analysis of buildings, spaces and other built environments with regard to design, code, construction or material deficiencies to be used in a court of law or similar forums. Although a large percentage of our work relates to the analysis and correction of problems with existing construction, we are still an architectural firm and we frequently take on new construction projects.

Beginning in 1971, a unique aspect of our firm's practice has been in the forensic investigation of construction defects. Building owners, architects, contractors, subcontractors and attorneys have retained CBGA for our expertise. We consider ourselves to be a highly specialized firm, specifically dealing with the technical aspects of problems in construction. The result is the generation of information reports, expert testimony, construction documents, implementation plans and details, peer review of construction documents, diagnosis, and prevention of significant malfunctions, defects, and failures for all aspects of construction planning, design, execution, and usage.

Our organization is one of registered architects and building renovation experts who hold memberships in the American Institute of Architects (AIA), The American Association for Wind Engineering (AAWE), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International), Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), The International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants (IIBEC), and various other professional groups.

We have been accepted by federal and circuit court systems as experts in the field of building, waterproofing and roofing technology and have served as consultants to leading architectural firms, general contractors, law firms, insurance companies and municipalities throughout the United States. Additionally, we have done extensive architectural and forensic investigative work for the U.S. Air Force, County governments and local school boards.

We provide numerous architectural services including:

  • Architecture, building sciences
  • Exterior envelope consulting and commissioning (BECx)
  • Forensic investigation and analysis of construction defects
  • Roofing and waterproofing consulting
  • Coatings consulting
  • Stucco consulting
  • Infrared thermography
  • Failure and disaster investigation
  • Wind design load analysis (ASCE-7)
  • Construction contract administration
  • Leak - moisture infiltration investigation
  • Construction Document preparation and specifications*
  • Quality assurance observations
  • Investigation of accidents and disputes related to construction, materials and technologies
  • Expert testimony, litigation support

    * Including preparation of master specifications for public school boards to be used throughout their district.
  • Roofing / Waterproofing

    Our expert knowledge of roofing systems is one of the foundations of our company. Our work in the roofing industry has helped to reinforce CBGA as a nationally recognized firm. We have a unique knowledge of roofing products and applications resulting from our years of forensic investigations . With our knowledge and experience as forensic architects we can provide the best possible solutions for our clients because we know why roof systems fail. We have experience with every type of roof system and we know what roof systems work best. We also have completed over 500+ roofing projects (250 million square feet and counting).

  • Forensic Investigation and Analysis

    CBGA excels in finding the cause of leaks, building code violations and defect/failures in all types of construction projects. Our team of forensic experts and field technicians are trained and licensed in the use of non-destructive moisture detection gauges, electrical conductance (resistance) and dielectric-type meters, and infrared cameras. We perform water infiltration testing for all types of roofs, windows, walls, storefronts, below grade leaks, plaza decks, and other building envelope components. We provide expert witness testimony in court cases arising from building systems failures, define culpability, remedial solutions, provide budget cost estimates, and assist with negotiating settlements.

  • Existing Condition Surveys

    CBGA's skilled professionals are adept at surveying all types of building components and systems. We can incorporate this information into a comprehensive asset management program, complete with life cycle cost analysis, or treat each as stand-alone assets.

    Roofing and exterior envelope surveys are essential planning and budgeting tools for all building owners. Our team of professionals can readily determine the condition of a client's roof(s) and other building envelope components, and estimate the remaining useful life. Life cycle cost analysis, (life expectancy modeling before and after repairs) along with budget cost for repair or replacement enables us to analyze the situation and assist our client in making the best decisions.

  • Infrared Thermography

    CBGA utilizes the latest in infrared technology to perform a variety of situational non-destructive testing (NDT). Our application of infrared (IR) thermographic inspection techniques is valued by building owners and property managers alike as a powerful and noninvasive means of monitoring, detecting and diagnosing the condition of buildings before they become much larger issues. We can provide infrared surveys of roofs and wall system to identify water-damaged components quickly and accurately to help extend the life of your building. We can provide immediate documentation of as-built, pre- and post-restoration conditions, post-casualty Cause and Origin data, and building envelope water leakage, including post-flood and fire water-damaged material assessment.

  • Leak Investigation

    CBGA's professional and technical staff has extensive experience in roofing, waterproofing, and all types of building envelope systems. Our staff can identify leak sources and determine the cause of leaks, assist in temporary leak repairs as well as permanent remedial measures. For detection of leaks, we use the latest technology in equipment available today including, non-destructive moisture detection gauges, electrical conductance and dielectric-type meters and infrared cameras, based on standard testing methods as well as procedures and analysis developed in-house for locating sources of leaks.

  • Construction Documents

    CBGA's team of architects, intern architects, draftsmen, estimators and field technicians specialize in verifying existing conditions, evaluating new construction designs and preparing construction documents that are "clear, correct, complete and concise." Our team approach allows us to take advantage of our staff's varied background to assure that the documents represent the best design approach to every project, meets client's budgets and long term needs and can be built in time. Drawings are generally prepared in industry standard AutoCAD software formats, enabling us to exchange files with other Architects, and our project specifications are prepared in Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) format by accredited specification writers.

  • Quality Assurance

    CBGA has reviewed and analyzed 100's of millions of dollars worth of construction failures as both forensic experts and as remedial design experts. We find that most construction defects are often due to "construction errors" as opposed to "design errors". Consequently, construction quality errors and design defects reduce the average effective life expectancy of roofing systems, sealants and waterproofing systems by 50 to 75 percent of their optimum life expectancy. Annually, billions of dollars worth of roofing and waterproofing systems are wastefully torn off and redone due to lack of quality control during the original construction (e.g. the average life expectancy of roofing systems may be less than 12 years as opposed to 20+ years, and the average life expectancy of sealants may be 7 years or less as opposed to 15+ years). If properly applied and designed, the same roofing and waterproofing systems will not only be more reliable, they can last twice as long.

    Quality Assurance (construction observation) has the potential to make the most significant difference in the life expectancy of roofing or waterproofing systems. CBGA provides both full-time as well as part-time quality assurance monitoring tailored to suit the needs of each project. Our personnel are highly trained in all aspects of building envelope construction including roofing, cement plaster (stucco), sealants, EIFS and coating systems.

  • Contract Administration

    CBGA can provide complete on-site Contract Administration services during the entire construction phase of the project. These services include:

    • Preparing Contracts: We assist Owners by preparing complete construction contracts as part of our bidding package. The proper type of contract and contract language enables us to fully execute the construction documents to the Owner’s requirements.
    • Construction Observation Services: We observe the construction project using periodic inspection, review of project schedules, pre-construction and progress meetings, providing design clarifications, review submittals and shop drawings, progress payments, punch-list inspection and assist in the closeout procedure.
    • Construction Assurance Services: For the most critical roofing and waterproofing applications, we recommend full-time quality assurance inspections. We offer full-time as well as part-time observation to monitor design adherence and quality application. In roofing, cement plaster (stucco) application, waterproofing of traffic bearing surfaces, below grade waterproofing, window and storefront application, installation of mechanical equipment or other critical trades, quality assurance inspection is the most significant factor in reducing application errors.
  • Litigation Support

    Construction claims are complex and often require a combination of technical experience, analytical ability, and the skill to communicate to a variety of audiences. Our consulting experts are able to filter the relevant facts of a claim and communicate them to both counsel and client.

    Our forensic investigations are comprehensive and exhaustive in order to distinguish the truth from allegations, and our consulting expertise provides a credible account for the attorney so that they can make the most well-informed decision regarding strategy.

    From discovery to decision, our team of professionals have the knowledge, experience and insight needed to provide the right expertise on even the most sophisticated construction matters.

Our many clients respect our commitment to high quality and professional service

We have a strong reputation for our expertise in institutional, commercial, and industrial facilities, as well as in insurance, forensic engineering, and product liability investigations.

As a standard practice, CBGA follows guidelines endorsed by the ICED/ASFE and American Institute of Architects for the "Recommended Practices for Design Professionals Engaged as Experts in the Resolution of Construction Industry Disputes." Our reports are structured to present the problem, the solution, and responsibility. Our analysis is methodical and logical with a focus on the client's need to understand the risks associated with various issues.

Forensic architecture and engineering is distinctive in that it requires a look into the past to see not only what the professional designed years ago, but also what codes were in effect, what the effective edition of the building code required as to issues in contention, and how products were generally used and installed at the time of the building's construction. Our analysis typically includes a survey of the physical conditions of the building; a complete document review; code evaluations; and industry standard and product research. Subsequent to our analysis, we draw conclusions to the issues investigated and explain the reasoning behind the conclusion. We prepare documentation which provides a numeric breakdown of various problems in a distressed building, the party or parties responsible for the deficiency, and our opinion of the required repair efforts associated with the problem.

CBGA also has a reputation for distinctive and practical design solutions. Our construction documents are customized for both renovations, restorations and new installations; our extensive knowledge of roofing and building envelope technology, including our participation in leading industry organizations, affords CBGA unsurpassed expertise in the area of forensic and retrofit design; and our commitment to high quality, professional service and Standards of Care is a trait our clients have come to expect on each and every project.

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