Contact SUPERSTRUCTURES Testing+Evaluation

SUPERSTRUCTURES
Testing + Evaluation

32 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013
(212) 505 1133

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info@superstructures-te.com

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SuperScript is a quarterly newsletter from SUPERSTRUCTURES. Founded in 1981, we are a firm of architects, structural engineers, and conservators dedicated to the art and science of exterior restoration.

Problem Solving
Test Program Design
Providing Data

The purpose of testing is to aid in the implementation of appropriate solutions to real problems. Even when testing is performed as part of quality assurance it can be considered part of problem solving – detecting and preventing problems.

Testing can be performed as part of a conditions assessment or site survey. Construction documents and as-builts may be lost, or subsequent repair campaigns may not be documented. Testing can provide information on what is actually there.

Testing can be performed to determine the cause or measure the extent of damage. Information provided can ensure that the correct solution is specified to solve the actual problem.

Testing can be performed to verify construction, to distinguish a small problem from a big problem, and to ensure that a repair campaign won’t actually make conditions worse.

To aid in problem solving, clients should provide drawings, photographs, and identification of known materials and assemblies.

  • What information is needed?
  • With what accuracy?
  • Which methods or techniques will fulfill those needs?
  • What decision will be taken depending on the test results?

The answers to these questions may result in the proposal of a single test or process, a set of complementary testing, or a sequence of investigative tests. Testing may be non-destructive, minimally destructive, or involve removal of samples for laboratory testing. Results may be field marking, graphic or statistical data, or an evaluation report.

Unlike single-service testing agencies, we will propose a test program that meets your requirements and your budget and is appropriate to your structure. We are data-oriented and will base our test program on your specific needs. Sometimes that means triangulation of data from multiple technologies and methods, and sometimes that means a single technology and method – and not necessarily the one someone else is always trying to sell you.

(The four questions above have been adapted from a published project on the utility of multiple testing, conducted by a consortium of 14 research partners from 6 European countries.)

Pre-Design

Investigations can occur prior to the creation of bid documents or to facilitate a change order.

NDT&E investigations can provide quantitative data on the extents or specific causes of observed conditions. This quantitative data can be used to justify or focus a repair campaign, helping to prioritize budgetary allocations. Like exploratory probes, NDT&E can be used to investigate assemblies, but can provide that information at a macro scale, at more locations or even over an entire building envelope.

Materials investigations can provide information at the microscopic and chemical levels. Sampling may be the minimum to meet standards, or may be representative or statistical to confirm similarity or identify variations.

Pre-Construction

Contractors use testing to meet project deadlines and budgets. NDT&E techniques are used to locate embedded elements, either for attachment, as with reinforcing anchoring, or for avoidance, as with waterproofing injection. In addition to contractually obligated testing as part of quality assurance and control, materials testing can be used to obtain approval of proposed equivalent products or techniques.

Special Inspections

For our own designs and for others, special inspections ensure conformance to contract documents and the structural integrity of the construction.

  • Structural Masonry
  • Wall Panels, Curtain Walls, and Veneers
  • Concrete – Cast-In-Place
  • Structural Cold-Formed Steel
  • Structural Stability – Existing Buildings
  • Underpinning
  • Fire-resistant Penetrations and Joints
  • Post-Installed Anchors
  • Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS)

Forensic Investigations

Sometimes we are brought on to a project during or after construction, either to test the effectiveness or quality of an implementation or to investigate an unexpected problem or condition. During forensic investigations we apply our expertise and arsenal of techniques to resolve disputes and provide guidance and insight based on objective data and criteria.