Forensic Consulting Services

VERTEX provides forensic engineering services for insurance companies, law firms, adjusters and sureties. We have extensive experience in all building types, and have worked on claims involving storm damage, fire and explosion claims, construction deficiencies, and design deficiencies.

Structural Engineering Design Investigations

VERTEX’s national team of forensic structural engineers are licensed in the lower 48 states and DC. VERTEX’s forensic structural engineers specialize in building structures, retaining walls, bulkheads and other miscellaneous structures. VERTEX also provides full service structural engineering design services. Our design arm assures VERTEX has up-to-date knowledge of building code changes and advancements in research and design applications. Our forensic structural engineers are proficient with both current and historic building codes.

Civil Engineering Design Investigations

VERTEX’s national team of civil forensic engineers are licensed in the lower 48 states and DC. Our civil engineers specialize in grading, drainage, paving, site concrete, and other miscellaneous structures. VERTEX also provides full service civil engineering design services. Our design arm assures VERTEX has up-to-date knowledge of building code changes and advancements in research and design applications. Our forensic civil engineers are proficient with both current and historic building codes.

Mechanical Failure Investigations

When a building’s automation and control systems are not operating as efficiently as possible or are malfunctioning, VERTEX can assist by offering on-site assessment and review by licensed professional engineers and other technical professionals. Our team of professionals can offer professional consulting for various automation and control systems including: chillers, boilers, air handling units, roof top units, fan coil units, heat pumps, elevators/escalators, generators as well as plumbing and water monitoring systems.

Engineering Standard of Care Assessments

Many construction-related disputes involve assessing the quality of work performed by an engineer. Our engineering experts analyze project documentation and field conditions to opine on whether an engineer of record met the professional standard of care.

Expert Services

VERTEX’s pool of experts has individually testified up to 150+ times in state courts, federal courts, traditional arbitration (AAA, JAG, etc.), and ICC arbitration. Our experts are qualified in construction claims, engineering issues, cost estimating, allocation, construction means and methods, surety completion contracting, and surety claims administration.

Rope Access Engineering

VERTEX’s Engineering team of professionally certified inspectors perform hands-on assessments and nondestructive testing. The Rope Access Engineering Team inspects structures not accessible by traditional methods such as aerial work platforms and scaffolding. This unique method provides our clients with a safe and efficient solution while being able to assess the conditions close-up.

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Key Personnel

Kevin Maxwell

Kevin Maxwell, PE, RRC, PMP

Vice President, Forensic Engineering Manager

Kevin Maxwell has almost 20 years of experience in engineering, expert witness support, claims management, and risk assessment and is a Vice President and the Manager of VERTEX’s Forensic Engineering Department. Mr. Maxwell’s wide range of experience, including estimating, and professional engineering registrations enables him to opine on building costs and defects from both a damages and liability perspective for litigation cases. Mr. Maxwell is an expert witness providing support to litigation cases and has acted as an Appraiser on several occasions.

Mr. Maxwell’s past expertise includes managing the engineering and construction division of a large roofing contractor in the Southeast. This experience enabled him to familiarize himself with the claims process and proper construction methods. He has worked on a wide range of claims projects throughout the country including but not limited to the investigation of structural defects, structural collapses, water intrusion, building envelope deficiencies, roof damage (hail), wind vs. surge, building settlement, retaining wall collapses, and utility pipe collapses for both residential and commercial buildings. Mr. Maxwell was deployed on extended CAT assignments for Hurricane Irene, Alabama tornadoes, Hurricane Sandy, and Hurricane Harvey. 

News

VERTEX Wins 2019 WebAward

September 10, 2019

VERTEX is proud to be named the 2019 Best Environmental Website by Web Marketing Association. Now in its 17th year, the WebAward program is the longest running annual website award competition dedicated to naming the best websites in 96 industries while setting the standard of excellence for all website development. The WebAwards are recognized as the…

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VERTEX's Bill McConnell and Mark Degenaars to Present at Pearlman 2019

September 3, 2019

VERTEX’s Bill McConnell, CEO, and Mark Degenaars, Managing Director of Construction Services, are presenting at the 26th Annual Pearlman Conference in Woodinville, WA on September 5th, 2019. Bill will be presenting on “Privilege Issues in the Surety’s Initial Claim Investigation” and Mark will be presenting on “Thinking Outside the Box: Utilizing a Surety’s Own Account…

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VERTEX’s CEO, Bill McConnell, Recognized in Columbia University’s Global Leaders in Construction Management Industry Network

August 22, 2019

VERTEX is a strong believer in continuous learning. In fact, it’s part of our core values and is practiced by many of VERTEX’s team. Take, for example, Bill McConnell, CEO, who has been working towards his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering. One of Bill’s professors, Dr. Ibrahim Odeh, is also the founder of…

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VERTEX's Henry Stormer Receives Motor Vehicle Fire Credential

August 15, 2019

Henry Stormer, National Fire Investigation Division Manager for VERTEX, was recently awarded the Certified Motor Vehicle Fire Investigator credential, IAAI-CFI (V). The International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) is an international professional association of more than 9,000 fire investigation professionals. The IAAI Specialized Program Credential Endorsement programs serve to provide a pathway for recognition as…

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VERTEX Gets Demo of Robotics from 'Sister Bots'

August 9, 2019

Sister Bots at VERTEX, August 9, 2019 VERTEX’s Denver office recently had an inspiring demonstration on how robotics is creating innovative thinkers when our favorite First Lego League (FLL) robotics team, Sister Bots, came to the office to show us some solutions from Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Sister Bots are comprised of our own Claire…

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Blog

Building Commissioning - Why it Adds Value

July 24, 2019

What is Building Commissioning? Building Commissioning is a process that provides documented verification that fundamental building systems and components are designed, installed, and performing as intended with respect to the basis of design (BOD), owner’s project requirements (OPR), and sustainability requirements. The 2018 International Energy Conservation Code requires commissioning for any building with a total cooling…

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Seismic Effects from Volcanic Activity

July 1, 2019

2018 Hawaii Volcanic Eruption – Kilauea  On April 30, 2018, scientists on the Big Island of Hawaii, along with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), recorded subsurface events indicating an increased likelihood of a volcanic eruption at Kilauea Volcano. Over the next four months, the volcano oozed lava from the tropical soil through fissures that…

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Forensic Investigations - Blasts, Explosions and Vibrations

June 25, 2019

VERTEX’s forensic engineering department investigates a variety of different building conditions. VERTEX often assesses the extent of related damages from an explosion and/or vibratory event. The majority of our forensic assignments are limited to a single building at a time, but depending on the type of incident, an explosive and/or vibratory event could require the…

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New York City’s L Train Repairs - Part 3: The Rise of Fiber-Reinforced Polymers

May 30, 2019

This post is part of a series that looks at the lessons learned from New York City’s restoration of a critical asset in its subway system following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. In the first part, we discussed the preparation and scope of the L train tunnel repair plans. The second part explored the critical role of…

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Crystalline Silica Exposure - Regulations and Risks

May 28, 2019

OSHA Standard for Silica Exposure and Controls Did you know that in March of 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule regulating occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica? The previous OSHA standard for silica exposure and controls was published in 1971 and had not been updated or revised since.  What…

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