Forensic Architecture

Forensic Architecture

The Rand Soellner Architect Firm Offers Forensic Architecture.

Due to the Soellner firm’s considerable reputation as a fine home architect, many people do not realize that Rand Soellner has designed and analyzed quite a few commercial projects.  Because of this broad range of experience, Soellner has forensic architecture as one of the specialties available at his firm.

What is Forensic Architecture?


Forensic Architecture involves careful examination of existing building and home situations to understand why things are happening. 

According to Rand Soellner Architect  “Forensic architecture is the study of an existing situation regarding a building or other facility, where that situation typically is creating some sort of problem or malfunction.”  An architect who is engaged in forensic architecture is usually engaged by the owner of the building (or facility), an insurance company representing a party in some manner related to the facility, a governmental risk management agency, or a law firm representing a particular party in an existing or possible legal action that is or could possibly occur.

All parties, first and foremost, want to understand what exactly the problem is, what caused the problem, what needs to be done to solve the problem, and what the cost might be and inconvenience involved to correct the problem(s).  No one wants the problem(s) to continue.  Forensic architecture can address these concerns, identify, and clarify the issues and recommend corrections.

Forensic Architecture does not usually involve CSI like this. Forensic architects typically look for more subtle clues for things like mold and mildew generators like water penetration in building envelopes.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines Forensics as “the application of scientific knowledge to legal problems; especially: scientific analysis of physical evidence.  This strict definition really may not apply to the precise working definition of Forensic Architecture, particularly if there is some entity engaging the forensic architect that simply wants the fastest and best solution to the situation, like a county risk manager who is not necessarily looking to lay blame on anyone in particular; they just want to know what is causing the problem and how to fix it.  So, any legal implications and blame-laying may or may not be applicable, depending on the circumstances and demeanor of the involved parties.

Wikipedia indicates that “Forensics” is from the Latin adjective forensis, which means: “about the forum.”  In the ancient Roman era, a criminal charge meant appearing before people in the Roman Forum.  The individual accused of the wrongdoing and the  accuser gave verbal statements presenting their points of view.  Whoever had the best and most convincing argument usually won the case.  Forensic means a form of legal evidence and is also a type of public presentation.

Once again, this legal-based definition is because of the term: forensic.  When you combine “forensic” with “architecture,” it can and often does take on a more analytical definition, usually directed at problem solving rather than finger-pointing.  Although, that can certainly occur, particularly when the required solutions become expensive.  Forensic Architecture today is mainly about documentation, analysis, and remedial treatment(s).  Even so, forensic architecture and the analysis involved could lead to expert witness testimony if there are any legal entanglements about who pays for what and there are arguments about this.

In 2010, Soellner was recruited by the WestLaw Round Table Group to serve as an expert witness on architectural matters.

The Soellner Firm will Analyze Facility Situations Using their Forensic Architecture Skills

Rand Soellner will personally travel to homes and buildings presenting issues requiring professional documentation, analysis, and solutions.  Please see the Soellner Company’s services page about these skills and available techniques:  Forensic Architects.

Contact for Forensic Architecture :

Rand Soellner Architect   1. 828. 269. 9046

Links and Resources:
forensic architects

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