Quality Assurance

Construction Document Development Reviews
Construction Monitoring • Value Engineering Analysis
Waterproofing & Building Envelope Analysis
ADA and Fair Housing Act Analysis

Issues with building envelopes as well as wall and floor assemblies are most often rooted in the design and construction documents. That’s why Davidson & Associates is called upon early and often to assure the underlying integrity of project documentation. Our forensic architects collaborate directly with architects of record, developers and construction firms on issues from compatibility of building systems and material specifications, to cost effectiveness, and identifying and addressing concerns from preliminary design through construction. As part of our services we enhance the work of the stakeholders by providing expert on-site monitoring to spot issues before they become problems. We rapidly develop pragmatic solutions when called upon to correct problems that occur during construction.

Pre-Design and Design Phase Consultation

Waterproofing, sound transmission and fire-rated assemblies receive focused attention in our comprehensive project analysis. Our unique approach, augmented by our proprietary DAAD (Davidson & Associates Analytics Database), also emphasizes construction sequencing, installation details, and other building envelope issues. We work with your project team to assist in selecting materials and systems that are compatible with both the project’s performance requirements and with the aesthetic vision of the designer. Before construction begins, our architects will review the construction documents to identify and resolve potential problem areas. As needed, we conduct value-engineering analysis to identify often-overlooked ramifications and propose modifications that will achieve desired performance and avoid additional unanticipated costs.

Construction Monitoring and Documentation

Problems frequently arise when a builder is unfamiliar with the requirements of the specified materials or systems. Even the most complete set of drawings and specifications will not prevent installation errors if the construction is not carefully sequenced and the contractor’s personnel are not aware of all specified requirements. During construction, our forensic architects augment the architect’s construction administration services to evaluate alternative materials and methods proposed by the builder. Powered by our extensive experience and database for identifying the frequently overlooked pitfalls, we also conduct Quality Assurance inspections to help assure that the building is properly executed.

Accessibility Compliance

To help avoid costly field modifications or litigation, our experienced architects also review construction documents to verify compliance with accessibility requirements, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) as well as the Fair Housing Act. Often, we are able to provide creative alternatives when conventional compliance solutions are not viable.


Highland Square Apartments

The new $43.6-million complex in Gaithersburg, MD is comprised of a pair of four-story wood-framed buildings with 315 rental apartments, wrapped around a five-level precast concrete parking structure. Amenities include a clubhouse, exercise facilities and swimming pool. +

Beginning with the document review process, Davidson & Associates determined that the drawings required additional detailing and coordination. Many drawings and details were mislabeled and did not apply to the project. We identified missing security at the parking structure.

During construction monitoring, D&A also identified deficiencies including inconsistent workmanship with brick installation, wood trim not being installed in a manner to prevent rot, drywall installation that did not comply with the fire-rated assemblies, inadequate roof access, missing flashing at exterior siding, roof access ladders that did not comply with OSHA requirements, and path-of-travel widths in the stairwells that did not comply with the Code. Remedies from D&A were reviewed during the on-site meetings and corrections were implemented. -


Abingdon Heights Condominium

This $87-million multifamily residential project in Arlington, VA, includes an 11-story reinforced concrete apartment structure with 213 units, five townhouse/piggyback duplex clusters, and a four-level, below grade reinforced concrete garage for 333 vehicles. +

The exterior is primarily brick veneer, with cast stone accents over steel stud or wood framing. Construction types include reinforced concrete, load-bearing masonry, steel stud framing on the tower and wood framing at the townhouses. Amenities include a landscaped entrance plaza above the main parking garage.

D&A reviewed the construction documents to identify air and water infiltration issues, vapor and thermal transmission through the exterior envelope, and fire and sound separations. During our technical review, we identified several condensation issues with the exterior wall assembly and steel columns that would lead to corrosion of steel framing. Our cost-effective resolution identified a highly breathable and water-resistant barrier substitution that, with the appropriate detailing, promoted convective drying of the wall and thermally isolated the structural steel to prevent condensation. Other detailing modification recommendations that reduced costs did so by simplifying the sequencing of the roofing and masonry reinstallation and allowing large cast stone panels to be set independent of the brick veneer. Masonry and cast stone anchorage systems were changed to prevent penetrations through flashing and waterproof membranes that greatly reduced the potential for water infiltration failures.

As part of value engineering during construction, the window system had been modified for cost savings without fully analyzing the ramifications. This resulted in narrower window profiles that required extensive modification to other building components in order to permit proper installation. D&A proposed a nontraditional method of installing the windows that did not require modifications to the other building components. As a result, the project realized cost savings as intended by the value engineering, and the installation method has proven successful after eight years of service. -


St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School

D&A was engaged to review construction documents and provide construction phase services for a new $49-million three-story, 188,440-GSF high school for the diocese of Arlington VA on a sloping site in Dumfries, VA. +

During the construction document review process, D&A identified and led development of resolutions for a number of issues. The issues included air and water infiltration that arose from the detailing in the masonry and EIFS veneers and improper integration between building envelope assemblies. In addition, we identified condensation problems that would have resulted from the tubular steel structure locations. We also recommended design modifications that simplified sequencing, improved constructability and reduced construction costs.

During the construction phase, D&A assisted the contractor in coordinating the subcontractors who assembled the exterior envelope. Our services typically complement and were exclusive of Architect of Record responsibilities. Our QA program included a pre-construction meeting among all subcontractors involved with the exterior envelope to assure proper sequencing and integration of the trades. Immediately prior to the commencement of their work, we met with each individual subcontractor to assure proper installation specifics, and we subsequently inspected initial installations and critical benchmarks. -