Civil & Structural Engineering

Knott Laboratory’s structural engineers have extensive experience analyzing structural failures and deficiencies.


Knott Laboratory’s structural engineers have extensive experience analyzing structural failures, deficiencies, and building envelope distress such as air and water leakage.

We use high-tech investigation tools and techniques to accurately identify and report the root causes of structural distress. We have worked on numerous investigations for insurance professionals, lawyers, contractors, real estate, and management companies. These investigations include cases ranging from single-family residential losses to large-scale commercial and industrial failures.

All of Knott Laboratory’s structural engineers are qualified to enter and conduct investigations in structures known to have asbestos spills. They have completed Asbestos Awareness Training in compliance with IAW 29 CFR 1926.1101.

Knott Laboratory now offers engineer cost estimates utilizing the insurance industry standard Xactimate claims estimating software. Our engineers can now supplement our industry – leading forensic reports and repair designs with associated regional repair costs produced with Xactimate software, thus enabling claims to go straight to the bidding process. Our assessments are independent, based on current industry trends and offer additional value to our customers.

Furthermore, we are poised to respond to emergencies on short notice to protect structures from further damage and to preserve evidence. We can also provide design and field engineering support for temporary stabilization as well as repair and reconstruction projects.

Experts in the Field

Our forensic engineers are experts in accident reconstruction, failure analysis and cause & origin. Our forensic engineers work directly with our in-house animation department to create state-of-the-art forensic animations for use in court, arbitration, mediation or settlement negotiations.

Richard M. Ziernicki, Ph.D., P.E.

President & CEO, Principal Mechanical Engineer

(303) 925-1900
rziernicki@knottlab.com

Ben T. Railsback, M.S., P.E.

Director of Mechanical Engineering

(303) 925-1900
brailsback@knottlab.com

Steve D. Knapp, P.E., CFEI, CVFI

Senior Engineer

(303) 925-1900
sknapp@knottlab.com

William H. Pierce, P.E.

Senior Engineer

(303) 925-1900
wpierce@knottlab.com

Ricky L. Nguyen, M.S., P.E.

Mechanical Engineer

(303) 925-1900
rnguyen@knottlab.com

Civil & Structural Engineering Services


Fiber Cement Shingle Damage


Knott Laboratory’s structural engineers are experts in inspecting fiber cement shingles, also known as masonite, Woodruf, Cemwood and Permatec, for hail and wind damage. Our forensic engineers have…

Fire and Explosion Investigations


Knott Laboratory’s expert investigators complement “standard” investigations carried out by insurance adjusters, first responders and other forensic experts. Knott Laboratory’s intention at each and…

Foundation Inspections


Knott Laboratory inspects foundations for damage as a result of expansive soils, soil settlement, ground water, domestic water, and construction defects. We are well familiar with the different…

Frozen Pipe Investigations


Knott Laboratory can be onsite quickly and typically provide a written investigation report within a week. In addition to investigating the freeze loss, we can provide repair plans to restore…

Hail Damage Investigations


Each hail damage investigation is unique and our engineers approach all cases with complete objectivity. Knott Laboratory provides the quickest hail damage report turn-around in the business. Contact…

Interactive Community Mapping (ICM)


At Knott Laboratory, we have developed Interactive Community Mapping (ICM) to relay repair information, pictures, scheduling and construction details to home owners, property managers and…

Moisture Intrusion


Moisture intrusion into the building envelope, also known as building envelope failure, can go undetected for years resulting in the major decay of structural elements. Moisture intrusion can occur…

Origin and Cause


Determining a cause and origin of the damage plays an important role in solving the problem. In order to actually repair the damage that occurred, it is important to know where the origin of damage…

Roof Investigations


The functionality of a building can be compromised if the roofing membrane is subject to weather related damage, mechanical damage, improper installation, manufacturer’s defects, lack of proper…

Rope Access Structural Assessments


Knott Laboratory utilizes mountaineering techniques to perform structural condition assessments of high-rise buildings, bridges, towers and steep roofs which are difficult to access via other…

Slip and Fall Investigations


Knott Laboratory’s slip, trip and fall experts provide the experience and integrity you require to scientifically conduct a forensic investigation into slip, trip and fall accidents. Our experts have…

Structural Analysis


From a single broken rafter to a collapsed structure Knott Laboratory can perform a structural analysis in order to determine the cause and origin of the failure. Our engineers have inspected…

Structural Research and Testing


Knott Lab is constantly performing the cutting edge research and testing on a variety of standards, materials, and industries. Since 1982, Knott Lab has published various reports and research data…