Recon Response Engineering specializes in ASBESTOS TESTING, ENGINEERING, and CONSTRUCTION CONSULTING for the modern urban environment.

Recon Response Engineering began life not as a structural engineering firm, but as an Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) training and direct-action consultant. We focused on teaching firefighters and technical rescue specialists how to perform rapid assessments of damaged structures in danger of structural collapse, and how to respond appropriately with shoring, stabilization techniques, or simple avoidance in order to mitigate the risk involved.
When human lives are at risk, there is little room for unnecessarily complicated explanations, for any action taken that doesn’t directly relate to the objective, or for ego. Our involvement in the search and rescue community taught us to “cut the crap” and prefer short, crisp, site-specific guidance that is tailored for its intended audience. We also learned to appreciate input from every member of the team—the rescue worker shoveling rubble away from an entrance to the building may be able to see and hear things that the incident commanders in the parking lot cannot.
Most importantly, being requested and sent to four separate hurricane rescue deployments by the State of Florida has given us a unique vantage point to observe the end result of structural engineering and construction, when a building structure has performed adequately or otherwise. If we say something is going to fail, that’s because we’ve seen it fail. If we say something is going to work, that’s because we’ve seen it work. This helps our clients to make the best use of their limited budgets by focusing on applying their funding where it will do the most to improve the structural performance and useful life of the building.
The lessons we learned have shaped our corporate culture and approach to problem solving during our transition to the world of structural engineering consultation.

Lesson #1: Cut the Fat

We have no interest in producing boilerplate, 300-page project manuals for bidding, knowing that the contractors bidding on the work will never read it. Our engineering specifications are intended to be less bulky and more useful. Referenced guidelines, to a certain extent, will always be required. But we will never use that as an excuse to avoid being able to tell a contractor how to put something together or execute a detail.

Lesson #2: Lean In

We’re not here to listen to ourselves talk. We want to hear what our clients have to say about their needs. And we want to see what the construction contractors have to say, to see if they can offer a better solution than we had originally proposed. We believe in the power of appreciation of multiple perspectives—not just our own.

Lesson #3: Speak Plain English

Whether we’re producing permit drawings intended for a contractor to read, or a structural survey intended for a building owner, our goal is to reach people where they are through plainspoken language—without pretense. If we can’t explain something simply, that means we don’t understand it well enough yet. By continually establishing and reinforcing these tenets, we feel that we end up saving everyone valuable time, effort, and energy while providing a superior product. Our perspective, influenced by our background in the search-and-rescue community, has a corresponding validity and reality-checked authenticity that not every structural engineer has the privilege to possess.