We focus on practical performance solutions incorporating lessons learned from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Structural Research Group at the University of South Florida, and the nation’s leading technical rescue teams.
Our founder Andrew Schrader is a licensed professional engineer who also holds his Certified General Contractor’s license and Asbestos Consultant license in the great state of Florida.
He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil-structural engineering from the University of South Florida, and is certified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a Structural Specialist Responder.
The mechanics of planning a renovation or repair project for a home can be daunting for the average homeowner who hasn’t grown up in the construction industry. Recon Response Engineering can help make it easier for you by assisting in all phases of a project, from initial concept and design, to pre-planning, to testing for the presence of asbestos, all the way through construction inspections to completion.
We have experience working on the entire exterior building envelope from roofs, to walls, balconies, walkways, and sliding glass doors. We are familiar with all common methods of construction including reinforced concrete, CMU block masonry, and stucco over wood frame.
We are practicing forensic engineers, meaning that we are problem solvers who can help figure out what went wrong with an existing structure, and how to make it better again. If you’re looking for the cheapest engineer or are looking to cut corners, then you’re probably looking at the wrong web page. Or if you are looking for someone to serve as an Expert Witness and are looking for something other than the truth about what happened, we would kindly suggest that you search out someone else.
However, if your primary goal is to get the project done right–without cutting corners–and built to last for multiple generations, then we may be able to help you!
Any firefighter involved in structural collapse situations has read (or should have read) Francis L. Brannigan’s “Building Construction for the Fire Service.” This is a great starting point, but urban search and rescue scenarios anticipated to require more than a few hours onsite will require more specialized knowledge. For example, “Collapse Operations for First Responders” by John O’Connell (FDNY, retired) is considered by some to be an appropriate stepping stone for more in-depth research.
For fire departments and technical rescue teams who already possess basic knowledge of structural collapse, we focus on conveying rules of thumb and empirical data—the stuff which can’t be found in books–which helps keep first responders alive on search and rescue missions. Our focus is on practical, applied knowledge, as opposed to the theoretical.
We don’t pretend to know more than the firefighters we talk to. Although first responders may not possess the formal education of a structural engineer, they have usually seen plenty of buildings in distress and have observed first-hand what happens when gravity wins. This intrinsic, hard-won knowledge is irreplaceable and it just can’t be taught. And when that on-scene experience is combined with Recon Response’s informal educational talks, we feel that firefighters will leave the room better prepared than they were before.
Depending on their geographic location, firefighters often have more experience with residential houses and low-rise buildings as opposed to heavily reinforced structures or high-rise buildings, including concrete and heavy steel frames. This is where the training background of a Structures Specialist (StS) engineer can be more valuable.
- Which types of cracking in concrete should we really get concerned about?
- How do we decide when to install shoring or when to move in?
- How much shoring is enough?
These would be some of the questions we would consider during our discussion.
To learn more, please visit our FAQ Page.