Consulting Engineer

Forensic Experience

As a registered Professional Engineer with 40 years experience in the design, operation, and trouble-shooting of buildings and their systems, Mr. Stanford has both the credentials and the expertise to provide forensic engineering and expert services relative to design and construction in the following areas:

Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, equipment, and components
Chilled water, hot water, and steam piping systems
Air distribution and exhaust systems
HVAC control systems, including direct digital controls
Building energy utilization
Indoor air quality
Mold infestation analysis
He has provided forensic investigation and analysis and delivered expert testimony during litigation in both state and federal court in North Carolina and South Carolina, as follows:

Barber-Colman Company
Columbia, South, Carolina
Wilmot B. Irvin, Esq.
Date: 1990 Client: Defendant

Client was sued by Richland School District No. 1 (Columbia, SC) in Federal Court. Plaintiff claimed that control systems provided by Client for several schools failed to perform and produce energy cost savings predicted. During the first trial, Mr. Stanford was disposed and testified. Verdict rendered on behalf of Plaintiff was overturned on appeal and he was deposed again and testified at the second trial. Final decision was in favor of Defendant.
Robertshaw Controls, Inc.
Richmond, Virginia
Watt, Tieder, Killian, and Hoffman
Date: 1992 Client: Plaintiff
Bid protest against the Department of the Army and Williams Electric, Co. relative to base-wide energy management and control system. Performed analysis and prepared report and recommendations. Bid protest denied.
Robertshaw Controls, Inc.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Gary R. Govert, Esq.
Smith, Helms, Muliss, and Moore
Date: 1995 Client: Defendant
Insurer sued Client for control system failure resulting in flooding and significant water damage to research building at Duke University. Performed analysis and prepared findings that resulted in settlement. Deposed by Plaintiff.
Industrial Risk Insurers
Re: Gas Pipeline Damage and Leak, Leland, North Carolina
Date: 1998 Client: Defense
Client was insurer for pipeline contractor who was sued for having damaged a utility natural gas pipeline during installation of a water line. Performed analysis and prepared findings that resulted in settlement.
Public Library
City of Farmville, North Carolina
Christopher Edwards, Esq.
Lewis and Associates
Date: 1998 Client: Plaintiff
Heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems serving new city library failed to perform satisfactorily and city brought action against the designers. Performed analysis and prepared findings that resulted in settlement.
Craven Regional Medical Center
New Bern, North Carolina
Fred Cohoon, Exec. VP
Date: 1999 Client: Plaintiff
Failure of the hospital chilled water system resulted in the contamination and loss of surgical packs. The hospital’s claim for damages was denied by insurance provider. Provided analysis and investigation that resulted in substantiation of the claim.
Chowan Hospital
Edenton, North Carolina
Steven D. Kiess, Esq.
Everrett & Hite, LLP (Greenville, NC)
Date: 1999 Client: Defendant
Claim brought by contractor against the hospital for extra payment relative to the construction of a new surgery center addition. Provided analysis and report of findings that contractor was not entitled to additional payment. Testified at arbitration hearing.
First Mortgage Corporation
Greenville, North Carolina
Donald S. Higley II, Esq.
Ward and Smith, PA
Date: 1999 Client: Plaintiff
Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems for new 2-story office building were not performing to Client’s satisfaction. Performed analysis and report that resulted in settlement.
Industrial Risk Insurers Re: Carilion Franklin Hospital, Rocky Mount, Virginia
Peter Vogt, Esq.
Butrus Khoshbin Wilson Vogt, LLP
Date: 2001 Client: Plaintiff
Contractor, in the process of installing a new air-handling unit in the ceiling of the existing hospital laboratory damaged a chilled water line, resulting significant flooding damage. Performed site investigation and provided advice to attorney relative to potential claim.
Walters vs. York International et al. and Coule vs. York International et al.
Columbia, South Carolina
Fred Walters, Esq.
Lewis, Babcock & Hawkins, LLP
Date: 2002-2003 Client: Defendant
Class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of York’s “Triathlon” gas engine heap pump system. These units were installed between 1994 and 1997 and experienced over 60% failure rate during the same period. Retained to evaluate the Triathlon design and application and to make an estimate of damages on behalf of the purchasers. Prepared report dated December 9, 2002, with amendment dated July 17, 2003. Deposed on March 26, 2003 and July 24, 2003. Case settled in September, 2003.
Troxell Construction vs. Ocean Trail Convalescent Center
Southport, North Carolina
Thomas M. Buckley, Esq.
Patterson, Dilthey, Clay & Bryson, LLP
Date: 2002-2003 Client: Defendant
Troxell Construction sued for payment for new construction work and was, in turn, countersued on the basis of mold problems in an uncompleted addition to an existing nursing facility. Retained to determine the cause(s) of mold growth in the building. Prepared preliminary report on December 23, 2002 and additional investigation and analysis through June 2003. Case settled on June 20, 2003.
Carousel Child Care Services, Inc. vs. Chacco, Inc.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Steven J. O’Connor, Esq.
Rose Ray O’Connor & McCauley, PA
Date: 2002-2003 Client: Plaintiff
The Plaintiff contented that, while renovating an existing building to house Carousel Child Care Services, the defendant Chacco, Inc. damaged existing sprinkler piping and caused a release of water and subsequent flooding of the property. Retained to determine the cause of the damage to the sprinkler system. Prepared a report dated November 14, 2002. Deposed on November 21, 2002. Testified at trial on April 7, 2003.
Croatan High School
Carteret County, North Carolina
Neal Whitford, Esq.
Kirkman Whitford & Brady, PA (Morehead City, NC)
Date: 2002-2004 Client: Plaintiff
High internal humidity conditions and mold growth in the building have been occurring since the school was occupied in 1999. Retained to investigate the cause(s) of these adverse conditions and to recommend potential solutions to the problems. Prepared a letter outlining my recommendations on November 18, 2002. In early 2004, the School Board authorized me to design a "fix" for the HVAC systems poor performance and the first phase of this project will be completed during the summer of 2004. (During the spring of 2004, retained to investigate all Carteret County Schools and make recommendations relative to water intrusion and mold problems that these schools may have. Report was presented on April 2, 2004 and formed the basis for the HVAC component of a $50,000,000 bond program for school renovations in the county.)
Residence Halls No. 1 and No. 2
North Carolina Central University
Durham, North Carolina
North Carolina State Construction Office
Date: 2003-2004 Client: Plaintiff
Water leaks from both the roof and gang toilets, exacerbated by an HVAC system that could not provide humidity control, resulted in severe mold infestation and a decision by the University to move students out of these 4-year old dormitories in September 2003. Retained in November 2003 to evaluate the existing HVAC systems and define a solution to the poor performance of the HVAC systems. Under "emergency" procurement/contracting rules, the modifications to the buildings began in December 2003 and were completed during the summer of 2004.
Braswell Public Library
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Date: 2004-2005 Client: Owner (No Litigation)
Mold growth had been observed around the windows and on the underside of the exterior wall vinyl wallcovering in this 3-year old building. Retained by the owner to investigate the building, determine the cause(s) of this mold, and to recommend necessary corrections. Report listed three major causes of mold: no wall vapor barrier, excess negative building pressure, and an HVAC system that was not designed to provide humidity control (though all of the components to do so were present).

A further investigation and study of mechanical system performance problems was undertaken in 2005.

Recommendations were partially implemented during 2005 and the mold problem has been reduced or eliminated in all areas of the building.
South River Electric Membership Cooperative Headquarters
Dunn, North Carolina
William Doggett, AIA (Architect)
John Nunnally, Esq., Attorney
Date: 2003-2004 Client: Defense
During the summers of 2002 and 2003, significant mold growth on walls and furnishings was reported in this 5-year old building. In anticipation of a claim by the owner, retained by the design architect to investigate the building, determine the cause(s) of this mold, and to recommend necessary corrections. Investigation showed that the primary cause of the mold problem was an HVAC system that could not provide humidity control, compounded by significant HVAC unit over-sizing that severely exacerbated the systems already limited humidity control ability. Report resulted in the revising the HVAC systems to adjust unit capacities and provide reheat for humidity control.
Goodmon House
Morehead City, NC
Date: 2004-2005 Client: Owner (No Litigation)
Investigation found three (3) separate moisture problems in the house:

1. There is excess moisture in the crawlspace. In a hot, humid climate, ventilated crawl spaces should be avoided.

2. Expansion and buckling of the yellow pine wood tongue-and-groove planks on the exterior walls, primarily on the south side and mostly in the "old" section of the house was caused by infiltration of humid outdoor air into the exterior wall cavity, exacerbated by additional water vapor diffusion. A vapor barrier and an air barrier should be installed on the exterior sheathing substrate for buildings in hot, humid climates.

3. The HVAC systems in the house are approximately 100% oversized, resulting in poor dehumidification performance.

Recommendations were implemented in 2004-2005.
Mechanical Plus, Inc.
Barry Shoals Intermediate School
School District 5
Spartanburg County, South Carolina
Peter Balthazor, Esq., Attorney
Date: 2005-2006 Client: Defense
Retained to evaluate potential contribution, if any, by the building heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems to mold growth discovered during the construction period in Areas 1 and 2 of the school. Investigation showed that the primary cause of mold in the building was water intrusion during construction due to the general contractor's installation of water-absorbing materials prior to completion of the roof and other envelope construction. Deposed on August 15, 2005. Case settled in early 2006.
Baltimore County (MD) v. Carrier Corporation, et al.
Baltimore County Office of Law
Jeffrey Cook, Attorney
Date: 2005-2007 Client: Plaintiff
Retained in November 2005 by the Baltimore Office of Law to provide analysis and testimony relative to their claim against Carrier Corporation regarding the premature failure of two direct-fired absorption refrigeration machines.

Analysis of the failure and review of the design documents provided by Ebara Corporation (Carrier's Japanese partner and designer of the chiller in question) indicated that the high stage generator tubes failed at or near their design life. However, this design life was only 8 years, about half the design life of the chiller, and this short design life information was withheld from the owner by Carrier Corporation.

The first trial, held in July, 2006 was declared a mistrial due to the defendant's failure to provide requested information during discovery. Second trial was held in April, 2007. Due to failure by client attorney to provide defendant with all of opinions rendered, a significant was ruled inadmissible and case was decided in favor of defendant.
HVAC Terminal Units Surface Condensation
Physical and Life Sciences Laboratory (PALS) Building
Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Date: 2005-2006 Client: Owner (No Litigation)
At the request of Winston-Salem State University, Mr. Stanford was asked to investigate, evaluate, and make recommendations relative to the surface condensation problems at the newly constructed PALS building. The variable air volume (VAV) supply air terminal units at the building exhibited significant surface condensation soon after the building was brought online during the summer of 2005. In addition, some exhaust air ductwork over toilet areas on the second and third floors also had surface condensation.

Review of the design documents indicated that the building was designed to operate under an overall positive pressure condition at peak load and airflow. However, at part load and reduced airflow condition found during typical operation, the building was operating under a significant overall negative pressure condition, resulting in high outdoor air infiltration levels.

Investigation and analysis found that the primary cause of the surface condensation problems in the building was the high infiltration rate, producing high humidity conditions in the ceiling cavities that are not cooled and dehumidified by the building HVAC systems.

Recommended corrections and improvements were implemented during the winter of 2005-2006 and the condensation problem did not recur during the summers of 2006 or 2007.
Oakley House
Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina
Date: 2006-2007 Client: Owner (No Litigation)
This beachfront house was constructed in 2003. Surface condensation had occurred during the summer months (particularly August through early September) on the tongue-and-groove cedar plank cathedral ceilings in the house. In addition, there have been occurrences of "mildew" on the sheetrock ceilings of the master bedroom walk-in closet and the water closet of the master bathroom.

Investigation and analysis found that high humidity outdoor air infiltration from the ventilated attics and cathedral ceilings into the house and coming into contact with cold (72?F) indoor ceiling surfaces was the cause of the condensation. Eliminating this air infiltration by installation of an air barrier and sealing openings was recommended to the owner.
Tennessee Fire & Safety Mechanical, Inc.
Matthew Evans, Attorney
Paine, Tarwater, & Bickers
Knoxville, Tennessee
Date: 2007-2008 Client: Defense
Retained in March, 2007, to evaluate mold occurrence in the Knoxville Head Start School. Evaluation and report submitted in late 2007 finding that Tennessee Fire & Safety Mechanical, Inc. did not contribute to mold problems in the building. Deposed on January 29, 2008. Case settled in January 2008.
Triad Mechanical, Inc. James D. Smith, Jr., Attorney McAngus, Goudelock & Courie, LLC Charleston, South Carolina Date: 2007-2008 Client: Defense
Triad Mechanical, Inc. replaced 11 split system heat pump units in a school in Dorchester County, SC. A year after the replacement project was completed, a school maintenance worker came into contact with a 277v unprotected wiring remaining from a light fixture that had been removed in the vicinity of one indoor HVAC unit, resulting is an electrical shock and fall. Retained in July 2007 to provide opinion as to the responsibility, if any, by defendant relative this accident.
Performed review of design documents, field investigations by others, and depositions in late 2007 and rendered verbal opinion to the attorney. Case settled in early 2008.
McColl Theater, ImaginON Center
Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
Charlotte, North Carolina
Date: 2008-2009 Client: Owner (No Litigation)
Construction of ImaginON 550-seat theater was completed in 2005. While the owner reports that there was some dissatisfaction with the performance of AHU-1 and AHU-3 in 2006 and early in 2007, real concerns about these systems did not come to the forefront until the fall of 2007 when the owner found it difficult to maintain temperature setpoint in the seating areas.

Based on investigation the design and installation, performance and airflow tests, and evaluation of these data, significant design errors were identified and recommendations for problem mitigations were submitted on 12 Dec 2008. Provided follow-up consulting to the Owner as they work with the original designers to resolve problems.
HVAC Systems Evaluation
Bryant Student Center
Carteret Community College
Morehead City, North Carolina
Date: 2008-2009 Client: Owner (No Litigation)
Investigation and evaluation of the potential renovation/replacement of the existing heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems serving the Bryant Student Center. Study addressed the initial cost and annual operating cost of both the existing HVAC system and potential replacement HVAC systems, along with other factors that are significant relative to the implementation of alternative HVAC systems. The study concluded with a recommendation for the installation of a cost-effective HVAC system to replace the existing systems.
Clinc and Offices of Univesity Physicians
Charlotte, North Carolina
Date: 2009 Client: Owner (No Litigation)
Since this building was completed in 2006, the owners complained of poor temperature control and other comfort issues. Investigation showed that these problems' root cause was the poor application of the Trane "bypass changeover system" concept, utilizing the Trane "Varitrac" control system and I recommended that the system be converted to a "variable volume terminal reheat" configuration to funtion properly.
Design Review
City of Raleigh Public Safety Center
Raleigh, North Carlina
Date: 2009 Client: Owner (No Litigation)
The proposed new building consists of a 17 story tower in downtown Raleigh to house the headquarters of the Raleigh Police Department and Fire Department, the 911 Center, Raliegh's Data Processing operations, and the Emergency Operations Center. Encompassing 305,000 gsf and with a projected budget of $230,000,000, this building is slated to be a focal point of downtown Raleigh development.
This building is designed to be essentially self-sufficient during critical periods (hurricanes, ice storms, etc.) for a period of 72 hours and to be "green", taking advantage of solar voltaics to produce electricity, recovery stormwater for non-potable needs, etc.
Study of the proposed HVAC illuminated a number of deficiencies and potential improvements for the designers to consider during the construction documents phase of the project.
Duke University Diet and Fitness Center
Durham, North Carolina
Date: 2010 Client: Contractor (No Litigation)
This 32,000 gsf project involved the significant renovation to an existing building to house Duke University's program for obese persons. The HVAC systems consisted of 13 packaged units, each providig heating and coolng to 1,000-3,000 gsf. Since its completion, the project's owners complained of high humidity conditions in the buildng.

Study found that the majority of the packaged HVAC units were significantly oversized. Thus, while they were fully capable of controlling the space temperature by satisfying the sensible cooling loads imposed on them, they were not capable of controlling space humidity by satisfying the latent loads imposed. Recommended re-arranging, modifying, and replacing these units so that installed unit cooling capacities matched the imposed sensible and latent cooling loads imposed on them.

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