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Facility closures as a result of maintenance failures, natural disasters, or accidents can result in operations, safety, and liability issues. Expected and unexpected closures result in downtime and loss of revenue potentially resulting in thousands of dollars lost; therefore, reopening quickly and safely is critical for any facility.

Time Is Money

When faced with potential risk and liability, time is of the essence. Accessibility and an action plan are critical along with the design team’s ability to focus and deploy an experienced team at a moment’s notice. Tamarack Grove Engineering’s (TGE) responsiveness in urgent/emergency

situations positions the right team to resolve operational threats quickly and efficiently.

To ensure that clients’ needs are prioritized based upon the specific issue, the TGE team is typically on site within two weeks of contact. In the case of life safety issues, visits are expedited to the next day. To speed the repair process, TGE determines whether a permit is required and provides an evaluation report that includes calculations and hand-sketched recommendations within 30 days for the client to hand off to their contractor to quickly execute the repair solution. As the go-to engineering firm for many clients, TGE has contributed to the maintenance and restoration of

national chains for fast food, retail, grocery stores, and auto facilities performing forensic investigations, responding to emergencies, and scheduling planned facility maintenance keeping businesses up and running safely, and profitable.

TGE is deeply invested in keeping our client’s facilities safe and fully operational. Incidences involving human health and safety are obviously the most serious failures and each one is taken very seriously. Recently, an Idaho location of a national grocery store chain contacted TGE reporting a leak after a heavy snow load was deposited on the store’s roof inquiring whether employees should access the roof and shovel the snow. TGE visited the site and identified an

immediate pending roof failure. The TGE engineer quickly evacuated the area just prior to the collapse of a large portion of the roof.

“The potential injuries and loss of life could have been devastating. Quick action by the engineer no doubt saved lives and limited liability,” said Brian Sielaff, M.S.C.E., S.E., P.E., P. ENG.

Another client in New Jersey – a worldwide retailer – suffered a catastrophic loss after a seasonal snowfall caused roof trusses to fail. The problem was particularly vexing as the building had been stable and solid, with no indication of compromise for more than 30 years. After a thorough investigation, the TGE team determined that snow accumulation caused from the newly constructed

neighboring property was the problem.


Clients operating multiple facilities in vastly different regions of the country with diverse jurisdictional

requirements don’t have the time or resources to search for and secure local engineers for each project in disparate locations or assume the higher costs often associated with one-off emergency repair work.

The benefits of hiring a single-source partner who understands internal operations as well as local

jurisdictional requirements results in a streamlined process that saves time and money. TGE’s experience and licensure in every state allows the firm to enact jurisdictional requirements wherever clients are located, both proactively addressing issues to maintain operations or responding to

emergencies or natural disasters to assist with operations restoration. Annually, TGE performs work in all fifty states. The breadth of experience and the national reach of the team provides immense value to clients whose locations span coast-to-coast.

Not only is TGE able to respond quickly wherever the project may be, the expertise of the team can save money not only in maintaining or resuming operations quickly, but in resolving issues that may not be the client’s fault. Forensic investigation is a chief tool adeptly applied by TGE when determining causes of failure, which can involve corporate liability as well as financial responsibility.

In-depth forensic investigation also helped an industrial retail client with over 2,000 sites nationwide when they were faced with a potential $250,000 bill to repair a

failing slab. The property owner, convinced that the slab cracked due to the client overloading the slab, refused to accept liability and pay for the repair. Faced with a quarter of a million-dollar price tag to remedy the slab and keep operating, the company turned to TGE. Immediately, the team ordered core samples of the slab which ultimately revealed that the slab construction was not as specified in construction documents with a thinner slab poured than was designed. The discovery saved the client the cost of the repair.

South Texas is known for its expansive – and damaging – soils which create settlement resulting in cracks in walls and groundwater intrusion. A client noticed cracks in the basement walls of a converted carriage house and called TGE to investigate. A previously hidden opening in a wall

exposed the source: an old coal shoot that was allowing water to enter the space. TGE devised a plan to remove the standing groundwater and divert water from the perimeter of the building and seal the hole to prevent any further water infiltration preventing further damage to the integrity of the property.


Renovations can result in required upgrades to satisfy current codes including ADA, building codes, and planning. For most structural engineering firms, this requires contracting with a third-party consultant – which increases costs and adds time to the schedule – and often can result in mistakes. Having in-house architectural resources allows the structural engineering team to work in tandem with the architectural design team, augmenting collaboration and producing a timely and more concise product. Further, there are no hidden costs as all fees are built in to the overall scope. With integrated in-house engineering and architectural services, TGE provides site surveys, analysis,

needs assessments, design, and drawings that help expedite the permit process.

A prominent retail client required lift replacements in locations throughout California and Florida. When creating the drawings to remove the existing lifts and replace with new lifts, ADA issues and code updates developed. A process that may have taken longer than two weeks to resolve by introducing an architect to the project was reduced to two days as TGE’s architectural team

worked with TGE engineers to complete the modifications and finalize the compliant documents.

In 2020, there were 416 natural catastrophic events in the U.S. resulting in business losses amounting to $268 billion. Insurance covered approximately $97 billion, creating a shortfall of 64% borne by property owners or operators. Whether earthquakes on the west coast, snow loads in the north, heavy winds in the southeast, or expansive soils in the south, the TGE team knows what to look for when evaluating building performance and can formulate the ideal plan to keep your buildings, facilities, and service locations running optimally.

Contact Doug Hardin, PE, Director of Engineering at to discuss how to maintain operations and devise a plan for mitigating structure failure.


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