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CVDG Foreword

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The Construction Vibration Damage Guide for Homeowners (CVDG, ©Copyright 2013-2017 John M. Zeigler) was developed for use by those who feel that they might have experienced damage to a home or building from construction vibration. It will also help those homeowners who have construction planned for their area and wish to take steps to avoid damage to their homes. It includes a great deal of scientific and technical information, written for non-scientists, which attorneys, educators, consultants and responsible construction firms may find valuable, as well.

The CVDG furnishes readers who may be unfamiliar with this area the facts, knowledge and understanding to comprehend and, where necessary, pursue effectively a legitimate vibration damage claim. In mostly non-technical language, it describes what you can do to avoid damage, how to document a claim for damages, how to evaluate options in making a claim for damage reimbursement, what operations are most likely to cause damage, how to understand vibration monitoring results, what resources are available on the Internet and much, much more. Of course, I also hope that this Guide will help those who must get an attorney to prepare for a discussion of their claim and, perhaps, help them in educating the attorney on some important technical issues.

The CVDG is based on almost eight years of daily experience and scientific work in this area by me, Dr. John Zeigler, arising out of extensive road reconstruction vibration damage, to my own home and many others in the area, from pounding with an excavator to demolish pavement, followed by repeated use of vibratory compactors within 50 feet of homes (well inside recommended "safe distances"). I was the primary scientific consultant in my own case, because there was very limited real scientific expertise and experience in vibration damage and monitoring accessible in his area. Although the CVDG is not a retelling of my example and case, it does use illustrative instances from that case and others in the U.S. and abroad to show what can happen to cause vibration damage and how a vibration damage claim can proceed.

The CVDG is a combination of scientific review and analysis, original research, tips for identifying and documenting damage and advice for dealing with the many elements of a vibration damage claim. Just like scientific review papers, the CVDG carries both references to original scientific work and critical analysis of the work, so that the reader unfamiliar with the field can gain an understanding of it relatively quickly. In this case, the use of the word "critical" is intended in the scientific sense of understanding the implications of the work, not in the sense of being "negative" about it.

Since the CVDG is written for a non-technical audience, its wording is as non-technical as the subject matter allows. The non-technical language of the CVDG places some technical limitations on it. References to original scientific work, written in the more precise language of science, are included liberally within the CVDG to allow readers to verify and supplement the statements within the CVDG by reference to the original scientific articles. The CVDG also documents a great deal of original scientific work and analysis, particularly in those areas where the scientific literature has limited or no information.

The CVDG reflects its origin as a web-based publication in that given topics may be mentioned, or even discussed to some degree, in several places within it. Since a site owner can't always predict where a reader will enter or exit his web site, or the path the visitor will take through the site, individual web pages must be reasonably self-contained. They must relate many of the major points, at least within their area of focus, even if other pages on the site elaborate on those topics. I hope that readers of the CVDG will understand the reason for the limited restating of important points.

Although the technical issues are not hard to understand for anyone with some high school level background in physics, the language of the ground vibration scientific literature may not be within reach of everyone. The CVDG offers simple analogies and defines critical terms in non-technical language, so that people with non-technical backgrounds can read at least the most important of the ground vibration literature and gain some understanding of it. Many of the topics which I've deemed too technical or outside the initial interests of a homeowner facing damage are discussed in the over 250 page CVDG Professional Edition, available for purchase from http://vibrationdamage.com/order_the_cvdg_pro.htm.

The CVDG for Homeowners is not intended to be a "how-to" manual describing the "ins and outs" of suing contractors. Many construction contractors are reasonable, professional and honest. An honest contractor will try to help with any well-founded damage claim. However, if you have a lot of damage (e.g. almost $250,000 in the author's example), you may find it much more difficult to deal with the contractor or its insurer. The result is that you will have to pursue the claim or pay for the damage yourself. The CVDG will help those facing this problem to increase their chances of fair treatment by the contractor, insurers and the legal system. It will also save homeowners and others concerned with damage from construction activities a great deal of money which would otherwise be spent on educating both themselves and their attorneys about the science of vibration damage.

As with most web-based publications, the CVDG is constantly upgraded and updated with new information. For this reason, both the information on http://vibrationdamage.com  and that greater amount included in the downloadable PDF version has gone through a large number of editions, growing steadily longer in the process. For that reason, I suggest that visitors with a continuing interest in the CVDG visit the site, or, better yet, download the latest PDF version every so often to make certain that they stay current with the latest upgrades and scientific information.

I strongly recommend that readers of the CVDG read it in full, before proceeding with other actions. It has so much information that relevant help for a given situation can be missed entirely in a short scan of the document. After reading the CVDG in full, the reader will be able to judge for himself the reliable scientific facts vs. the unsupported, or outright false, assertions which are so often offered in response to damage claims. Some readers, particularly those involved in litigation or whose claims are large and likely to lead to litigation, should strongly consider getting the nearly three times larger Professional Edition of the CVDG. It has much more technical and litigation-related information that should be of considerably greater help for those who must litigate. You can learn about it at http://vibrationdamage.com/cvdg_pro__overview.htm.

Whether or not construction is responsible for a given example of claimed damage, it is certain that it is possible for construction with heavy equipment to cause damage. This is especially so when the equipment is misused or used heedlessly in the false expectation that damage from construction activities is impossible. Indeed, the number and geographical distribution of those who have read and/or downloaded the free CVDG suggest that construction vibration damage from heavy equipment use is a sizable problem pretty much worldwide.

Disclaimer: The pages and documents on Vibrationdamage.com are not offered, and should not be considered, as advice or counsel on the law in any jurisdiction or form. Seek the advice of an attorney having construction vibration damage claim experience and knowledge, if you need legal help. Trademarks appearing on the site and in the CVDG are the properties of their respective owners and are used in the CVDG only for the purpose of identification. Information appearing on the site and in the CVDG is believed correct, but the site and the CVDG are provided "as-is". They are not guaranteed or warranted in any way, nor are your uses of them warranted or guaranteed.

This is a chapter from the Construction Vibration Damage Guide for Homeowners (CVDG), a 100+ page free document with over 200 color photos, diagrams and other illustrations. It is available at http://vibrationdamage.com as a series of web pages or in full, web navigation and ad-free, as a downloadable PDF document, with additional content not available on the web. The free version of the CVDG is licensed to homeowners and others for personal, at-home use only. A Professional Edition (CVDG Pro), licensed for business use and with over three times as much content, can be ordered from our Order the CVDG Pro page, usually with same-day delivery. You can comment about this page or ask questions of Dr. Zeigler by using our Visitor Comment form. If you would like to discuss vibration damage issues and view additional content not found in the CVDG, Join us on Facebook. Please Like us while you're there.


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Last modified: 01/01/18