Services

Curtain Wall Testing


Geotechnical and Environmental


Laboratory Testing


Metallurgical Laboratory


Quality Assurance Third Party Audits


Special Inspection


Structural Laboratory


Stone and Tile Laboratory


A mock up of a client's assembly and design performance is tested in the Smith-Emery mock-up chamber. Smith-Emery Laboratories’ curtain wall testing facilities, located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Northwestern Pennsylvania are among the largest and most advanced in the world. Since its inception in 1984, the curtain wall testing department has performed mockup testing for over 3,000 projects throughout the United States and the Pacific Rim and because we are a full-service testing laboratory, we can provide in-house testing of most individual components and materials for any mockup.

We are members of the American Aluminum Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and fully accredited by them to perform all of the most commonly specified test procedures on mockups and in the field. Our experienced staff of engineers and technicians have the expertise to complete any testing requirements in the most efficient and professional manner and can perform field testing on window systems installed at the project site, anywhere in the world. Verification of testing performed at another facility can be provided as well.

Our curtain wall testing laboratories feature computerized measurement equipment which provides accurate and immediate deflection readings for structural load testing, thereby saving substantial time as compared to taking manual readings.

Geotechnical and Environmental Services
Smith-Emery Laboratories has established itself as an industry leader in geotechnical and environmental services; serving customers with diverse needs such as financial institutions, chemical plants, refineries, environmental consultants, real estate brokers, contractors, public agencies, municipalities, developers, and the construction industry in its entirety. Smith-Emery Laboratories qualified staff of geotechnical and environmental engineers and geologists understands each client's unique needs and work efficiently to plan and execute projects ranging in complexity from straightforward inquiries to complex investigations requiring detailed analysis.

Geotechnical / Geologic Investigations
Our geotechnical engineers and geologists are experienced in planning and executing subsurface soil and geologic investigations that are in compliance with building code requirements and tailored to meet the specific needs of a project. We perform geotechnical / geologic investigations and provide foundation recommendations for sites having geologic conditions ranging from clayey soil to hard bedrock, and in topographic conditions ranging from flat sites to hillside developments for many types of projects including multi-story buildings, airports, refineries, and residential.

Geologic and Seismic Hazard Studies
We have conducted many studies providing evaluations of geologic hazards including but not limited to, liquefaction, landsliding, flooding, sinkholes, mud flows, site drainage, and seismic issues. One particularly interesting study involved a detailed analysis of faults and landslides in a Fault-Rupture Hazard Zone, which required trenching across the site to locate or verify the absence of active fault traces and slide planes We have extensive experience in meeting California state and local requirements for geologic evaluations. All geologic investigations and reports are supervised and signed by an engineering geologist registered in the State of California.

Geotechnical Engineering Services
Smith-Emery Laboratories engineers are knowledgeable in the foundation design of a wide variety of structures ranging from residential to high-rise buildings and have substantial experience in investigating a wide range of forensic foundation problems including heaving, cracking, subsidence, and foundation failure.

    Geotechnical engineering services include:
  • Foundation and Landslide Studies
  • Settlement Analysis
  • Deep Foundation Design
  • Concrete batch plant inspection
  • Expert Witness Testimony
  • Pavement Design
  • Forensic Studies
  • Geotechnical Investigations
  • Soil Mechanics
  • Hydrology/Hydrogeology
  • Engineering Geology
  • Geologic, Fault Hazard & Seismic Studies
  • Curtain wall and waterproofing inspection and testing
  • Slope Stability Analysis
  • Physical & Chemical Testing of Soils
  • Soils Laboratory
  • Aggregate Laboratory
  • Hot Mix Asphalt Laboratory
  • Earthwork Observation & Testing
  • Pile Driving Inspection
  • Auger Cast Pile Inspection
  • Drilled Pier Inspection
  • Hot Mix Asphalt Paving Inspection and Testing

Earthwork Observation and Testing
Field supervisors at each of Smith-Emery Laboratories offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Anaheim dispatch trained technicians daily to job sites throughout California. Technicians are OHSHA 40 Hazardous Waste Operations certified.

    Field inspection and testing services include:
  • Mass Grading Inspection and Testing
  • Backfill Inspection
  • Footing Inspections
  • Asphalt Laydown Inspection
  • Pile Driving and Caisson Inspection
  • Drilled Footing Inspections
  • Shoring Inspection
  • Inspection of Tie-Back Anchors
  • Batch Plant Inspection
  • Combination Concrete/Soils Inspection

Soil Testing Laboratories
Smith-Emery Laboratories maintains three fully-equipped soil testing laboratories at its facilities in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Anaheim. All physical testing of soils and aggregates is performed in accordance with ASTM, AASHTO, or Caltrans specifications. A quality assurance program is in place that provides for regular review and update of staff skills, and a schedule of routine maintenance and calibration of laboratory equipment.

    Soil, aggregate, and hot mix asphalt testing laboratory services include: Soil Testing
  • Maximum Density - Optimum Moisture Determination
  • Soil Strength Analysis
  • Atterberg Limits
  • Soil-Cement Unconfined Compressive Strength
  • Soil Particle Size Analysis
  • Soil Density / Moisture
  • Consolidation
  • Soil Expansion Potential
    Aggregate Analysis
  • R-Value
  • Abrasion
  • SE
  • Durability
  • Soundness
  • Gradation
    Hot Mix Asphalt Pavement Analysis
  • Oil Content
  • Stability
  • Aggregate brading
  • Theoretical Maximum Specific Gravity
  • Air Voids
  • Core Density
  • Bulk Specific Gravity
  • Tensile Strength Ratio
  • Mix Moisture
  • Aggregate Moisture

Environmental Services
Smith-Emery Laboratories has offered the highest quality environmental services since the industry's birth in the 1970s. Our qualified staff of environmental engineers and geologists have practiced ASTM-E-1527 Phase I Environmental Assessment reports since before the new Phase I standards took effect in November 2006 If needed we assist with additional services including Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, underground storage tank removals, groundwater monitoring well installations/abandonment, site characterizations, and site remediation. We have assisted numerous businesses including financial institutions, agencies, environmental attorneys, foods & kindered products, health management facilities, developers, and real estate brokers. SESF has conducted and has extensive environmental assessment experience on various sites including shopping centers, retail malls, gas stations, automotive repair/painting shops, industrial/manufacturing facilities, chemical plants, petroleum/refinery facilities, electrical substations, commercial facilities, and landfills.

    Environmental services include:
  • Environmental Site Assessments (Limited Phase I, Phase I and Phase II)
  • Environmental Soil Tests for Disposal/Re-Use
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Groundwater Monitoring
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Remediation Consultation

Construction Materials Testing
Smith-Emery Laboratories brings a vast array of knowledge and experience to Construction Materials Testing (CMT). Equipped with one of the largest cure rooms in California, eight testing machines, and accredited by most major organizations in the industry, including, but not limited to CCRL, AMRL, AASHTO, DSA, ACOE, CALTRANS, CCTIA, Smith-Emery Laboratories is able to service nearly any CMT requirement. CMT services include both destructive and non-destructive testing. Destructively we can test both in compression and tension modes for a wide variety of test methods and specifications. Most destructive testing is performed to ASTM Standard Test Methods or to specially designed procedures, as required by client need. Standard tests include:

  • Masonry Products (block, prisms, mortar and grout, and face shell shear strength)
  • High Strength Bolts
  • Rebar (tensile properties and bend)
  • Post Tension Cable
  • Skidmore
  • Reduced Section Tensile
  • Welder
  • Procedure Qualifications

Smith-Emery Laboratories employs a number of different tests for non-destructive testing. Certified personnel are qualified to perform NDT test procedures to both ASNT and Caltrans standard methods including ultrasonic, magnetic particle and liquid penetrant test methods and other tests including pacometer surveys, Schmidt hammer testing, paint thickness, pull testing, torque testing and floor flatness, among others.

    Construction Materials Lab performs testing of:
  • Concrete
  • Shotcrete
  • Gunite
  • Rrebar
  • Spliced and coupled rebar
  • Wire fabric
  • Post tension strand
  • Brick
  • Concrete block
  • Mortar
  • Grout
  • Roofing tile
  • Building stone
  • Slate
  • Wire rope
  • Epoxy
  • Fireproofing
  • GFRC
  • Plastic plumbing components
  • Carbon fiber wrap
  • Structural lumber
  • Manhole covers and grates
  • Geogrid

We also provide field testing in many of these materials as well as forensic analysis services.

Metallurgical Laboratory:
Metallurgical Laboratory provides field and laboratory testing and analysis of metal components as well as forensic analysis of structural components. Our Metallurgical laboratory performs Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) which describes the exact methods of how welding is to be carried out in production. This will help plan the QC of the entire welding operation. In addition to WPS, Smith-Emery Laboratories also provides services in Welder Performance Qualification Records (WPRQ) which will test several “test welds” that simulate production conditions and welding positions that will be used in production. The Smith-Emery Laboratories electron microscopy, corrosion and electrochemical testing, environmental testing, chemical characterization and other testing capabilities help to identify the root cause of failures and answer metallurgical challenges so that recommendations can be made to prevent further failures. The list of metallurgical services of the laboratory include:

  • Photomicrographs
  • Weld Procedure Qualifications
  • Charpy Impact Tests
  • Heat Treatment
  • Metallurgical Mount
  • Microscopic Plating Thickness Measurement

Quality Assurance -3rd Party Audit department provides 3rd Party Quality Assurance services for manufacturers of various products and components used in the construction field.

We perform quality system reviews and plant operation analysis on a consulting basis, and perform required periodic auditing of manufacturers as required by various certification bodies.

Special Inspection
A well designed system of inspection, carried out by experienced professionals, can be one of the most important elements of the construction process. Proper inspection will ensure that the intended design, specifications, drawings, and materials are adhered to, it will reduce project cost by improving efficiency, and it can improve project safety by ensuring that approved processes are followed. Smith-Emery provides various specialized inspection disciplines, methods and techniques, ranging from complete site project teams which may undertake all facets of site inspection, testing and associated technical services, to single individuals performing one day call out inspections. Smith-Emery inspection services include, but are not limited to:

    Concrete Inspection
  • Shoring
  • Foundations
  • Walls/Columns
  • Slab on Grade
  • Elevated Slabs
  • Slabs – Metal Deck
  • Precast Plant
  • Gunite / Shotecte
  • Prestress / Post-Tension
    Masonry Inspection
  • Retaining Walls
  • Structural Walls
  • Stair Shaft
  • Veneer
  • Grouting
  • Repointing
  • Pressure Grouting
    Fireproofing Inspection
  • Thickness Evaluation
  • Density Sampling
  • Repair Application
    Structural Steel Field – Visual Inspection
  • Weld-Frame
  • Weld-Deck
  • Weld-Rebar
  • Weld – Miscellaneous
  • Curtain Wall
  • Procedure Qualifications
  • Welder Qualifications
  • Precast Panel
    Structural Steel Field – Non-Destructive Testing
  • Ultrasonic Testing
  • Magnetic Particle Testing
  • Dye Penetrate Testing
    Structural Steel Shop – Visual Inspection
  • Visual Inspection
  • Material I.D.
  • Quantity Verification
  • Procedure Qualification
  • Welder Qualification
    Structural Steel Shop – Non-Destructive Testing
  • Ultrasonic Testing
  • Magnetic Particle Testing
  • Dye Penetrate Testing

Smith-Emery Laboratories Structural Lab performs static and dynamic
testing of structural systems and components, such as:


  • Diaphragms
  • Shear walls
  • Moment frames
  • Modular house systems
  • Anchorage systems
  • Retaining systems
  • Vaults,
  • Covers, etc.
    We also do commercial data acquisition of:
  • Acceleration
  • Vibration
  • Displacement
  • Pressure
  • Temperature
  • *Strain

* Strain on various components, such as nose cones for guided missiles, cockpit assemblies, and composite satellite components. This lab also performs internal calibrations of our various measuring devices as well as providing commercial calibration of hydraulic force application systems. Finally, we provide code consulting services to manufacturers of products wanting to bring their products to market.

Smith-Emery Laboratories is a tile and natural stone expert that performs both in-situ and ex-situ testing. Our physical laboratory performs various tests to determine the physical properties and characteristic of everything involved with the placement of tile or stone which includes:

  • Ceramic Tile Testing – Physical properties and characteristic of ceramic tile must be in tolerance to the respective ASTM and project specification. Ceramic tile testing includes determination of absorption, bond strength, warpage, static coefficient of friction, chemical and stain resistance and many more.
  • Natural Stone Testing – Physical properties and characteristic of limestone, granite, marble, travertine, sandstone, slate, onyx, and other natural stone must be in tolerance to the respective ASTM and project specification. Natural stone testing includes determination of weathering attributes by means of accelerated weathering, moisture content, slip resistance, petrographic analysis and many more.
  • Installation Material Testing – Material such as epoxy, grout, waterproof membranes, crack isolation membranes, organic adhesives or other material that can be used to install ceramic or natural stone must abide by project specifications. Smith-Emery Laboratories performs the ASTM C1028, a static coefficient of friction test for ceramic tiles and other similar materials by the horizontal dynamometer pull-meter method. By measuring the coefficient of friction, a quantitative number can be used to express the degree of slip resistance of a surface which manufacturers, designers, architects and end users can then use to help determine the suitability of a product in an application.

The staff at Smith-Emery Laboratories has extensive experience in all phases of ceramic tile and installation materials testing and can provide custom testing services.



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