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How does the scientific method affects the work of a building pathologist

Dr. Zahir discusses the relationship between the scientific method and the work that building pathologists do.
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© Universiti Malaya

A building pathologist uses the scientific method to understand the causes of failure. They will be using the systematic steps of the scientific method to confirm their observation and diagnosis of what causes a defect.

Importantly, the systematic thinking allows the building pathologist to not miss any important details that help to arrive at the correct explanation for the defects that are being observed and needed diagnosis.

Thinking about the observation and how the defects presented themselves, the building pathologist will form the hypothesis that needs to be tested either by employing investigative equipment or by probing specific avenues of suspicions.

As an example, when leaking due to a cracked incoming water pipe is suspected, the building pathologist might test this hypothesis by turning off the incoming mains and wait to see whether the leak dries up after a while. If this is the case, then further investigation based on other hypotheses can eliminate other causes of defect before a more invasive or destructive test is needed.

When the building pathologist has confidence in the actual root causes of a defect, based on the systematic process of the scientific method, then they will be able to specify the correct remedial measures to repair defects and avoid them appearing again.

© Universiti Malaya
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Building Pathology: The Science Behind Why Buildings Fail

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