What professional do I need for a slope?
July 26, 2020 5:00 PM   Subscribe

We have a steep bank in our back yard. I would like to call someone who knows about these things professionally and ask them to take a look at it and recommend whether stability or non-erosion measures need to be taken and what those measures should be. It's not collapsing but I'd like a professional opinion as to its status. What is the title of the person I am looking for? I'd think it requires more than a standard landscaper right? Some kind of engineer?
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Civil Engineer. Look them up in your area and they should be licensed as a "PE", professional engineer.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 5:11 PM on July 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Or a geotechnical engineer (a specialized form of professional engineer).
posted by aramaic at 5:19 PM on July 26, 2020 [6 favorites]

Starting with your local planning department is going to be the smart first step -- depending on where you are, there may be specific credentials required to legally conduct even minor slope work. (For one example, depending on what is needed and where you are, you might need an engineering geologist involved.)

It is also possible that all of these are overkill if your slope situation is actually simple and low-risk; in that case, you'd want to be talking directly to an experienced excavation contractor. But there's no way to know that for sure without having someone competent look at it in person.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:20 PM on July 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

A landscape architect LA can solve a lot of slope problems.

But we LAs often also use an engineer, it all depends on steepness, soil type, soil depth and desired aesthetic and end use. If the site could have a use or work with your context a landscape architect will look at that. Engineers IME are more specific-problem focused.
posted by unearthed at 6:23 PM on July 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

If you want someone to assess the hazard of a slope to human structures, you’d want an Engineering Geologist. If you want someone to design a planting plan to stabilize a slope it you’d want a Landscape Architect.
posted by Secretariat at 8:07 PM on July 26, 2020

Geotechnical engineer and a landscape architect, preferably that have worked together. Here in Seattle, if it even looks like a hill, a geotech is vital. They might bring in a hydrologist if there's water seepage.
posted by bz at 8:10 PM on July 26, 2020

Came in to say landscape architect but unearthed beat me to it! There aren’t many of us and I’m thrilled to connect with a fellow LA & MeFite! Check your MeMail unearthed :D I love this community.
posted by nathaole at 8:31 PM on July 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

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