LAR 346 - Landscape Construction II Spring
Grading Guidelines/Checklists Prof. Will Green
Survey for a Construction Project
Begin with an accurate survey that shows the following:
a. Property lines, utilities, site features (built and natural) and topography
including spot elevations at existing doorways and slabs, curbs, centerlines.
b. Spot elevations and contours for indicating adjacent properties, pavements, entrances
and edge conditions. Spots at a repeating interval. Particular care is to be paid to adjacent
properties and streets.
c. Locations, sizes, capacities, rim and invert elevations for existing drainage infrastructure and
utilities. Depth is critical.
d. Trees of importance by sizeand botanical name (>15”, 12”, 9” – depending upon site), edges of
vegetated areas and unique conditions and features (outcrops, graveyards, etc.)
e. Wetlands edges, floodplain, high water lines and storm water / flood data if available. You may
need to have a wetlands biologist flag the w etlands edge followed by the surveyor . LA’s are
capable and may be certified for this work. It remains your responsibility to establish the limits
of wetlands, floodplains, jurisdictional areas.
Additional items that are part of your research and do not require a surveyor.
f. Climatological data including rainfall intensity and frequency for the project area.
g. Surficial and sub-surficial soil conditions
h. Solar angles and seasonal variations
a. Sidewalks along streets are usually pitched 1/4" per foot (2%) toward the road as they often
follow the same pitch as the road. This results in a cross -pitch. Roads are also pitched away
from the road encouraging percolation and reducing the sizes of pipes.
b. Approach walks can be either cross-pitched or graded longitudinally. Ideally, the gradient for
such a walk should be 2%.
c. Longitudinal grades for streets with curbs should not be less than .3% concrete and .5% asphalt.
d. Try to achieve smooth conditions while avoiding short sections of changing gradients.
e. Where snow and ice are concerns avoid gradients >7% and keep water from paved surfaces.
Beware of ice and frost on north facing slopes.
f. When designing swales one needs to be concerned with volumes of water and the speed with
which it flows through the swale. Ditches having gradients of 2% or more should be sodded on
both sides and bottom. Ditches exceeding 4% should be constructed with rip- rap,
LAR346 Grading Guidelines - 1 bioengineered or make use of other approved methods. Consider nat ural materials when
possible. Consult stormwater regulations for green design. Less disturbance, less pavement,
bioengineered solutions, vegetated surfaces and swales and groundwater recharge are to be