Implementation of eco-engineering design into existing slope stability design practices.
Research Abstract

Guillermo Tardio & Dr Slobodan Mickovski
Published in Ecological Engineering, Vol. 92; pp.138-147, 2016

Eco-engineering techniques involve the use of both plants and inert materials where, in the latter, non-treated wood is usually present. The two different elements will evolve with time and change their mechanical properties. On one hand, the wood will degrade decreasing its effective cross sectional area with time. On the other hand, the live plant material will grow and propagate new roots as time progresses. Both root development and inert material changes must be accounted for in order to realistically simulate a bioengineered slope and design effective eco-engineering solutions.

The dynamic nature of bioengineered works sets different scenarios throughout the slope design life. In this work, we propose an adaptation of the existing routines and procedures of both geotechnical practice and civil engineering design scheme in order to closely reflect the inclusion of bioengineering methods in the classic geotechnical engineering problems.

By detecting critical points at the design stage, the proposed methodology was proven to offer an improved eco-engineering work design scheme. With the use of the proposed method both external and internal stability checks with their corresponding safety factor values increase with time and there are no conflicts between the two evolving processes involved in this kind of works.

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