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Request NDCSMC Assistance

Design and Construction Staff Assistance

National Design, Construction and Soil Mechanics Center Design and Construction Staff (NDCSMC/DC) activities are in response to customer identified needs and/or requests.  Requests submitted by NDCSMC/DC customers are prioritized considering the needs identified with the requests along with the priority of work already scheduled and on-going.  Prioritized requests are the principal means the NDCSMC/DC uses to plan activities.  Consequently, requests can be more efficiently scheduled if early notice of the need is provided.

Assistance Request Form

This request form was developed to offer an additional way for customers to submit requests for assistance. 

Requests requiring a commitment of NDCSMC/DC staff time and resources are to be channeled through the appropriate NRCS discipline or technical leadership at the requesting office.  This may be the State Conservation Engineer, Regional Design Leader, Regional Technology Specialist, or the Director of a Center.

Adobe Acrobat request form

Microsoft Excel request form

Fill out as completely as possible and email to Jon Fripp ( and Lois Johnson (

Design Review - Checklist

Design Review - Design Summary

Additional Documents for Dams

The design checklist can be a useful QA tool for A-E contractors and state design offices to track progress of dam assistance requests.  The NDCSMC office will utilize the design checklist to assist  in providing a quick turn-around on the independent reviews.

Please submit the design summary checklist along with the design submission checklist.  This item is important to ensure the NDCSMC office can quickly assign the review to the proper engineering disciplines.  This checklist includes additional design elements and details, which can help clarify any unknwon conditions before the review begins. 

Soil Mechanics Laboratories Assistance

National Design, Construction and Soil Mechanics Center Soil Mechanics Labs (NDCSMC/SML) activities are in response to customer identified needs and/or requests.  The Laboratories perform a wide range of tests to determine various site specific engineering (not agronomic) properties of soils.  The Laboratories utilize highly sophisticated and technologically advanced precision equipment to perform these tests.  Engineers associated with the laboratories provide detailed geotechnical engineering analysis and project-site reports on complex structures based on test results.  The reports help ensure that structures meet the requirements of agency criteria and standard engineering practice.  Typical analyses performed are:

  • Slope Stability Analysis
  • Settlement Analysis
  • Seepage Analysis and Flow Nets
  • Recommendations for low permeable soil liners for Animal Waste Storage Structures
  • Filter Design
  • Seismic Analysis
  • Engineering Reports

Testing Work and Guidelines

Testing work can be identified using form NRCS-ENG-356 and  sample list form.  Other assistance can be identified by calling the Laboratory locations or emailing Steve Reinsch, Co-Director. 

Guideline Forms

General  guidelines for submitting soil samples are provided for animal waste and other CO-01 related work including requirements for documentation and sample size.  

Tests Performed by the Soil Mechanics Laboratories

  • Index tests for USCS
  • Water Content
  • Hydrometer
  • Sand Sieve
  • Gravel Sieve
  • Atterberg Limits
  • Double Hydrometer
  • Crumb Test
  • Pinhole
  • Specific Gravity (<#4)
  • Specific Gravity (>#4)
  • Resistivity
  • Soluble Salts
  • Compaction (D 698)
  • Compaction (D 1557)
  • Dry Unit Weight
  • Consolidation
  • Collapse
  • Unconfined Compression
  • Lab Vane Shear
  • Triaxial (CU or UU)
  • Triaxial (CU Bar)
  • Direct Shear
  • Direct Shear (Residual)
  • pH
  • Free Swell (for bentonite quality)
  • Shrinkage Limits
  • Lineal Shrinkage
  • Permeability (ASTM D5084)
  • Relative Density
  • One Point Proctor for Sands
  • Soundness (Sulfate)
  • Ignition Loss (organic soils)
  • Breakdown
  • Slake (Cage)
  • Slake (Jar)