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decks, glass blocks

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Decks
I have done my fair share of designing wood decks, walkways, and bridges, and even built a couple myself. What type of moment are you trying to resolve? I assume the lateral wind/ lateral live load in the plane of the deck? If the deck is coming off of a retaining wall or the house/building, you can use diag. bracing or diaphragm action. Otherwise, design your posts with enough embedment in the soil to resist the overturning moment. I have seen a formula in UBC 97 (didn't like it, seemed too conservative) and I used to use one in AASHTO that was pretty good. Also Enercalc has a program module for pole embedment in soil. If you have a Geotech have him tell you how deep to embed your posts. May I also suggest insisting on deck screws rather then nails, as you will have a much more serviceable deck, especially in a few years. It is not much more work at all.
 
Glass blocks- I just built a shower out of them at the house, Pittsburgh Corning's website is really good. A good but expensive product. Maybe someone here can answer this manufacturing question- A regular block costs about $4 I think, but an end piece with rounded edges is like $15! Why the big differential?
 
 

HTH,

Andrew kester, pe

longwood, fl