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Designing Plaza Hardscapes: Considerations from insulation and waterproofing to structural support

Plaza construction typically incorporates various products from different manufacturers intended to provide the thermal resistance, water management, structural capacity, and wearing surface needed to meet a particular project’s requirements. This article discusses the importance of evaluating the strength and stiffness characteristics of a plaza system, particularly when heavy loading is anticipated. Designs that do not properly account for overall system strength and stiffness are vulnerable to damage, potentially resulting in cracking and displacement of the hardscape materials, reduction of drainage capacity, and reduced service life of the plaza.

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