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Construction for Landscape Architecture by Jamie Liversedge, Robert Holden

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Design issues

Common factors in the design of all types of wall include live loads from high winds, which produce a lateral force; and water penetration, from above and below. From above the concern is rainwater penetration, so wall tops should be tilted or canted. Additionally, water should be thrown off the face of a wall: it is usual with unit construction to have a water barrier—such as a layer of impermeable tile or slate, or even engineering brick—below the wall capping or coping. Groundwater from below can move up a wall by capillary action, and there should be a similar water barrier in masonry walls in the form of a moisture-proof course. Driving rain, especially in maritime areas, is addressed by careful selection of materials.

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