Is there anything new under the sun?
I got a real chuckle this week reading an article entitled Lateral Loads Generated by Occupants on Exterior Decks on page 36 in the January 2014 issue of Structure magazine. As the title indicates it was about lateral design loads for wood decks.
The question was how much lateral load (horizontal loads such as wind or earthquake or occupants moving) should be considered in the design of a wood deck. The article described the testing methods, the ranges of possible load applications for occupant loads, and the results. The article was well-done – it was clear and summarized the results in a concise manner.
My chuckle was due to the results. After all the testing it was determined that the new lateral load recommendations matched those from a study made in 1932.
Yes, “the old timers” got it right again.
BTW – the answer is 12 pounds per square foot of horizontal deck surface.