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Re: Structure Magazine Questions

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seaint(--nospam--at),Internet writes:
Should the compression flange of a masonry beam, built integrally with a
masonry wall
above, be considered laterally braced?

In my experience, usually the lateral bracing of a masonry beam is not a
problem.  I don't have a code in front of me, but my recollection is the
lateral bracing requirements are based on the width/depth ratio, which
usually is high for a masonry beam.  Large openings require deep beams for
moment and shear and usually unbraced length is not a problem.  I assume the
ends of the beams are supported because they typically have significant
vertical reinforcement for vertical and lateral load.  But, if I were to come
across a design which would have an actual unbraced length greater then the
calculated one then I would reduce the allowable bending and not consider it
braced by the wall.  If the beam were very close to a horizontal diaphragm, I
might consider it braced, however, if it was down a ways I would consider it
unbraced.  I would be a engineering judgement call.


Richard Lewis, P.E.
Missionary TECH Team

The service mission like-minded Christian organizations
may turn to for technical assistance and know-how.