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RE: Openings in Existing Masonry

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Obviously, there are several issues to be addressed.  For gravity, I've used an angle of sufficient strength and stiffness at the head with sufficient bearing at the jambs.  Most of the contractors I've worked with seemed to prefer this method because they can cut the slot for the angle and then drive the angle in.  The angle is secured to a grouted cell with epoxy anchors.  For out-of-plane loads, I've used everything from strongbacks to cutting the surface of the CMU to achieve the required strength.  The final question of the in-plane load has not generally governed for openings of this size, but, of course, it depends.
John Russ
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
 -----Original Message-----
From: Paul Feather [mailto:pfeather(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, November 18, 2002 12:22 PM
To: SEAOC List
Subject: Openings in Existing Masonry

What is the consensus regarding reinforcing around an opening cut into an existing concrete masonry wall?  (fairly new construction, not URM)  I am considering small openings less than four feet.
The code requirement for steel around the opening extending beyond is empirical, and is for all four sides.  I have seen angles top and bottom with one leg cut away extending beyond the opening both with and without a vertical member each side as well as inset frames without extension beyond the opening.
Any input regarding current practice, or alternate methods?