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RE: Masonry arching action

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Go to and look at NCMA TEK 17-1B. The TEK is about masonry lintels but has a good explanation of when using arching action is appropriate and when it is not.


Roger C. Davis


SDS Architects, Inc.

205 N. Dewey Street

Eau Claire, WI 54703

(715) 832-1605


-----Original Message-----
From: Wesley Werner [mailto:wwerner(--nospam--at)]
Tuesday, September 07, 2004 12:33 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Masonry arching action






What are some guidelines for considering masonry arching over an opening? I am looking at some loadbearing walls with standard doors, small windows, and a double door in it.  How far can masonry arch? Does the spacing of the bar joist affect the width of arching action? Do you need a lintel to span over closely spaced standard doors? There is 4' of 8" CMU overtop of the doors and windows. I am wondering how far the masonry can arch before it I have to start designing my lintels for the weight of the floor or roof.





Wesley C. Werner