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Masonry lintel design

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I am designing a single course masonry lintel using two #5 bars near the
bottom of a masonry lintel block - what is a practical "d" distance to
use for vertical bending?  I have consulted numerous references on
masonry design but none of them give any guidance.  The lintel design
examples show an assumed "d" distance - with each reference using
different assumptions.  I need to get as much capacity out of the lintel
that I can, but I also need to make reasonably conservative assumptions
about the constructed condition. 

(FYI: The masonry supplier has not been selected yet, so I do not have
accurate information on the dimensions of the lintel block.) 

(RANT: This is the most frustrating aspect of masonry design to me - the
design formulas are well defined but the construction details are not
well defined.  It is very difficult to apply engineered design to
masonry, when the industry does not define such simple "details".) 

William C. Sherman, PE 
(Bill Sherman) 
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)

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