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Support for veneer over openings

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2006 IRC R703.7.3 seems to tell me that veneer over openings require non-combustible support.  R703.7.2 appears to allow support by wood if the weight of the wall is within the restriction and restricts the deflection to L/600.  It doesn’t specifically mention over openings.  There is also an exception “Except in Seismic Design Categories….”.  I don’t see anything that explains what is required in the higher SDC’s.  I’m assuming that in SDC D and above a non-combustible supporting lintel is required and if the deflection is less than L/600 all will be good with the plan reviewers.

 

First question:  is my assumption above correct?

Second question:  Are these restrictions listed in the IBC?  I can’t find anything.

Third Question: I have some openings in a wall (although the rock veneer weighs more than 40psf) that are only a few feet wide (2 to 4 ft) and will only support 2 to 3 ft of veneer height above the lintel.  Timber would be more than adequate for strength and deflection (Timber Beam with angles lagged to them).  Are there any exceptions that will allow this?  Would it be o.k. if the angles are not lagged to the timber beam?  I have some longer spans that will probably require a steel section with angles welded to the side, but I would prefer to not have to use a steel beam, angles, and columns, if I don’t have to.

 

Thanks,

Joe Grill