A lintel is one type of beam which used to support the above wall when openings like doors, windows etc. are necessary to provide a building structure. The main function of the lintel is to take loads coming from above wall and transfer its load to the side walls.
To fulfill the purposes of a lintel beam it must be designed properly. All kinds of dead loads and live loads that can be imposed on lintel during its lifetime must be considered during the design of the lintel beam.
Followings are the general loads that should be considered for lintel beam design:
- Self-weight of the lintel. Self-weight is a kind of dead load.
- Load of the wall above the lintel beam. It is also a dead load.
- Loads transferred from the floor or the roof supported by the wall over the lintel. Both live and dead load from the roof should be considered.
Sometimes other extra loads may be imposed on lintels depending on the architectural design. One must investigate the architectural drawings to find these extra loads on the lintel and consider it during design.