What are the Design Loads on a Lintel?

The lintel analysis and design is performed by anticipating a set of design loads and their load action to have a safe and economic lintel structure.

An Arched Lintel Masonry Structure

The main vertical loads to which a lintel structure is subjected to are:
  1. The Distributed loads due to the self-weight of the lintel and the masonry above the lintel
  2. The distributed loads due to the floor and roofs above the lintel
  3. The live loads coming over the floor and the roofs
  4. The concentrated loads coming from the floor beams, roof joists and other beams framing into the wall.

Determination of Loads on a Lintel Structure

Lintel structures are designed mainly to carry gravity loads. The gravity loads are mainly of two types:
  1. Dead Loads ( Self weight and Superimposed Loads)
  2. Live Loads

Dead Load on Lintel Structure

It includes the self-weight of the lintel structure and the superimposed loads like the weight of the walls, floors, roofs, partitions, ceilings and all structural elements coming over the elements.

Live load on Lintel Structure

The live loads are produced depending on the occupancy of the building and the assumed weight of the building.Other loads like snow, wind and rain also are considered. The minimum live loads is given by the American Society for Civil Engineers - "Minimum Design loads for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE-7) for different occupancy value.

Load Components on Lintel Structure

The load types on lintel structure can be classified into the following types:
  • Uniform Load that acts along effective span
  • A triangular load, whose apex is at the mid span acting along the mid span
  • Concentrated loads
  • Uniform load acting over a portion of the effective span
All the four types of loads are explained in the figure below.
Load Components on Lintel Structure

The structural designed calculated all the individual loads and by the principle of superposition combines them together to get the overall load acting on the structure.

Load Combinations for the Design of Lintels

Load combination in building design is used to apply the combined effects of several loading simultaneously. The common load combinations as per ASCE-7 are explained in the table below. The combination is enlisted for allowable stress design (working stress method) and the strength design load combination (Limit state design method).

Load Combinations for the Design of Lintels for WSM and LSM method

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