Whether it is a new property or an old one, openings are an integral part of most buildings. If the opening is short, say less than 2m, and there are no floor loads or other concentrated loads above the opening, then commercially available lintels are often used. Most lintel suppliers offer a free design service for their products.
However, if the opening which is being formed is longer than this or if there are loads above the opening in addition to the wall itself, then a steel beam is normally a better and cheaper option. If two beams are needed above the same opening to support both leaves of a wall, only one beam design needs to be ordered.
Our structural calculations for a steel beam includes the design of any padstones which may be necessary. Our structural design also allows for checking the effect of the beam reactions on the supporting walls and foundations.
We need the following information to design beams over openings:
architectural layouts or sketch drawings with dimensions, so we can work out all the loadings on the beam
details of the type of construction (concrete or timber floors, brick or block walls etc)
details of any restrictions on the maximum depth of the beam
All design work is carried out in accordance with BS5950 (The structural use of steelwork) and BS5628 (The structural use of masonry).
The calculations provided will be suitable for Building Regulation approval.