Bricks and Building Forms

All openings in brick walls need some way of keeping up the bricks above the openings. This may be an arch or a flat lintel of some kind.

Fig. A A brick wall with and without a lintel.
Fig. B The setting out of a brick arch with wedge-shaped bricks.
Fig. C The setting out of a rough brick arch. These are normal bricks and the wedges are formed with mortar.
Fig. D A ferro-concrete lintel, the modern solution to the problem. Some builders use steel lintels and wooden ones used to be common.
Fig. E A relieving arch used to carry the weight round to the sides of the door or window opening so that hardly any weight falls on the lintel.
Fig. F A section through the cavity wall in Fig. D. There is an outer skin of brick, a cavity for heat insulation and an inner wall of thermal concrete blocks. The damp proof course carries any moisture which has penetrated the outside skin out through the gaps shown above the lintel in Fig,. D.

Examples of Flat Lintels