Advice & Reviews
June 4, 2018

A builder’s guide to lintels with Birtley

Lintels are an important structural element in most buildings, and an important part of the full range of building products we offer here at MKM Building Supplies. We’ve teamed up with lintel manufacturer, Birtley, to look at the factors to consider when choosing a lintel.

Where are lintels used?

– Lintels support the weight of a wall above an aperture such as a window or door opening.
– They are used in new buildings, extensions and refurbishments.
– Although a lintel’s primay role is structural loadbearing, the latest generation lintels from Birtley are thermally-broken to provide the building with enhanced energy efficiency.
– When used in existing buildings they usually replace an older first-generation lintel, or older timber beams that are showing signs of deterioration.
– Bespoke lintels are possible, so you can create curved, arched and segmental apertures. Ask a member of the team at your local MKM Building Supplies branch for more info.

Features and benefits at a glance

It’s worth noting that some lintels are pre-galvanised, meaning weld joints and cut edges are painted after manufacture. This means the non galvanised areas are susceptible to corrosion.

How can I determine the energy efficiency of a lintel?

Lintels have a major influence on a dwelling’s SAP rating and overall energy efficiency. You can determine the energy efficiency of a lintel by referring to its Psi value (visit the Birtley website to use their free Psi value calculator).

The lower the Psi value, the better thermal performance you get from the lintel. For example, latest generation lintels such as the Birtley Supatherm range are able to achieve a Psi value of between 0.03 and 0.06W/mK. Even the Birtley 1500mm standard lintel achieves a Psi value of 0.18 W/mK.

Top Tip! Energy assessors often assume the Psi value is 0.3W/mK, so make sure you let your customer know when they choose a Birtley lintel.

The lintel specialist

Founded in 1965, Birtley have grown to become one of the UK’s most respected names in construction design technology and product development. Birtley lintels are manufactured in County Durham and product ranges include Supagalv, Ultragalv and Supatherm.

Working with Birtley, your local MKM Building Supplies branch will have a lintel solution for cavity walls, solid walls, external walls, internal wall and box lintels, eaves, timber frame lintels and bespoke options.

Contact your local branch for more roofing help and advice.