Masonry Beam Design Module Walk-through

Modified on Wed, 24 Mar 2021 at 10:28 AM

Summary: This guide walks you through basic use cases of the Masonry Beam Module in Vitruvius.


If you prefer video walk-throughs, feel free to skip over to our YouTube channel; otherwise, continue reading for an in depth walk-through:

Starting Out

To start a masonry beam design first click on the masonry beam design module icon located in the design module dropdown in the upper right of the screen next to your username.

This will load the masonry beam design module, which loads with a preset template.

The following steps do not have to be completed in this order and are designed to work dynamically with each other, so don't worry if you realized later you clicked the wrong thing or made a mistake, just change that item and the rest will follow suit accordingly.

Set the Properties

On the left side of the screen is the Properties tab, work progressively from top to bottom to specify the desired properties. The template is used to set predetermined properties.

At the top of the properties tab is the LRFD/ASD design options. The pictures above shows ASD, which indicates Allowable Stress Design is being used. Click the icon to toggle back and forth between the two options.

Masonry Beam

  • (Template) Select the template to be used or leave as is.
  • (Beam Width) Input the width of the beam.
  • (Beam Depth) Input the depth of the beam.
  • (Supporting Plain Masonry) Check if beam is supporting unreinforced masonry.
  • (Integrated Supports) Select if integrated supports is being used.


  • (Beam Construction) Select the beam construction style: Running Bond or Continuous Grout.
  • (Unit Type) Select the unit type: Solid or Hollow.
  • (Mortar System) Select the mortar system: Portland Cement/Mortar Cement or Masonry Cement/AE-Portland Cement.
  • (Mortar Type) Select the mortar type to be used: M, S, or N.
  • (Masonry Fmp) {f'm} Input the specified compressive strength of clay or concrete masonry.
  • (Brick Type) Select which type of masonry to be used, Clay (Brick) or Concrete (CMU).
  • (Cell Height) Input the cell height.


  • (Fy-rebar) Select the reinforcement bar material grade.
  • (Reinforcement Bar Size)  Select the reinforcement bar size number.
  • (Number of Rows) Input the number of rows of reinforcement bars.
  • (Cover) Input the reinforcement cover in inches.
  • (Bars on Each Face) Check for bars on each face of the masonry beam.

Adding and Deleting Spans

This module is currently locked to single span analysis.

Edit Reactions 

In the middle panel of the screen, the reactions of the beam are buttons therefore clicking the reaction itself will bring up the edit reactions input box. Here the available reactions can be selected to be changed based on the desired design. Each reaction icon will update the boundary conditions to correspond with the reaction type.

Adding Loads

After the materials, properties, spans, and reactions of the beam are chosen move to the middle panel of the screen to start the loading process. 

Here you can add any type of load listed on the left hand side of the middle panel as shown in the image below (Distributed, Trapezoidal, Point, Axial, Moment, and Linked). 

Once a load icon is selected an input box will appear where you can enter the loading data. As shown in the example "Add Uniform Load" input box, the load end will automatically populate with the span length, the end can be edited to be any distance shorter than the total length.

After load input click "Add" and the load will be added to the beam.

Once the load is added it can be manipulated in two different ways.  You can change the load by clicking on it which will bring back the load input box or you can change the load by locating the loads tab on the bottom of the screen.   

To add an out of plane load simply change the axis on the load input box or in the load cards. Select the axis icon in the upper left corner of the load screen to switch the view and see the out of plane loads.

Another useful tool is the toolbar located between the location name and the loading screen.

Each icon corresponds to a load type, the furthest left icon shows all load types. Clicking any of the others will only show loads of that specific type.


The toolbar on the right side of the loading screen is where the calculators are located. These are some handy tools used to facilitate a faster design process, and save you time!

From top to bottom the calculators are as follows:

Dead Load Calculator

Coming Soon!

Tributary Width Calculator

Use the input boxes to enter the load type, load axis, and load psf value for each side of the beam. In the tributary width section enter the distance from each side of the beam. The location section is the same as the load start and load end. The resulting distributed load will be added to the beam accordingly.

Floor Beam Calculator

The floor beam calculator is used for quick and easy loading of a typical floor beam design.

Combination Beam Calculator

The combination beam calculator is similar to the floor beam calculator but includes the the roof information as well.


Once the beam is loaded you can hit enter to calculate or click the calculate icon located above the properties tab on the right hand side.

From left to right the buttons are Calculate, Autosize, and Save. After calculating the Print Preview icon will appear.

Auto Size

In the module, clicking calculate will automatically run the Autosize function, there is nothing else that needs to be done.


After calculation the adequacy cards will appear in the lower toolbar across the bottom of the screen.

If any of the calculations fail, the percentages will turn red. The controlling load combination is shown directly under the adequacy percentage. Clicking the load combo will result in showing the corresponding diagrams on the right side of the screen. The dropdown showing the load combo can be switched to any of the load combinations used in the calculations. The quick view can be switched to any of the loaded axis as well.

Section Views

A section view showing the steel reinforcing will be created and displayed in the right tool bar in the "Section Views" tab.

After successfully calculating, the print preview icon will appear in the top toolbar and clicking it will bring up the pdf report generated for the design.

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions please reach out to our customer support at or call 1-800-279-1353.

Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons
CAPTCHA verification is required.

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article