All I think I know is being tested on our latest job. In my experience lintels strengths are dependent on bearing distances, thickness, composition/material(galvanized) is all I've used and dimensions of the vertical and horizontal sizes. In the past the engineers have required at minimum equal sizes in horizontal/vertical sizing. For example 4"×4" and so on in some instances requiring say 4"×6" with the 6" length being placed vertically which I understand adds to the tensile strength. On our latest job the lintels are 5"×3 1/2". The 3 1/2" length is being placed vertically and the 5" length is being placed horizontally or bearing on veneer if that makes better sense. Is this a new manner of lintel usage or proper,against what my experience is telling me. I'm no engineer, but you can actually push in the middle and feel/see them flexing. They are 3/8" thickness spanning 4' rough openings. And another concern is they only bare 6". This is the most under built design built job I've been on. Rule of thumb on government jobs always over build and it's all good. Just concerned that GC is cutting corners some how. Hard to believe if this an error that it slipped through the submittal process and the prying eyes of the ACOE. I have noticed on the drawings that the buildings engineer is also the GC. First time I've seen this also. Just concerned that our tax dollars might be being wasted.