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Chimney Flues

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I'm doing a cursory review of some hotels in Cannery Row Monterey and I had a question about the typical size of chimney flues. The buildings are 2-3 stories of light-framed wood over 2 floors of concrete or steel framing.

The buildings have regular and repetitive rooms/units with party wall - fairly typical of an apartment complex type structure. There is a pop-out for a chimney for the fireplace in each unit. Basically, the units stack and there is a fireplace in each unit. Adjacent to the chimney is the deck overlooking the ocean. The pop out for the chimney is flush with the outside of the deck about 4 feet beyond the face of wall of the hotel interior.

The existing drawings say to continue the plywood sheathing through the chimney area to the exterior wall of the chimney enclosure which is sheathed with plywd. There are no other shearwalls at this line because the decks have a sliding glass door - its basically headers at the perimeter of the hotel except for these chimney walls.

The joists are spaced @ 16" o.c. so I'm wondering: 1) would the chimney flue and floor penetration fit between the joists without heading them out. 2) Is one flue used to service all of the three floors below or does each chimney have a separate penetration and flue?

The reason I ask is that I am questioning how effective the diaphragm will be in transferring the load to these popped out walls with big penetrations in the floor from the flues. If they are not receiving the shear from the diaphragm and are ineffective, I need to rely on a 20 foot cantilevered diaphragm and interior shearwall (gyp bd.) to take the load-no way jose if that's the case.

If anyone knows how these multistory chimney are usually built regarding number of flue ducts and approximate diameter, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks in Advance,


Gerard Madden, P.E.
Civil Engineer

Middlebrook + Louie, Structural Engineers
71 Stevenson Street, Suite 2100
San Francisco, CA 94105
Tel: 415.546.4900
Fax: 415.974.3680
Email: gmadden(--nospam--at)

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