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Tall Chimneys

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From: Jerry Taylor <jrtce(--nospam--at)mbay.net>
Subject: Tall chimneys
 
I have a question concerning residential chimneys. It seems that architects now-a-days are making chimneys taller and taller to impress their clients and then putting rather elaborate chimney caps on top of them with tile roofing etc. My question is with regard to chimney lateral loads and the 2:1 diaphragm ratio for plywood shearwalls. Is it possible to design the chimneys as a cantilevered plywood box beam using a holddown at each corner  to the top of the masonry firebox and plywood sheathing each side and be able to avoid the 2:1 ratio limitation? I recently designed a tall chimney with Simpson strongwalls on the two narrow sides to get around the 2:1 ratio, but it seemed to be overkill since the seismic load was relatively low. Any advice or comments would be appreciated.
 
Jerry Taylor
Pacific Grove