A common alteration which is carried out to properties is the removal of an internal chimney breast. If the entire chimney is removed all the way to the top, then no support needs to be provided, apart from any trimmers which may be necessary to pick up anything which was supported on the original chimney. However, it is common for only part of a chimney to be removed, say at ground floor level, and the remaining chimney above to be left alone. In these circumstances, support should always be provided to the remaining chimney.
Sometimes a single beam is necessary to support a chimney. Sometimes 2 or 3 beams are required. If the chimney breast is to be removed right up into the roofspace, then it may be possible to support the remaining chimney with a fabricated steel frame which is bolted to the wall. However, this solution is not always acceptable to Building Control.
Our structural calculations for chimney support beams includes the design of the most appropriate of these three options. Our structural design also includes preparing the calculations for any necessary steel or masonry connections and designing any padstons.
We need the following information to design the support beams for a chimney breast removal:
architectural layouts or sketch drawings showing the dimensions of the room where the chimney breast is to be removed, together with the position of the loadbearing walls at the highest level where the chimney is being removed
the dimensions and position of the chimney breast itself
details of the existing wall construction
the approximate height of the chimney remaining above the level where it is being removed (a photograph of the property is enough for us to estimate the height of the chimney)
All design work is carried out in accordance with BS5950 (The structural use of steelwork) and BS5628 (The structural use of masonry).
The calculations provided will be suitable for Building Regulation approval.
The removal of a chimney breast may require approval under the Party Wall Act Please seek specialist advice.
click here for party wall act information