A pipe chase is a vertical space enclosed by a chase, or false wall, for the purpose of hiding pipes. A properly installed pipe chase can run from the basement to the roof to hide plumbing.
According to About.com, the enclosed area of a pipe chase is often minimized by cutting into existing walls. Long vent stack pipes require careful installation and stacked chases through each floor of the building. Horizontal pipes are hidden with soffits, which are false walls that run along the top of the wall near the ceiling. Soffits are also used to hide portions of vertical pipes, usually at junctures, that move briefly out of the existing wall.