Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Upcoming Project

One of our several upcoming projects is in northeastern Ohio.  In keeping with the claim in my book, Masonry Heaters: Designing, Building, and Living with a Piece of the Sun, I assured my clients that the design of a high-performance masonry heater begins with creating a "container" which will hold the firebox and all the flues of the heater.  The outer appearance - the container -  of the heater can be designed almost by anyone in a myriad of shapes and sizes.  There are some limitations surrounding the need to be able to house a firebox of sufficient size and to provide enough space for enough flues to make the heater efficient.  But once those items are accommodated adequately, the design can proceed in many directions.

In this particular project, the clients opted to have their architect design the container.  Here is my first rendering of the heater designed by Martin Johannessen of Harmoni Designs

Red Sandstone combined with Soapstone.
This masonry heater is to be built with a combination of red sandstone (represented in red) and soapstone (represented in gray).  Although I personally would not use sandstone for the masonry heater because of its inferior heat storage and heat transfer qualities - especially as compared to soapstone - the heater does make use of a fair amount of soapstone.  Generally, I am not interested in building heaters that don't use the best performing materials.

Though this photo makes the heater look like it is almost all red sandstone, the fact is that the soapstone, which covers all the horizontal bench surfaces and is shown to the right of the firebox door, wraps all the way around the back and even the left side (it is barely visible in the shaded left side of this rendering).  In actuality, most of the lower half of this heater is soapstone.  On the other hand, most of the upper half of the heater is red sandstone.

As the rendering portrays, this heater goes all the way to the ceiling.  In fact, part of the heater will continue on the next floor in the form of a heated sitting area.  Also not visible is that on the opposite side of the heater is a baking chamber.  This masonry stove will have a white oven on the reverse side..

Check back later for photos of this project in progress.  It is scheduled for construction in March.

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