July 4, 2010 by Brian Klipfel, under Fire Works Masonry News.
The owners of this new home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania have dreamed and planned for years about building a net zero energy home. The design includes structural insulated panels for very high “R” value walls and ceilings, passive solar home alignment and window design, an active solar system on the roof to generate electricity, geothermal heat exchangers to lower the heating/cooling load on the active system, and a clean burning masonry heater as the warm centerpiece of their home.
The home was masterfully designed and built by Harrisburg based Bridlewood Builders. They specialize in custom, sustainable, green homes.
The masonry heater thin stone veneer is nearly complete in the photo below.
The passionate homeowners have a detailed blog of the home’s design and construction as well as the home’s performance: http://carlislegreenbuild.blogspot.com.
The masonry heater is located in the main living area for the new home. The heater also acts as a room divider, separating the family room and the master bedroom.
The heater construction starts with the high temperature core, pictured below. This heater is a Finnish contraflow design. The heater will have two down draft channels on either side of the core as well as a long heated bench wrapping around the front of the core. The exhaust gases will exit into a masonry chimney to the left of the core.
The rear wall of the masonry heater core will warm the master bedroom, pictured below.
After the completion of the high temperature core and heated bench, the masonry facing begins. This heater’s shell consists of bricks and 4″ blocks. The block shell will provide the thermal storage for the fire’s energy and act as the structural base for a natural thin stone veneer application. The shell and chimney are nearly completed in the photo below. The brick facing for the long heated bench is just getting started.
Below is a view of the nearly completed shell from the open walkway above on the second floor.
The rear wall of the heater warms the master bedroom. Below we see the completed heater shell from the bedroom doorway.
Once the masonry shell is completed, a scratch coat of plaster provides the base for the natural thin stone veneer facing.
Viewed from the second floor catwalk, the thin stone veneer is nearly complete. The limestone bench and capping stones are in place.
Fire Works Masonry