Archive for July, 2010

Pottsville, PA: See-Thru Brick Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

July 25, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Pottsville PA Brick Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The owners of this new home discovered the warmth and beauty of a masonry heater while visiting a completed project of their prospective timber framer, Aaron King. They visited Fire Works Masonry’s clients near Kutztown, PA. The new owners wanted a fireplace in their home design and were excited by the prospect of installing a clean burning and efficient masonry heater.

The combination of the open floor-plan and superior insulating properties of the structurally insulated panels (SIPs) wall elements creates an ideal match for the slow and steady energy output of a masonry heater. The open floor plan is ready for the start of the Heat Kit masonry  heater core in the photo below. The concrete pad provides the structural support for the heater and chimney.

Pottsville, PA Masonry Heater with bake-oven

The clients desired a simple, rustic brick fireplace and chimney. The bake-oven side of the heater splits the dining room and kitchen.

Pottsville, PA Masonry Heater with bake-oven

On the opposite side of the masonry  heater is the living room. The heater is see-thru, with large clear loading doors on either side of the firebox. The fireplace is capped with local Pennsylvania bluestone.

Pottsville, PA Brick Masonry Heater with bake-oven

The large open peak of the timber frame highlights the clean run of the brick chimney.

Pottsville, PA Brick Masonry Heater with bake-ovenPottsville, PA Brick Masonry Heater with bake-oven

A small curing fire burns down in the firebox, viewed from the kitchen.

Pottsville PA Brick Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

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Carlisle, PA: Natural Thin Stone Veneer Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

July 4, 2010 by , 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.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

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.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

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.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry HeaterCarlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The rear wall of the masonry heater core will warm the master bedroom, pictured below.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

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.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Below is a view of the nearly completed shell from the open walkway above on the second floor.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The rear wall of the heater warms the master bedroom. Below we see the completed heater shell from the bedroom doorway.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Once the masonry shell is completed, a scratch coat of plaster provides the base for the natural thin stone veneer facing.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Viewed from the second floor catwalk, the thin stone veneer is nearly complete. The limestone bench and capping stones are in place.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

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Allentown, PA: Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

July 4, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Allentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry HeaterAllentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The owners of this new home in Allentown, PA designed the house to accommodate their growing family, reduce their energy bills, as well as include a fireplace as the centerpiece of the main living area. After researching clean burning, efficient fireplaces they decided on a masonry heater.

This masonry heater is an an ideal place: roughly centered in the home, dividing the kitchen and main living area. The kitchen side is faced in brick while the living room is faced with natural, local fieldstone. The kitchen will have access to the rear white bake-oven. the living room side will have a long heated bench and a convenient large wood storage area.

 

Viewed from the balcony above the living room, the masonry heater’s design includes brick for the bench and heater cap, granite for the mantle and wood box cap, and local Pennsylvania fieldstone for the facing material. About a quarter of the stones used were from the property’s excavation. The chimney will transition to a metal pipe above the masonry, carrying the fireplace exhaust gases safely through the home.

Allentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Allentown PA masonry heater

 

The masonry heater’s white bake-oven is opposite the firebox, centered in the kitchen.

Allentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

All masonry heaters start with the high temperature core. This Finnish contraflow design uses a Heat Kit core. The core below is wrapped in a fiberglass blanket. The blanket acts to provide a paper thin slip gap between the hot core and the heater’s stone facing. The firebrick heated bench and block chimney base are also completed, awaiting the 4-5″ thick stone veneer application.

 

Allentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Once the core is completed, the brick facing in the kitchen is completed.

Allentown, PA Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

 

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