This small heater warms an 11 x 11 (120 sf) guest cottage in Portland, OR. It was built over a concrete slab floor, and the walls are straw-clay with earthen plaster. The heater itself takes up about 1/3 of the room, with a 4' by 11' footprint, including a 4 foot by 7 foot bed (twin size).
Because the heater is not used full time (it's a guest room), we do not have accurate figures for annual wood consumption. Even with long term guests, the owners generally only fire the heater every other day, and the building and bed store the heat for two days' comfort.
Standard features on these as-built drawings include scale drawings; top, side, and front views; course-by-course layouts for the brick firebox and plinth; ducting layouts; and general information about thickness of masonry and so on. Some familiarity with earthen masonry (or any heat-tolerant masonry) is assumed; resources are suggested if you need further info on earthen masonry techniques.
We also include a generic cutaway drawing and some notes for discussion with housmates or building professionals. Please note that we are not licensed architects or engineers; no guarantee or warranty is implied, and these plans may not meet local jurisdictions' requirements for permitted installation. In particular, this heater was installed before Portland, Oregon developed a standard for rocket mass heaters, and might require greater clearances if built today in a room with combustible walls.
Builders' notes detail the basic construction process, and note special differences from standard construction, including the fabrication of a bypass connection.
A bypass from manifold to chimney allows priming the heater more easily for cold starts. (This is useful for an occasional-use space such as a guest room, or anywhere that the heating season is variable enough that you might burn less than once per week.) While the bypass does also allow for short-term firing without heating the main mass, these are primarily a heating stove and probably not suitable for summer cooking.
This 8MB PDF file prints 6 ledger pages (11 " x 17"), with full color illustrations including photos and vector-line diagrams. Most local print shops can print this (double or single sided) for under $7.
Please contact the authors directly if you need alternative payment or file format options. For a printed copy shipped in the continental USA, please add an additional $7 to the listed price.
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