Rocket mass heater build 16-11-2013

As the first snow of the coming winter had temporarily settled on the ground we were awaiting the arrival of our guests to take part in our rocket mass heater build in the extension of our house.

A rocket stove mass heater or rocket mass heater, is a space heating system developed from the rocket stove, a hybrid combination of a hyper-efficient wood-burning stove and a masonry heater. Wood is gravity fed into a “J-shaped” combustion chamber, from where the hot gases enter a heavily insulated metal or fire-brick vertical secondary combustion chamber, the exhaust from which then passes along horizontal metal ducting embedded within a massive cob thermal storage. The thermal storage is large enough to retain heat for many hours and typically forms part of the structure of the building.

After a round of introduction and the welcoming of our guests to our project we commenced with the build. Many were eager to get their hands dirty which is never an issue if one is building with clay.


All hands on deck, as batches of different clay mixes were being prepared; clay and sand mortar for the feed tube and burn tunnel construction, clay and perlite for the insulation of critical areas such as the heat-riser and around the burn tunnel and a cob mix (clay/sand/straw) for the various structural areas.

IMG_4148Tons of material were moved and put into place, the exhaust system ducting was installed and many questions were asked and answered, which all resulted in a successful test firing of our new heater at the end of the day.

The video below shows a glimpse of the orderly chaos of our build, enjoy.

The crew would like to thank all of the participants for their effort and their contribution to this success. – It’s really you

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