The Inspiring Plastered Heaters of L’Esprit du Lieu

We are excited to share with you the exciting design and beautiful execution of masonry heaters by a Canadian collective name L’Esprit du Lieu (Spirit of Place). Jean-David Morneau and Andrée Perreault both exemplify the combination of mastery of technical skills with a sensitivity for human comfort and design that makes for a great heater building team.

A plastered finish on masonry heaters allows for both a timeless feeling of tradition as well as an elegant modern look. All images provided by L’Esprit du Lieu and published with their collaboration. Their work is informed by Austrian masonry heater building traditions.

Lost Creek Masonry Heater Completed!

This masonry heater features a “white” oven, ample wood-storage options, and a heated bench. The heater is faced with Idaho Bitter Root Ledge Stone, Sage Ledge Stone and the slab details are Pennsylvania Blue Stone. It serves as a visual focal point, as furniture, and as a resilient energy source for the home!

Outline for a Resource on Masonry Heaters

Here is an outline for a project about masonry heaters. Ideally it would be a publicly available web resource which was developed dynamically. Items would become links as they were written and discussion generated would be incorporated into the text. The big question is how to fund the project. Ideally, people would be moved to donate based on the utility they got from it. Comments are open below to provide feedback on the project. Feedback will fuel its creation! Also, join our mailing list to receive updates.

Introduction

  • Why Fire? Why Firewood? Why Masonry Heaters?
  • Gentle Giants of Healing Warmth
  • 2 Kinds of Efficiency – Combustion & Heat Exchange
  • The Challenges Presented by Masonry Heaters
  • “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” Approach

History

Masonry Heater Architectural Design

  • Heart of the Home
  • Inspirations
  • Placement
  • Clearances to Combustibles

Masonry Heater Technical Design

  • Design Methodology
    • Concept
    • Layout
    • Sections
    • “Brick-by-brick” Design
  • Comparison of Design Philosophies
    • Russian
    • Contraflow
    • Five-Run
    • Bell
    • Rocket

Masonry Heater Construction

  • Comparison of Basic Approaches
    • Pre-Fabricated / Manufactured
    • Core Kits
    • Custom
    • Hybrid Steel & Masonry
  • Foundations
  • “Double-Skinned” Construction : Core & Facing
  • Chimneys
  • Masonry Heaters & Construction Codes
  • Budget

Resources & Next Steps

  • Workshops
  • Organizations

Plans for a Masonry Heater Core

The world needs more masonry heaters and masonry heater builders! A shortage of viable plans as well as education opportunities means there are very few masonry heater builders in North America. This design work reflects an effort to simplify things in order to make the process easier for everybody involved.

New approach to masonry heater building!

For the masonry heater we are currently working on, we took a new approach to the design and construction of the core by casting the most complex parts. The goal of this is to simplify both the design and construction process so that we can streamline the process for our own projects as well as produce a viable strategy and parts for other masonry heater builders.