Rocket Mass Heater at CIDEP, El Bolsón, Argentina

I designed this “rocket” heater and led construction on it during BioConstruyendo Patagonia in February of 2012.  The idea was to create a wood-fired heater for a multiple-use common area at CIDEP, a permaculture teaching and research center.  The heater had to create heated seating as well as form a partition between two parts of the room.  Parameters for the design included available space, projected flows of people within the space, available materials, and known limits of the rocket system.  The final product had combustion gases traveling through approximately 25 feet of flue within a bench and backrest constructed of adobe bricks made on-site.


Concept drawing by Hannah Sutherland. Plan drawings by Luis Stevenazzi and Nerla.

Base to raise stove for future floor height. We poured a perimeter of concrete and filled with packed volcanic sand to insulate from slab, covered with layer of adobe.

Heater in an early stage of completion. Still needs modeling of the backrest and loveseat as well as finish plaster and paint. Open doors are for cleaning flues.