That is a rather interesting cut of a concrete block. The reason for the odd cut is that allows us to pour a beam that will unify everything from the back wall at the north of the tiny cottage, across the marine aquarium tank above the bookshelf, over Holly’s closet and into the heat exchanger tubes that sit behind the masonry stove. Getting this couple thousand odd pounds of stone and concrete all locked together is rather important. I don’t want the chimney ever coming down in my lap and the resulting beam will support the attic floor above the bathroom and bedroom.
That concrete block is one of the blocks that we’re mortaring up as a tall chimney behind the wood burning masonry stove who’s firebox is the Vogelzang wood stove. Heat from the baking oven, stove and chimney will be transfered to the incoming fresh air that arrives via the earth air pipes buried up the side of the hill. In the winter, our critical heat season, the very cold (-45°F) air will be warmed to above freezing (>+35°F) by the passive geothermal heat. The wood stove will warm it and pump it even more adding both heat and chimney effect. This creates a ventilation system with no moving parts or electrical consumption for fans. During the summer, if there is no fire in the wood stove, then the system will still run but more slowly, bringing us cool air.
I say, with no moving parts. In theory it will pump air without any motors, without any electricity or other outside energy. But, just incase, I’ve built in spaces where fans can be placed if I find a need a boost in the air flow. We’ll see how the theory pans out in the test bed of reality.
But back to that interesting key cut. The block is the section of the chimney just before the attic floor. After cutting and splitting out the extra piece of concrete from the middle I stuffed pink foam into the core of the block. Now when we pour the bond beam, which will also act as the bottom of my office bookshelf, the concrete will fill that section I cut out of the concrete block thus locking the whole structure solidly together. That block is now mortared in place and curing while I build the form work for the unifying beam – today’s afternoon project.
Outdoors: 85°F/56°F Partially Sunny, Two hard rains of about 3″ each, a few lighter rains
Farm House: 77°F/66°F
Tiny Cottage: 74°F/68°F Windows closed