Batch Rocket Mass Heater Experimentibuild

Summary information

This is a 2-week natural building workshop focusing on efficient, eco-friendly home heating with integrated natural building construction techniques.

Rocket stoves have been an area of enthusiastic development in natural building circles for at least the last 30 years. They not only offer self build potential, but can be super-efficient forms of heating. The batch rocket mass heater is the most efficient form yet.

This course/workshop continues in the tradition of rocket stove experimentation, but with a solid, well-tested core. We will build a batch rocket mass heater at Quinta do Vale (see our project page), but in a configuration which, to our knowledge, hasn’t been tried yet.

Participants will learn …

* the principles of design/function of masonry/mass heaters
* the principles of ‘free gas movement’, the Russian-pioneered revolution in masonry stoves
* the essential ratios in sizing and designing a mass heater
* the construction of the heater core
* cob construction and using cob in stove/heater construction
* the construction of the ‘bell’
* cob and earthen plastering of interior walls

The course is taught in English.

No previous building experience is necessary but the particular challenges of this mountainside location mean the course is unsuitable for people with mobility issues.

The accommodation is camping on-site. 3 vegetarian meals a day are served. Special diets can be catered for. There are hot showers and free wifi on-site. There’s also a nearby river beach and cafés, all within 300m of the quinta.

The surrounding valleys have attracted eco-immigrants from all over the world during the last 10-15 years. We often manage to squeeze events going on in the wider community into our courses so participants can get a taste for the exciting things happening here. So be warned – this place and the landscape and community it’s embedded in can capture your heart and your imagination!

Booking and further information
Telephone number: 
Contact Name: 
€650 camping (tent/camper van). Caravan +€200 for 1-3 people
Contact name: 
Wendy Howard
Dates and times
More dates and times information: 
12 June 2022 to 26 June 2022
Floris Winkelmeijer
Venue information
Quinta do Vale
3305-031 Benfeita
Apprentice Teachers
Teacher apprentices: 

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