We are planning on putting a rocket mass heater into an old building we just purchased and are in the process of renovating. The single storey building has a full basement that will be beneath the stove. My questions is what kind of support (if any) will be needed beneath the stove/bench area in order to support the weight and protect the wooden floor from the heat produced by the stove?
We are based in Western Nova Scotia, Canada and would love to hear from any permies in the area who have built stoves or undertaken other permaculture practices to see what we can incorporate into our build.
Hi Andy, If it can fit into your design, it would be easiest to locate your rmh near an exterior wall that makes direct contact with the foundation and therefore no spans to have to beef up. If this is not possible, then you need to see what size joists you have and start looking at span tables to see how much a load your floors can hold.
We can definitely put it against an exterior wall which will support some of the load and we're planning on using 2x12 engineered floor joists and can certainly add some extra ones under the stove. I didn't if I should also build up a cinder block footing under the stove to take the load rather than relying on floor joists?
2x12s are pretty stout especially near the wall. Are you planning on making yourself a bench that would spread the weight out even further or are you making a large bell which would concentrate the load in a much smaller footprint? If so, then a cinder block footing would certainly not be out of the question but I don't want to make any definite answers for you as I am not an engineer.