Andrew Brunning

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since Nov 09, 2011
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Recent posts by Andrew Brunning


We are forming a Kins Domain Eco-Village Settlement in Central Ontario Canada. (North Bay region)  Currently our founding members are purchasing a 160Acre property in UnOrganized Township where we are establishing 30 Families with 1 Hectare Plots on a 99year lease program.  Currently the land in question has 70acres cleared, ponds and forest and a private road through the middle.  In addition to our Kins Domains, Our co-creative Vision for communal land and structures include a Children's school, Communal Kitchen & Hall, Housing for Members and Guests, Permaculture Nursery, Gardens, Forest Trails, Swimming Ponds and so much more!
We are in the process of co-creating a Kins Domain Contract and Application process to accept Individuals and Families to begin building and growing.  Laws of our Land are being written; the 99year settlement lease begins with a 5Year Lease where annual requirements are met which enable complete resource self-sufficiency based on a Permaculture Design Plan(a requirement of the Kins Domain Application).  Once accepted to embark on this journey of many lifetimes, Your Kins Domain will help support the community as a whole, and the whole earth.
We wish to live as our Ancestors once had, and to co-create a 'new' model for our modern technocratic society to transition away from unsustainable, overpopulated cities.
We believe the time is now to lead by living example.

Please help us form your dream together.

We are currently holding meetings in the SW Ontario region, as this is where our founding members currently reside.  We are open to working with folks from all over the world and utilize Internet tools, like Skype etc. to bring everyone together for our meetings.  We wish to create a very rich and resilient diversity of people, animals and plant species. (For example, It is a Lease requirement to plant 100species of plants every year on your Kins Domain)

If you resonate in any way with our Vision and Geographic location, and wish to learn and help more, please get in touch.  We are calling out to people interested in settling on a 1hectare plot within our 160acre Eco-Village.  We are also very much open to working with people who cannot intensively manage a 1hectare plot, and who are interested to help organize, design and build the Communal Infrastructure.  Communal Housing, in the form of wood and earthen cabins, tiny homes and Yurts, are available within the communal land areas.  With less land to manage, these members co-create within the communal land infrastructure (Kitchen, Hall, Retreats, Management, Maintenance, Nursery, Trails, Gardens etc.)

Many details to be shared and designed.  Bringing together 20 to 30 families and additional community members on 160acres, is a grand co-creation indeed! We hope to hear from you and continue this discussion further.

Thank you to all the Permies folks for the inspiration.
To the return of our Pristine Origins!
4 years ago
its been a drought year, hay crops at 50%
but where there is water and open areas amound the forest
lots of grasses grow
has anyone succesfully gone out with a scythe and collected hay for their cattle or other livestock to feed during winter?
one question is .. whats the best way to figure out if your animals will eat this stuff and if its healthy for them.
i suppose testing it on them and identifying it is a place to start, is there a resource available with i.d. and pictures relating to specific animals and wild grasses that specifically grow closer to waters edge. thanks
5 years ago
Hello! If you want to spend a weekend learning how to build a Rocket Mass Heater for heating space and bodies, for cooking and dehydrating foods. This is a hands on learning, sharing, collaborative workshop, a feast, a social and much more!
@ The Bartley Eco-Village Toronto Ontario

Permies forum members receive a $20 discount.
It would be great to have local Rocket fanatics attend!


Rocket Stove Builder Andrew Brunning &
The Great Engineer* Petro
In Co-Creative Partnership with
the Bartley Eco-Village
Rocket Mass Heater Build Toronto
November 22nd – 23rd 2014
Learn to build your own resilient wood heating system.

We are designing and building a hybrid Rocket, Pellet and Wood Gasification Air and Water Heating System for a 40,000sq/ft commercial building in Toronto ON. The Rocket Mass Heater will be a hand-built 8" Core using Refractory Fire Bricks and will incorporate a thermal mass battery. The Rocket Stove will also provide a primary cooking, baking and food dehydration station for the communities’ organic food production kitchen & We Want Your Help Building It!
Together we are learning, sharing and helping each other to spread the adoption of a new but ancient heating technology that will help curb pollution and environmental destruction. Welcome to the future of healthy resilient heating!

Date: Saturday November 22nd and Sunday November 23rd 2014
Time: Sat – 9:00am-5:00pm , Sun 10:00am – 5:00pm
Location: 160 Bartley Drive, Toronto ON (Victoria Park & Eglington)
Tuition: $200.00 (Register online @
Or Pay Cash in person at Bartley Building.
Lunches: Snacks, Beverages and Vegetarian Lunch Provided (Made with Love). Please contact Chef Jenny G if you have an food allergies or special dietary concerns.
Saturday Potluck Dinner: Bring a dish or dessert to share for Saturday dinner!
Workshop Information:
Bartley Building Co-coordinator – Frank -
Workshop Guides:

Andrew ‘Andy’ Brunning
Andrew built his first Rocket Mass Heater(RMH) to heat a low tunnel cold frame 'greenhouse' in the backyard and has since offered RMH workshops in shipping containers, homes, outdoor kitchens and greenhouses. Andrew first brought Ernie and Erica Wisner to Guelph Ontario in the fall of 2013 to launch the introduction of RMH technology and training in Canada. He has worked with pouring refractories and recently built a portable rocket barrel oven using a cast refractory core; Andrew has begun to build traditional Masonry Heaters and is a member of the Masonry Heater Association. With a background in energy efficiency, renewable energy, LED Lighting and Natural Building, Andrew's path of Yoga, Organics, Sepp Holzer Permaculture and Beekpeeking has led him into collaboration with the Bartley Eco-Village Community.

Petro – Engineer* / Genius Maker Of a Million amazing things
Petro has worked in the custom automotive parts manufacturing industry operating his own factory. He has worked with top Engineers at Hydro One Nuclear Division and now operates a state-of-the art Metal fabrication shop providing custom manufacturing services and on-site emergency repairs of just about anything you can image, he can rig and fix professionally. Petro is a member of the Bartley Eco-Village and is dedicated to taking the 40,000sq/ft building off the grid by using wood gasification for heat and power, rocket & pellet heating systems. He is a meticulous creator, who never leaves a job unfinished; often saying that his projects are like his children that live on forever. Petro's passion for inner peace has brought him to the like-minded conscious community of Bartley. *Engineer* Petro is not officially an Engineer but can, has and will engineer anything he puts his mind to.

What is a Rocket Mass Heater?
A Rocket Mass Heater is a super efficient wood fired heating system that has two main parts: Part One is the Rocket Stove consisting of the Feed Tube, Burn Tunnel and Heat riser, ideally made from Fire Brick and well insulated. Wood is fed into the feed tube and the flame and wood gases burn horizontally through the burn tunnel and are directed up the heat riser. This part is typically covered with an inverted 55Gal steel drum that acts like a wood stove radiating heat. Part Two is the Mass, hot exhaust gases from the rocket stove fire are ducted into a thermal battery for heat storage made of Masonry Materials including COB(sand+clay mixture), Stone, Urbanite or Bricks. All of the heat that would have gone up the chimney and wasted with a wood stove is saved and stored in the Mass of a Rocket Mass Heater. The heated up Mass can radiate heat for up to 48hrs or longer after the fire is out. When a RMH is compared to a high efficiency wood stove, one can use 50% to 90% less wood in a typical heating system and achieve the same heating requirements – this is why we call a RMH super-efficient. Rocket Mass and Masonry heaters put Oil, Gas and Electric heating systems to shame in terms of efficiency and environmental consciousness and have since the 1400's, the key of course is finding a good source of wood. Good thing we live in Canada and have an unlimited renewable resource called the Boreal Forest, which when responsibly harvested, and combined with utilizing waste wood stream sources, can provide clean super efficient heating for every home and building across the country.
Mass or Masonry Heaters have been around for at least 5000 years where excavations have found exhaust gases from kitchen stove fires directed underneath the home or bedroom floors. In Rome this was called a Hypocaust, In China it was called a Kang stove and the Korean Ondol. Most cultures utilized the hot exhaust gases and built homes and places of cooking, healing and rest around the fire. Recently and documented since the early 1400's, Masonry Heaters were the primary heating systems in most of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Today, in North America, Mass Heaters are rapidly picking up pace as heating costs and related environmental damages skyrocket. Since the 2006 Publication of the Book titled 'Rocket Mass Heaters: Super-efficient wood stoves that you can build and snuggle up to' Wood heating supporters and tinker's from all over the world have been building and experimenting with their own rocket stoves and have been exchanging ideas through online forums like and Donkey Pro Boards.

What topics will the workshop cover, what will I learn?
Topics include: Rocket Mass Heaters, Pre-Cast Refractory Cores, History of Masonry Heaters, Wood Gasification, Wood Pellet Combustion, Fire Sciences, Cast Refractory Materials, Thermodynamics, Hydronics and Plumbing, Masonry, COB.
The workshop will have a 'classroom' component; Q & A period.
The primary goal of the workshop is to design and construct a Rocket Mass Heater that will perform three primary functions: Space Heating, Cooking Surface, Baking/Food dehydration. During this real-time build, You (the workshop participant) will help build the system. This is a hands on workshop and You will have an opportunity to work with laying firebrick, making and applying high temp mortar, laying out the combustion core and barrel, building the manifold with cleanouts and bypass damper, constructing the thermal mass battery, using hand and power tools, being a part of a step-by-step Rocket Mass Heater build, and all of your 'Burning Questions' will be answered.
We will be covering all the basics and looking at materials and designs for using a Rocket Mass Heater to transfer heat from wood combustion to water using copper or stainless steel coils.

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is for folks from all ages and walks of life who want to learn about Rocket Mass Heaters, and who want be a part of a co-creative building process. You will meet really cool and interesting people and eat amazing food. In past workshops we have seen homeowners, farmers, greenhouse growers, natural builders and people who care about the environment that see Rocket Mass Heaters as an important tool for off and on-grid living and to help curb greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Alfred Faber [a German historian of heating technology], the great innovations in stove design during [the period in which masonry heaters were developed] seldom came from specialists in the field.... "Homeowners," Faber found, "often experimented for years on their own stoves to reduce wood consumption. Their discoveries have appeared in hundreds of reports, books and journals. Among them almost all professions are represented: government officials, priests, monks, doctors, pharmacists, mathematicians, professors of all fields, but also painters, architects, merchants, manufacturers, diplomats, military men..."[from Alfred Fabre, 1000 Jahre Werdegang von Herd und Ofen, Abhandlungen und Berichte, Vol. 18, Deutsches Museum, Munich, 1950.]
....Once the idea of baffels and smoke passages got about, many experimented with them and in ways of almost infinite variety....It is almost fair to say that if you can imagine a winding smoke path within it, then someone, at some time in the past, has already built it.

What tools will we use?

The multi-faceted workshop of the Bartley Eco-Village is well equipped for a Rocket Mass Heater Build. Tools for the build include but not limited to:
- 10Inch Wet Brick/Tile Saw , 14Inch Wet Chop Saw
- Power Tools (Angle Grinder, Drills, Reciprocating Saw, Portable Band Saw,
- Masonry Hand Tools (Cold Chisels, Mallet, Level, Trowel)
- A full arsenal of steel fabrication equipment including CNC Router.

Workshop Glossary of Terms - Terms you will learn!
Burn Tunnel, Heat Riser, Feed Tub, COB, Combustion Chamber, CORD, Convection
Conduction, Duct, Exhaust, Exhaust Flue, Heat Storage, HydroCarbon, Hypocaust, Kindling, Manifold, Pyrolysis, Refractory, Radiation, Specific Heat, Stack, Thermal Battery, Thermal Mass, Urbanite

Additional Features:
Learn the ins and outs of a Rocket Mass Heater system with Integrated Water Heating Coil
Learn how to make Clay-Crete (viscous COB) and forms.
Learn about a Wood Gasification Boiler made in the Czech Republic
Learn about Pellet Stove modifications for increased energy efficiency - i.e. Adapting Fresh Outside Air Intake.
Learn about a commercial buildings existing HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) system and how to identify and retrofit systems to clean wood heat technology.
Meet and greet all of the friendly folks at the Bartley Eco-Village and tour the 60,000sq/ft building, sprout operating, geo-desic dome and permaculture organic gardens.

Among all phenomena, it is really the only one to which there can be so definitely attributed the opposing values of good and evil. It shines in Paradise. It burns in Hell. It is gentleness and torture. It is cookery ad apocalypse. - Gaston Bachlard, The Psychoanalysis of Fire

Date: Saturday November 22nd and Sunday November 23rd 2014
Time: Sat – 9:00am-5:00pm , Sun 10:00am – 5:00pm
Location: 160 Bartley Drive, Toronto ON (Victoria Park & Eglington)
Tuition: $200.00 (Register Online @
Lunches: Snacks, Beverages and Vegetarian Lunch Provided (Made with Love). Contact Chef Jenny G if you have any food allergies or special dietary restrictions.
Saturday Potluck Dinner: Bring a dish or dessert to share for Saturday dinner!
More Information Contact:
Register @
Bartley Building Co-coordinator – Frank -

What to bring?
Work Boots, Safety Glasses, Ear Plugs or Head Phones, Dust Mask, work gloves.
Bring a change of clothes!
Bring a Mug, Bowl, fork, spoon, chop sticks for lunch and beverages.
7 years ago
Come out for a weekend, join us in Guelph ON, Friday Sept 27th to Sunday Sept 29th, and learn all about building with earth: specifically how to use it to build an efficient rocket mass heater. You will gain the skills to build your very own rocket mass heater made from natural materials including clay, sand, bricks, stove pipe, a barrel and other recycled materials.

In partnership with Transition Guelph, Minga Skill Building Hub and local Rocket Mass Heater builder Andrew Brunning, we are co-creating a Rocket Mass Heater Workshop with natural builders Ernie and Erica Wisner! Yes thats correct, we are flying in the Rocket Mass Heater Gurus to preach permaculture every step of the turn, to delivery the most in-depth and uptodate Rocket Mass Heater wisdom, its Permaculture Pandemonium!, Well known all over the world and across North America for installing over 700 RMH systems, teaching workshops and known for being moderators of the RMH forum on (hey thats here!) See them in action on youtube: (Paul Wheatons KickStarter) and Erica and Ernies RMH Kickstarter:

The heart of our personal research is the Rocket Mass Heater (Erica Wisner)

Ernie and Erica have released several sets Rocket Mass Heater building plans and Ernie has written a book detailing the fire sciences called: The Art of Fire

Why a Rocket Mass Heater:

Good Questions! There are many heating options for your space, wood stoves, furnaces, masonry stoves, boilers and every option in between. There are a few incredible reasons why it should be a Rocket Mass Heater:

Rocket Mass Heaters create an exceptional warm living environment, providing heat to the air, your body as you sit or lie on the heated bench or bed, and the top of the Bell (barrel) offers an efficient cooking surface

heat a living space with a fraction of the firewood (1 Cord of wood per heating season)
wood burns so efficiently that there is virtually no smoke, simply steam and CO2 (smoke is simply unburned fuel)
The stoves thermal mass stores and radiates heat for days after a single firing
the RMH can be built in a few days on the cheap ($100 - $500)
You can lie down on the heated bench or bed of the RMH without being burned - try that on a wood stove or furnace!
The RMH heating appliance becomes an artistic value added feature to a home and quickly becomes the most sought after space to be vrs. the feeling of snuggling up next to your gas furnace in the basement not to mention the gas bills! (no thanks!)
A full-size RMH system can have thermal mass (cob and stone) weighing in at 3 to 5 tonnes, this mass also serves the function of capturing and storing solar radiation for winter heating and serves to keep your space cool in the summer.
Feel great about knowing you built your own heating system rather than relying on Coal, Gas, Nuclear and imported technologies.

Over the the course of the weekend we will all have an opportunity to learn and work in these areas:

• identify ideal place for your Rocket Mass Heater
• create a base for the RMH
• identify suitable soil for making cob
• lay firebricks for combustion chamber
• building the heat riser
• mix thermal cob & insulative cob and earthen mortar
• laying out stove pipe exhaust and chimney
• setting the Bell (barrel) into place
• how to light the fire and stoke to prevent blow back
• fire sciences

What hands-on skills will I learn
You will learn how to mix and apply COB and Earthen Mortars from sand, clay and water (With your hands and feet!)
Laying and cutting bricks for the combustion chamber and manifold - using trowels and masonry tools
Making an earthen insulative mix of slip clay and perlite to insulate around the combustion chamber and heatriser.
Heat riser build (with brick or steel column) and Bell (Barrel) installation.
You will learn how to safely cut, crimp and securely connect stove pipe for the RMH exhaust/chimney
Installing and attaching stove pipe fittings( T's & Elbows) for system ash clean outs

A List of Hand Tools we will be learning to use:
Level, Cold Chisels, Hammer, Mallet, Hack Saw, Tin Snips, Metal Cutters, Crimpers, Screw Drivers, Drills, Shovels, Wheel Barrels, Tarps , Masonry trowels

This course is for you if:

The thought of building with natural materials excites and/ or scares you - but you really want to dig in!
You want to heat your yourself, your home, greenhouse or workshop without supporting the destruction of the boreal forest (using scrap wood, recycled pallets, fallen branches and twigs)
You are looking for guidance and instruction from experienced RMH builders
The idea that you can build with material found under foot and from local dumps and scrap yards is invigorating


Register for our weekend workshop beginning Friday Sept 27th at 4:00pm and ending Sunday Sept 29th at 4:00pm.

Friday - Arrive on site at 4:00pm - we will meet and greet, have dinner and begin our Fire Sciences demo.

Saturday - Come for breakfast at 9:00pm - the day includes lunch and dinner and rocket mass heater learning and building
Saturday evening permaculture pandemonium atmosphere and live entertainment!

Sunday - Come for breakfast at 9:00pm - the day includes lunch and dinner and rocket mass heater workshop - finish at 4:00pm
A tasty organic lunch, tea, coffee and cold beverages will be provided sourced from Guelphs own local farms and markets.

Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada - Final Address (TBA)
Date: Sept 27th - 29th
Cost: $400.00

Eventbrite - Rocket Mass Heater Workshop - With Ernie & Erica Wisner

In the spirit of the permaculture transition town movement, we have created a few spaces open for folks who at this time cannot pay the full registration fee yet are suffering from extreme rocket-mass-heater-permaculture-pandemonium and would like to make alternative arrangements: please contact: andrew(dot)brunning@gmail(dot)com

Andrew Brunning is a local Rocket Mass Heater Builder, Yoga Teacher and Permaculture enthusiast. Recently, in partnership with Container House Ontario, a RMH was installed into a shipping container home during a weekend workshop at Guelphs own Diyode communtiy workshop. At the Guelph Outdoor school, a RMH workshop was held to replace a wood stove for cooking in the outdoor kitchen. Andrew's first RMH system was built into a low tunnel greenhouse to provide heat for seedling germination.

Minga Skill Building Hub is a social enterprise started by Ami Dehne. Her passion for skill building came after reading the Foxfire series and working on Healthy Homes Calgary – an award winning program she co-created. With a passion for skills, a fun loving and positive approach to life and a natural ability to bring people together, starting a skill building hub is a perfect alignment for Ami.

Transition Guelph is a group of concerned and active Guelph residents who have come together with the shared vision of building resilience and sustainability into our community in response to the challenges of accelerating climate change, peak oil and depleting critical resources, and the global economic instability that these can cause.
8 years ago

So in the KickStarter I have heard about the special heat riser core that is performing better than the old styles.
In the limited video and pictures I have seen what seems to be a taller medium sized barrel (2 welded together and inverted)
Questions: In the portable / 1hour build unit
What is so special about the special heat riser core?
How do you make it, I am building units now and cannot wait months for the DVDs. Paul! I will pay for the unedited footage now!
What is the diameter of the heat riser, it seems it couldn't be 6" because the barrels are so thin and there wouldn't be enough insulation. so less insulation or using a 4" or 5" pipe?

Question: Boom Squish
What is it, and what is the most efficient and easiest way to heat water with a rocket mass heater?
In the video I saw non-copper tubing (looked like 1" diamter flexible - what is this called?) wrapped around the horizontal exhaust and insulated(with what?)
are they using a recirc pump or thermosyphon.

If anyone has any help here(links to videos or other answers, clues on the forum, SO MUCH APPRECIATED THANKYOU@!!!

9 years ago
Anyone have any expertise or advice on how to make your own roll up sides for a hoop house (a poly covered metal framed greenhouse)
The hand cranks are really expensive from what I have seen
There must be organic-permies who have/need a cheap efficient way to ventilate their greenhouse using roll up sides.
10 years ago
I have a nice clearing in a forest to build a small cabin / cob hut.
How does one go about planning the foundation?

Trying to build with only materials from the property i.e. fallen timbre, cob etc..

As an option,
I Would like to put in a rocket mass in-floor radiant heating system or

Either way, there is no access by truck, so carrying in loads of gravel, rocks etc. will be a big effort,
would like to start the project now and finish by November=ish..
mostly doing it single handedly
10 years ago
Is hybrid considered GMO?

looking at ordering from this company:

Climate is 5B ontario canada
10 years ago
4 to 6 feet high or higher
Have a 1 acre property, how about earth bag? Also trying to keep the chickens and dogs in, looking for alternatives to metal wire fencing...
Anyone have an experience with earth bag and have tips, thanks, what is the best finishing method? Living in climate zone 5B Ontario Canada (this doesnt consider climate change)
I thought hugle-culture, but its too wide and the chickens will clime it.
kombucha cheers
10 years ago

Travis Philp wrote:

Organdy Hatfield wrote:

Travis Philp wrote:Welcome Roundhammer,

I've been collecting bricks and cinder blocks in the hopes of using it to build...something.

We're looking for people to partner with, who would build small one room living structures that we would rent out. We wouldn't necessarily be able to pay a wage up front and would ideally have some sort of profit share arrangement with the builders. How does that sound to you?

I just built one in my 12x20' greenhouse, works great. Also interested in the idea of small 10x10 Cob Cabins heated with rocket mass heaters(interested in building one or many depending on the relationship/living arrangements for on-site etc) Do you have land to build on?

Hi Organdy. I've got 100 acres, and we can have up to 5 acres of our land covered in buildings. If the building is under 109 square feet there is no permit needed.

Hi Travis, 5 acres of 109sq/ft cob huts is a very big eco-village!! I am currently looking for 3 to 5 acres to live on and maintain, build a cob eco-dwelling, have large garden, keep bees, and other permaculture eco-village activities. Also a yoga teacher/guide. A gentlemen Wayne with the Eden Wild concept (WilderHaven) in muskoka area also has 100acres and he is offering the option of building a 10x10 cob hut, in return you can use it and live on the land whenever you want, however, when you are not there, he gets to rent it out and you get a percentage of the rental fee. This keeps a mutual good relationship of "ownership" and helps with initial costs/labour. Peace.
10 years ago