GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted
BS* + Beer

The BS* + Beer Show: Masonry Heaters

A look at the qualities that make this alternative heating method attractive

This episode of the BS* + Beer Show looks at the attributes and applications of masonry heaters. Guests Albie Barden and Rod Zander share insights based on decades spent designing and handcrafting custom residential heaters. We learn: the basics of how they work; the reasons they provide clean, steady, long-lasting, and gentle radiant heat—with emphasis on the capture of gases and thermal mass storage; the types of stone that best hold heat (“soapstone is in a class of its own”); different methods for introducing air over fire; the feasibility of integrating hot water systems; and a bit about the evolution of technologies to optimize heat gain. Rod shares visuals of his work, talks about the software he uses for calculating fireboxes and flues, and names a slew of reputable European manufacturers of kit units. And Albie, true to form, tells many entertaining and instructive stories that make anyone listening long to add a masonry heater to their home.


The BS* + Beer Show schedule

The next show is the 3rd Annual Halloween Special on October 20, 2022, from 6-7:30 p.m. ET, when Michael Anschel and Carl Seville will deliver building-science shenanigans guaranteed to teach and evoke some laughs—with costumes to boot!


Carl Seville is principal of SKCollaborative. He has over 30 years of experience in renovation and home construction.  He owned and operated SawHorse, Inc, one of the largest design/build renovation firms in Atlanta for over 25 years. Carl is a Green Globes professional, a HERS rater, an NGBS Master Verifier, a LEED Green Rater, and an EarthCraft and Enterprise Green Communities Technical Advisor, and holds the LEED AP Homes designation. He has served on the boards of directors of the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association and the Atlanta chapter of NARI, the Green Building Subcommittee and the Green Building Education Curriculum Committee of NAHB, NARI’s Green Remodeling Education Committee, the Georgia Governor’s Energy Policy Council, the USGBC Residential Green Building Advocate for Atlanta, and as a member of the board of the Atlanta Branch of the USGBC.

Michael Anschel is heavily involved in the Green Building movement. He led the Green Remodeling Group in the development of MN GreenStar Certified Green Homes and Remodeling, considered by some to be the most progressive and rigorous green residential building standard in the US. After serving as interim director, he works to facilitate the adoption and incorporation of Green building techniques into the entire Residential construction industry. Michael is also the owner and principal of Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build, L.L.C., a nationally recognized award-winning design-build firm that focuses on older residential homes.

Use this link to register for The BS* + Beer Show


Kiley Jacques is senior editor at Green Building Advisor. Image courtesy of Albie Barden.







  1. user-7654713 | | #1

    In the chat, Albie mentioned a German film about a Swiss stovemaker. I can't find any link to it on his website. Can someone direct me to it? Thanks for taking the time to put together this talk.

    1. Expert Member
      Michael Maines | | #2

      This is the film Albie mentioned: It looks like the owner of the video has disallowed sharing. I'll try to get more information.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.



Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |