The Isokern Fireplace, a product manufactured by Earthcore Industries, is a relatively new kind of modular fireplace core that is easy to install and may help to revolutionize and revitalize the use of wood-fired, masonry fireplaces.
Today’s residential architecture has slowly but surely moved away from the traditional masonry fireplace which has been replaced by the ubiquitous gas insert (or else the zero-clearance metal core design). This is largely due to shrinking profit margins in home development as builders look for alternatives to the very labor-intensive task of building the structural core of a firebox and chimney.
The Isokern takes much of that difficulty to task with a design that is lightweight, extremely heat efficient, and installs in a day or so. There are a number of styles available along with corresponding chimney blocks – the inside of the firebox may be veneered with firebrick or left as-is.
The block material consists of specially quarried Icelandic pumice which is held together with a patented cement formula, and the heat resistance is remarkable. The Isokern material transfers absolutely no heat through its walls, making it unnecessary to observe the usual stand-off requirements imposed on brick and block construction.
Earthcore now offers a filtering product called GreenTech. It is actually involves a catalytic process whereby the wood smoke is incinerated even further, bringing down harmful emissions by up to 90% as well as eliminating the need for chimney sweeping.
The install process for the Isokern is a breeze, making the planning process much easier and leaving plenty of time and budget for the exterior decoration of the structure, whether it be a brick or a natural stone veneer. I highly recommend the product to anyone looking to install a new fireplace, indoor or outdoor.
by Mark Shepherd www.ShepherdStoneworks.com
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