Hybrid Custom Fire Feature – Custom Case Study

VGF has designed and installed many custom projects over the years, indoor, outdoor, large, and small. Here you’ll find a collection a few favourite projects, some straight-forward, some filled with challenges, and others that are just plain ‘ole fun. We put them together to form the Vancouver Gas Fireplaces Custom Case Studies.



With this project, our client had envisioned a hybrid fire feature. VGF Custom Fireplaces was approached to design a burner system for installation into a site-poured finished concrete enclosure. The design was to include a custom-designed vent hood installed behind the finishes, tapering up into a vent system which included a vent-top power draft inducer.

The idea was to have a very clean line of flame coming out of sand and playing against the background of finished concrete. Simple and clean to look at, but, as with many clean finish set-ups, the execution came with challenges.

The initial design was completely open on the front and on one side without glass. Even with a powered draft inducer, this set-up was unlikely to vent properly, so a glass panel was added on the side to form the wall of the enclosure. The other challenge with the venting was that the opening was approximately three feet high and sixty five inches wide.

Given the swirling nature of venting dynamics, this proved to be problematic during testing as we found that exhaust byproducts were spilling into the room. Our custom team experimented with several burner set-ups and baffle arrangements in the collection hood to find a balance of air flow and flame pattern that would be workable in terms of aesthetics and safety.

This process also involved adjustment of the venting speed by varying the speed of the vent-top draft inducer. The flow of venting was attuned by an adjustable damper installed in the throat of the vent hood. This process was aided by smoke devices to track air movement. In the end an acceptable balance was achieved.

Given the individual varying influences of each installation, some custom set-ups, no matter how well designed on paper, will require on-site tweaking to achieve a safe and satisfactory result. Although sometimes frustrating, it adds to our body of knowledge, assisting greatly in the design and implementation of future projects.

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Vancouver Gas Fireplaces’ custom fabrications and installations are designed and tested to exceed UL/ULC standards and associated sections pertaining to the harmonized North American Gas Code.
In British Columbia our custom projects are subject to an
independent preliminary review by the Equipment Approvals Manager of the Gas Safety Authority of British Columbia and a subsequent field review and inspection by Independent Arms Length Government Inspectors.
Our installations and fabrications outside of British Columbia have been independently tested and approved by ULC, Inreteck and other certified and recognized independent testing agencies through out North America as specifically required by local jurisdictions.