Long Linear Fireplace 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.
Vancouver Gas Fireplaces (VGF) was approached by Euro Canadian Construction Corp. about supplying a custom linear fire feature for one of their clients. This linear custom unit required a visible opening more than nine feet in length, fourteen inches in height and as shallow in depth as possible. It was to be installed on the twelfth floor of a Vancouver condo.
There were a number of challenges in this project. First, it required the VGF Custom Design team to deal with a large number of physical obstacles starting with the shallow depth of the fire feature. The second challenge was to determine a venting strategy based on the location of the unit.
The venting ran through the ceiling to an exterior balcony, with a power-vent system installed in the ceiling area of the balcony. Then it had to be vented out through a concrete wall some 120 feet above the ground. Moreover, the fresh air intake also had to be obtained from the ceiling area of the balcony. To add to this, there were numerous other mechanical supply conduits competing for the same space.
In the end, the ceiling looked like a tightly laid-out circuit board blown up to a larger size before the finished ceiling went up. Because of the tight space and many twists and turns in the venting and fresh-air intake, it was considerably difficult to balance the air flow for this fire feature. We solved these issues by adjusting the built-in dampers and speed control for the inline exhaust fan.
Given the size of the firebox – which was more than 10 feet in length – there was no way it could fit into the elevator. Because of this, the contractor arranged for a crane to lift the unit – and other oversized equipment and materials needed onsite – up and through one of the front windows on the twelfth floor.
Once installed, the fire feature was enclosed in a granite finish backlit with LED lights and completed with a bronze trim around the window opening. The original plan called for the finish to be installed in front of the fireplace with the glass set back about four inches. The designer requested that that the glass be brought forward so that it would be flush with the finishes in front of the fireplace. That was done as requested, but unfortunately resulted in excessive heat being exposed to the finishes causing some cracking. This situation underlined the design challenges of these large units, which are primarily intended for aesthetic appeal rather than thermal purposes. The heat emitted by such a large unit, in reality, can cause these types of challenges.
In this case, the problem was rectified by moving the glass back to its original position and installing a secondary glass in front. As with most custom setups, there is always some adjustment needed to get things right before the final outcome is achieved. The VGF Custom Design team is always keen to resolve these challenging issues so that both the contractor and the client are happy with the final product. Ultimately, the goal is to not only make the custom fire feature look stunning; it is also for the feature to be fully operational to maximize the warmth and comfort of the client’s living space.
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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.