Biographical Note

John Gulland's involvement with woodburning began in 1974 when he built a wood stove for his own home and pursued a personal interest in the technology. During the late seventies he served as product development engineer for a major manufacturer of woodburning appliances. He became a consultant in the field in 1981 and served for one year as residential wood energy policy advisor to Energy, Mines and Resources Canada. While continuing to offer consulting services, he established a highly successful wood stove and fireplace retail store in 1985 which he sold to its manager in 1992. Working under contract to the Canadian Wood Energy Institute, he served as principal researcher, writer and project leader in the development of the reference materials and course documents for the acclaimed Wood Energy Technical Training program (WETT), which is now the national training system for wood energy professionals. He has also led a team of researchers conducting combustion venting research for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. From 1990 to 1994, his company provided association management and technical services to Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc. (WETT Inc.), the national registrar for the WETT program, and to the Association of Registered Wood Energy Technicians of Ontario (ARWETO), its affiliate in Ontario. In the mid-1990s, he developed a new manual and workshop called Reliable Chimney Venting which has been adopted and published by the U.S. HEARTH Education Foundation. His book, The Hearth in the House as a System is now online. John is deeply involved in initiatives to reduce smoke emissions – both indoor and outdoor – from woodburning equipment.  

Below:  Some of the research reports and training documents produced in his more than thirty year career in woodburning

How is a guy supposed to get any work done with all this stuff on his desk?

Career Highlights

Research and Technology Development

      1974          Built his first wood stove and went on to design and build a variety of experimental and custom fireplaces and heaters

      1978          Began working for a major Canadian wood furnace manufacturer; rose to the position of director of product development

      1979          Began a long-standing contribution to solid fuel standards development through the technical committees of the Canadian Standards Association and Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada

      1983-91     Chair, CSA technical committee on emissions and efficiency testing of solid fuel burning appliances

      1990          Served as project manager/principal researcher for a major venting research project for CMHC; final report entitled That Nice Woodsy Smell: Combustion Spillage From Wood Heating Appliances.

      1997          Researched and wrote for Environment Canada: Scoping Study: Reducing Smoke Emissions From Home Heating With Wood to assist the department in assessing air pollution mitigation strategies

      1997-98     Developed technical and strategic documents for the North Central Hearth Products Association to assist the organization in mounting a challenge to a proposed energy code in Minnesota  

         2000           Provided strategic and editorial support to the Hearth Products Association of Canada in a collaborative research project with Environment Canada to characterize dioxin and furan emissions from woodburning equipment.

Professional Training and Public Information

      1981          Wrote the Heating With Wood chapter of the "Billpayer's Guide to Heating Systems" for Energy, Mines and Resources Canada, which was later adapted as a stand-alone publication called "Heating With Wood: A Homeowner's Guide" of which hundreds of thousands were distributed by the Canadian federal government

      1985-87     Served as project manager and principal researcher and writer of the 500-page Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) Reference Manual; Canadian Wood Energy Institute

      1987          Wrote An Old Flame Rekindled, a consumer booklet on the safe and effective use of wood heating; Ontario Ministry of Energy

      1987-2000  Developed occupational analysis and training documentation for a total of ten courses making up the Wood Energy Technical Training program which is now the national training system for wood energy professionals in Canada

      1992          Wrote A Guide to Residential Wood Heating, published by Natural Resources Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; almost 1 million copies have been distributed since publication

      1994          Researched and wrote Reliable Chimney Venting, a technical manual presenting an integrated theory of chimney function in the context of the influences of the building and its mechanical components

      1995          Established a licensing agreement with the Hearth Education Foundation in the United States for the distribution of the Reliable Chimney Venting manual and training seminars based on its contents

      1996          Developed an informational world wide web site devoted to responsible wood heating (, now

      1996-98     Developed a technical reference manual, policy manual, training documents and examination for the Masonry Heater Association of North America leading to the certification of professional heater masons

      1997          Wrote and produced the fully illustrated book The Fireplace in the House as a System, a hearth planning and problem diagnostics framework for builders, architects and information-driven homeowners.

      1998          Developed the print components (poster and brochure) for the Feel Good, Choose Wood campaign, a wood heating public relations project funded by industry contributions

     2001-02      Developed HearthCheck, a fully-documented professional training program on safe combustion venting in new, tightly-constructed houses  for the North Central Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.

Policy Development

     1981-82         Accepted a one year appointment to Energy, Mines and Resources Canada on an executive interchange program to assist with the wood heating components of the National Energy Program; initiated an agreement between the federal government and the Canadian Standards Association for the accelerated development of solid fuel standards, which remained in place until the early 1990s

      1983-84     Served as secretary and consultant to the Ontario Government/Industry Task Force on Residential Wood Heat Safety and produced its final report

      1984          Researched and wrote Coming to Terms With the Emissions Issue: A Report on the Development of a Canadian Standard for Performance Testing of Woodburning Equipment; Canadian Wood Energy Institute

      1985          Researched and wrote A Policy for Safer Woodburning; Canadian Wood Energy Institute

      1995          Prepared the report: The Hearth Products Market in Canada for Jotul a.s. of Norway to assist the company in developing a marketing strategy  

         2000          Revised the residential wood energy components of the 1995 Criteria Air Contaminants Emissions Inventory Guidebook for Environment Canada.

         2002          Led a team of survey research specialists in developing an effective questionnaire on wood burning equipment use and fuel consumption for Environment Canada to assist the department in updating its emissions inventory.

Project and Association Management

      1990-94     Selected by the board of directors to provide association management and technical services for the Association of Registered Wood Energy Technicians of Ontario (ARWETO)

      1990-94     With the assistance of staff and volunteers, managed the Wood/Gas Forum, the annual trade show and conference presented by ARWETO

      1991          Selected to provide association management and technical services for the Canadian Wood Energy Institute and assisted the volunteer board of directors in forming Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc., a non-profit corporation to manage and continue the development of the Wood Energy Technical Training program.

      1991-94     Provided association management services for Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc.

      1994          Managed the successful transfer of two non-profit associations, Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc. and the Association of Registered Wood Energy Technicians of Ontario, to a Toronto-based management agency; both associations were financially and administratively stable at the time of the transfer

      1999 -      In collaboration with a number of colleagues, formed The Wood Heat Organization Inc., a non-profit agency headquartered at

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Contact me by e-mail: john(at)