Active Thermal Mass Solutions

Comfort and energy benefits

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Active thermal mass can provide high levels of comfort by conditioning rooms through radiant heat and cooling from ceilings, floors and walls. It can also condition the incoming ventilations air by passing it through conditioned thermal mass. Stable temperatures can be achieved as well as , avoidance of draughts, ultra quiet operations and constant fresh air.

Active thermal mass can provide low energy heating (in excess of 120W/m2) and cooling (90W/m2) by activating the ceiling or other surfaces of the building.

Thermal mass can help reduce both capital and operational costs.

It is estimated that up to 90% of the lifetime costs of buildings are through the operational costs of energy and maintenance. So reduced energy usage will have a profound impact on reducing the running costs of a building throughout it’s operational lifetime. With energy costs on a relentless upward path, the savings from reduced energy consumption will only grow.

Using the structural components of the building such as the floor results in a number of capital cost savings. Firstly, as the ceiling and floors are acting as the radiator this enables the elimination of wet radiator systems. Secondly, the capacity of the mechanical plant can be reduced. Thirdly, the considerable costs of suspended ceilings are not required.

In addition where night time energy tariffs are available the time shifting of demands can also lead to cheaper running costs.


Active thermal mass can provide low energy comfortable environments

in many types of buildings


Low Energy

Thermal mass can reduce the energy required to heat and cool buildings in a number of ways.

  1. Free night cooling - Passive cooler night air through the building fabric to lower internal temperatures can displace the energy used to cool by refrigerant based systems.
  2. Tempering winter ventilation air - Passing cooler winter air through the mass before it reaches the occupied zones can displace energy used to pre-warm incoming air.
  3. Stable temperatures - By avoiding regular inputs of energy to meet very narrow setpoints input energy is reduced.
  4. Radiant heating and cooling - Having a high radiant component in the radiant/convective balance gives a more economical resultant temperatures for occupants

Part L and BREEAM

Thermal mass techniques can also help designers exceed the requirements of the new UK Part L Building Regulations 2010. Our specialised thermal dynamic simulation software will help advise optimum building design reducing the need for building servicing.

Where hollowcore slabs are used they also contribute exclusive points toward BREEAM accreditation. The hollowcore slabs can help achieve an A+ rating within the BRE Green Guide to Specification.

Thermal mass can help reduce both capital and operational costs

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See the link below for a good European report on thermal mass:

Reduced Costs