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Cavemen were not slow in seeing the benefits of thermal mass. They quickly realised that only a few meters inside a cave, the temperature stabilises and the influence of the outside ambient temperatures diminishes.

In ancient cultures with hot climates such as Persia, the building fabric and form was designed to provide comfort against the environment. Buildings featured thick walls, small recessed windows and arches providing solar shade.

In today’s building stock, thermal mass has been largely ignored as a means to provide comfort.

In the last century, coal, gas and electricity offered relatively cheap methods to provide secondary heating and cooling systems.

With governments now setting targets for buildings to be nearly zero carbon, architects and engineers are having to re-evaluate design concepts and techniques employed. See URL: http://www.epbd-ca.eu for Towards 2020 & nearly zero carbon.

History of Thermal Mass

In ancient cultures with hot climates such as Persia, the building fabric was designed to provide comfort against the environment.

For further information see on thermal mass see www.concrete.org.uk .

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