Active Thermal Mass Solutions

Thermal mass explained

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Thermal mass describes the ability of a material to store heat. It is well known that lightweight buildings will rapidly heat and cool depending on the outside conditions but heavyweight buildings will adjust more slowly. As the diagram shows high thermal mass can reduce and delay peak temperatures in buildings.

To achieve higher thermal mass, architects and engineers can choose materials with high mass such as concrete and masonry. Concrete has both high thermal mass and also high thermal conductivity. Having high thermal conductivity increases the ability to use mass away from the surface in contact with the occupied space.

The area and position of the exposed surface mass in a room will dictate its effectiveness. Generally the greater the area of such materials in a room, the bigger the effect the thermal mass will have on the environment. A ceiling is ideal as occupants will always be near to the ceiling and can be exposed and not be covered as may occur with the floor.

Improvements in Building Management Systems (BMS) can activate and leverage the storage capabilities of high building mass. Engineers and architects can adopt these new techniques to reduce the sustainable footprint of new buildings.

How It Works

Thermal mass describes

the ability of  a material to

store heat. As the diagram shows high thermal mass can reduce and delay peak temperatures in buildings.

For more information on thermal mass can be found at:  www.greenpassivesolar.com/passive-solar/building-characteristics/thermal-mass/

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