Active Thermal Mass Solutions

Comfort and low energy buildings

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Air is an excellent means to activate the thermal mass of a building and is a very effective way of maintaining comfortable and stable temperatures.

Air based systems are typically created by modifying structural hollowcore flooring and creating a labyrinth air path or by laying ductwork in a cast in situ floor slab constructions.

The beauty of using the incoming ventilation air through the thermal mass is that it utilises structural components that are a necessity in the building. The major advantage of using the ventilation air is that the fan energy used would largely be used anyway during the occupation period, so the energy benefits have a high theoretical co-efficient of performance.

The idea originated and was commercialised by a pioneering Swedish organisation who established many buildings across the world, notably in the UK, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Australia. Such systems are suitable for most types of buildings including offices, educational, utilities, libraries, theatres and residential.

Air Systems

The supply air passes through the hollowcores at low velocities, allowing extended contact between the air and the slabs. This enables the slabs to effectively exchange heat that release heat to, or absorb heat from, the air in the slabs.

The temperature difference, between the slab and the air that exits the slab, is small, not more than 1 and 2 degrees Celsius. Air based systems can also make good use of lower night time external temperatures in summer to flush heat from buildings when the temperature of the internal mass may have risen.

Benefits of the HVAC air based system

     Low energy consumption

     Reduced carbon dioxide emissions

     Low environmental impact

     Recovery of up to 90% of the heat from the       extract air stream

     Occupied spaces are free of radiators and       pipes

     Openable windows

     Very quiet operation due to air at low       velocities has no draughts

     100% fresh, filtered air

      Comfortable, stable temperatures all year

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