Benefits of Thermal Mass

Image of thermal massThermal mass is the ability of a material to absorb heat. Using the thermal mass of a building is an effective and efficient way to maintain a comfortable and stable temperatures, plus it's a low energy solution with reduced environmental impact.  Each of the home use the high thermal mass of concrete and masonry products in two innovative ways:

1. Thermal storage
Heat or cool is stored within the buildings thermal mass. So while the outdoor ambient temperatures may significantly rise and fall with the daily cycle, the internal temperatures remain stable, this is known as thermal lag. So there's no need to rapidly heat or cool internal spaces. Instead, temperatures are adjusted in a more efficient manner.

2. Radiant effect 
In the code 6 home, the thermal mass of the hollowcore is exposed as it forms the ceiling soffit of the downstairs area. Up to 70% of the heating or cooling of rooms is through the radiant effect, directly heating or cooling the occupants rather than the air around them. This is an extremely efficient way to achieve comfortable conditions in buildings. 

Read more information on research carried out by Arup, commissioned by The Concrete Centre on 'whole life research' of 4 different building types.

Also see our recommendations for optimising thermal mass in building design.

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Fact 24

Almost 150 MtCO2 could be saved if all dwellings inthe UK were zero-carbon.
Source: Energy Saving Trust 2008