Optimising use of thermal mass

The following are recommendations for optimal use of thermal mass in dwellings

- A high standard of insulation and airtightness – although this is now a prerequisite for all new buildings to conform to the latest building regulations.

- A medium to high level of thermal mass, typically provided by Tarmac products within ground floors, internal floors, external walls, separating walls and internal partitions, with suitable finishes.

- A southern orientation to allow passive solar gains in the winter (heating) season, and to help provide effective shading in the summer (particularly where overhangs are used).

- A sufficiently clear view of the sky from the south.

- Well insulated glazing, and ideally an above average area of glazing on the south façade to maximise solar gains during the heating season.

- Windows that provide effective ventilation, particularly during summer nights. The design must account for any security implications.

- Adequate shading: a requirement that will become increasingly important in the future for all types of dwelling.

If you are involved in specifying, designing or constructing non-residential buildings, find out more about the thermal mass benefits of Termodeck. (new window).

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Fact 19

Being seen to be green is popular among 70% of the UK population, but only 40% of people are actually taking action.
Source: Energy Saving Trust 2008