Using thermal mass in timber framed buildings.
The old fashioned idea that timber framed houses can't keep its residents warm in a cold climate has been debunked by recent research on thermal mass by WoodSolutions.
Three new design guides "Thermal Performance in Timber-framed Buildings", "Using Thermal Mass in Timber-framed Buildings" and "Thermal Performance for Timber-framed Residential Construction" explain how solid and heavy materials (brick, insulation and even water) often have an ability to store and release heat. This ability can be utilised to even out daily temperature extremes. This ability is commonly known as ‘thermal mass’.
The Design Guides say that utilising well-designed thermal mass can provide more comfortable interiors. However, if not designed well, too much mass can create interiors that are hard to keep comfortable.
For any climate there is a point at which adding thermal mass provides little or no benefit. The location of the mass within a room is also important. As heat rises, mass in ceilings can be used to absorb heat for optimal cooling and when used for heating, solar-heated mass in the floor is best.
If you are a designer, builder or home owner want to learn more about the ability of thermal mass to moderate temperature watch this webinar which explains aimed at reinforces basic principles and introduces new strategies.
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