Thermal Mass in Buildings
What is Thermal Mass?
Thermal mass, more appropriately called Fabric Energy Storage, is the ability of the fabric of a building to absorb excess heat.
Effectively utilised, it can reduce cooling loads and, in some cases, remove the requirement to provide air conditioning entirely in some buildings.
Since air conditioning is one of the major users of energy, this can have a significant effect on reducing CO2 emissions in building use.
How does Thermal Mass work?
Solar gains, equipment use and human activities within the building generate heat.
The warmed air rises, flows across the exposed surfaces and is absorbed into the material.
For this to happen efficiently, the soffits of the ceiling must be exposed.
This can significantly reduce air and radiant surface temperatures.
These are often combined as the dry resultant temperatures, an indication of the temperature perceived by the occupants.