Thermal mass refers to the ability of a material to store heat. Thermal mass is effective in improving a building’s comfort in places that experience daily temperature fluctuations, both in winter as well as in summer.
You can imagine thermal mass as a thermal battery, absorbing and storing heat during the day and releases it at night when the temperature drops.
Dense materials such as concrete and masonry products can store a lot of heat, while lighter materials such as timber and steel does not.
When used well and combined with passive solar design, thermal mass can play an important role in reducing heating and cooling energy uses.
Utilising Thermal mass in summer
Protect the thermal mass from excess summer sun with shading and insulation, and allow cool night breezes to pass over thermal mass to draw out stored energy.
Utilising Thermal mass in winter
Thermal mass absorbs the heat during the day from sunlight or heaters, and releases warmth back into the home throughout the night.