Thermal mass is a concept in building design that describes how the mass of the building provides “inertia” against temperature fluctuations, sometimes known as the thermal flywheel effect. For example, when outside temperatures are fluctuating throughout the day, a large thermal mass within the insulated portion of a house can serve to “flatten out” the daily temperature fluctuations, since the thermal mass will absorb thermal energy when the surroundings are higher in temperature than the mass, and give thermal energy back when the surroundings are cooler, without reaching thermal equilibrium
With roughly two billion people living in adverse poverty, a $25000 contest challenged the world to present concepts and designs for a house that can be built for under $300.
Second Jury winner was Hybrid house – DVS design was based on a hybrid structure of thermal mass and a lightweight configurable structure to react to whatever climate the slum dwellers are facing.
The Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Center incorporates several sustainable strategies in the design - solar panels for feedback into the energy grid, storm water harvesting tanks, mixed mode air-conditioning systems, low energy light fittings throughout, low water usage fittings, long life cycle efficiency materials and construction, solar treatment to all windows, naturally ventilated circulation corridors and shaded exposed thermal mass internally.
The above sketches show the impact of thermal mass with different construction types.
Thermal mass is an essential ingredient when architects arec designing houses especially in the Gold Coast region.
For more sustainable Gold Coast inspired architecture see Alternative Architecture
Eco Architectural features include :
Contact Gold Coast Architects, Architecture of Spirit, on 0403 203 963 or firstname.lastname@example.org .