Gallery: Think Thick: Thermal Mass Construction Produces Energy-Efficie...


Most of us know that a full refrigerator uses less energy than an empty one, because anything’s that denser than air will better store the cold. Opening the door of an empty fridge causes cold air (weighing less than an ounce) to rush out and fall to the floor. Warm air enters. When the door closes, the unit cycles on, and the process repeats. That’s sort of how thermal mass construction works. Beefy Styrofoam and concrete walls on an insulated foundation cut both heating and cooling loads. It’s vastly more efficient to keep a relatively massive structure at a steady temperature than it is to manipulate the air with energy-intensive HVAC systems. Read on for a closer look at this green building strategy!

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