Visit the Energy Systems Laboratory Homepage.
Residential Thermal Mass Construction
MetadataShow full item record
The southwest has long known the value of building homes with high mass materials. The ancient Pueblo Indians found that by using "adobe" they could capture the energy necessary to survive the harsh desert climate. Our ancestors knew that a heavy, dense wall (internal or external), or floor could store collected heat or coolness, retain it for long periods of time, and then slowly transfer it to its surrounding. Due to rising construction costs and increased competition, modern homebuilders have completely shied away from high mass construction practices. In an attempt to revitalize the use of high mass in residential construction, we have designed a special "Thermal Mass Block." This new block incorporates the use of modern construction techniques with the value of high mass. This paper describes the environment surrounding the development of this high mass block. It examines the research foundation used to validate the benefits of high mass construction.
Thieken, J. S. (1988). Residential Thermal Mass Construction. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from