Mass / Guides

DLT Dowel Laminated Timber
Wood and organic materials

Two new options of mass timber panels

...massive assemblies offers a new type of structure (for floors, walls and roofs), with significant advantages over steel or concrete options. There are two products in that general family that have attracted our attention, as they enable longer spans than the traditional CLT, while requiring less wood: Mass plywoo...

Concrete floors and timber frame as thermal mass
Efficient home design

The pros and cons of thermal mass in buildings

...mass in it, any such savings pretty much cease to exist because it might take the entire day to drop even a full degree. The disadvantages of thermal mass in homes: Let's speak to the potential downsides of thermal mass first - if a home is regularly left empty for several days at a time or if you keep a cottage he...

Gabion walls can be used for building homes
Concrete and masonry

Gabion Walls - what is a gabion cage & how to build with them?

Gabion walls are retaining walls built by stacking stone in a gabion cage or gabion basket that can serve many purposes but are most often used to create tiered or leveled ground in gardens. They are rectangular baskets of metallic lattice filled with stones and their origin dates back to war times when they were er...

R values and insulation performance
Efficient home design

Understanding thermal performance

...mass of the insulation, in addition to the assembly itself, can also impact in-service heat flows. Thermal mass stores heat energy and provides a buffering effect. For example, a roof insulated with stone wool takes longer to heat up when exposed to the sun in the morning and longer to cool down in the evening than wou...

7 Principles of a super abundant, solar, year round greenhouse
Greenhouses and Sunrooms / Solariums

7 key principles for an abundant greenhouse

...Mass An extremely important part of solar greenhouse design is planning enough thermal mass , either via water, masonry or soil underground. This can be as simple as adding water barrels or you can upgrade by incorporating a Ground to Air Heat Transfer ( GAHT) system . Even a small greenhouse collects as much as 62 m...

Passive solar house design
Passive solar home design

Passive solar home design

...mass like concrete, stone or brick will absorb the most heat. For walls you can simply add a second layer of drywall (or more), if you want to keep a traditional look. A high quality window choice is important, and to truly invest in this concept you are best to install at least triple pane gas-filled windows with lo...

Slab-on-grade construction technical guide
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade technical guide

...mass within the conditioned living space has the ability to absorb and store heat, greatly helping to regulate interior temperatures. Homes with significant thermal mass inside the building envelope are also easier to keep cool in summer. Affordability: Bringing a building project to the point where it is ready for...

Techniques for reducing sound transmission in buildings
Insulation and soundproofing

Controlling sound transmission in buildings

...mass per unit area of the materials on each side of the wall or floor - the greater the weight per unit area, the better the sound insulation. eliminating all solid connections between each face of the wall or floor increasing the cavity depth increasing the thickness of the sound-absorbing material in the cavity...

Prefab frost-protected shallow foundation insulated form kit
Slab on Grade

Raft slabs - How to build Insulated Frost Protected shallow foundations (FPSF) on problem soils

...mass inside the building envelope also provides heat security in the event of a power outage, by slowly releasing its heat over the course of days. Raft slabs can be heated with hydronic systems (liquid) or air-heated tubes as seen below . A better basement design: Traditional basements begin with a poured fo...

Thermal batteries for passive solar design
Efficient home design

Thermal batteries: how to passively store heat

What is a thermal battery? Thermal mass of any kind can by definition be called a thermal battery, as it has the ability to store heat. In the context of a house, that means dense materials like bricks, masonry and concrete. Even a jug of water sitting in a sunny window is a thermal battery of sorts as it captures a...

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico, shame they don't work in cold climates
Concept and design

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...mass and fossil fuels for supplimentary heat and power; it is insulated with foam panels on the walls (we found no mention of floors) and includes thermal mass inside of the building envelope. I'm not here to criticize the fossil fuel use or foam insulation, but it's no more a 'natural phenomenon' or 'living breathin...