This note was prepared by Detlev Geard of the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES). It makes recommendations as to the application of thermal mass in construction in Tasmania’s cool temperate climate.
Thermal mass within a building provides a more comfortable environment for both summer and winter. Thermal mass stores solar radiation entering through north facing glazing during the day, then at night re-radiates heat energy when the air temperature in the space drops below the surface temperature. Thermal mass ideally acts as a flywheel, absorbing and storing excess heat energy during the day (preventing overheating) and releasing the heat energy at night, during both heating and cooling seasons.