Think thermal (mass)
from Modern Steel Construction
The benefits of thermal mass on reducing heating and cooling costs and increasing occupant comfort have been known for centuries and studied extensively for the past 50 years. Comparing R-values of mass walls and their light-framed counterparts does not accurately capture the true energy efficiency characteristics of these different building envelope systems. Such advantages of mass wall systems were recently highlighted in the February 2013 issue of Modern Steel Construction magazine that showed, in part, that overall energy use of mass wall systems was slightly lower than comparable stud-framed construction; despite the effective R-values of the mass walls being up to 40 percent lower. The author also conjectures that steel frames may contribute enough thermal mass to have moderate energy benefits.
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