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Thermal Mass in Clay bricks
Physical objects have mass and as a general rule, the larger or more
dense the object the greater the mass. Understandably a house or any
other building will have considerable mass, which will absorb higher
temperatures throughout the day and feed them back into the building
as the surroundings cool, usually at sunset and night time. Much the
way a tar road gives off steam after a cloudburst.
Comparing different materials
The heavier and denser a building material is, the higher the it's
potential thermal mass.
Clay bricks help lower energy costs
In South Africa temperature differences between night and day are rather large and as such Thermal mass can go a long way towards energy conservation. During the day the external walls and open concrete or clay flooring that is exposed to the sun absorb the heat and as day turns to night the heat then radiates back into those living spaces keeping temperatures indoors warmer and more stable as the outside temperatures decrease.
Based on how the house is situated, the periods in which heat is absorbed by the clay bricks of the walls as well as similar floor surfaces will vary as the angle of the sun changes with the seasons.
In South Africa a north facing structure will be able to harness the
sun's energy effectively in summer.
Likewise in winter the sun should be able to enter the house allowing
it's heat to be stored in the internal mass. Enabling you to make use
of the free heating nature provides in conjunction with your clay bricks,
whilst simultaneously decreasing your carbon footprint.
Avoiding the hot box effect.
Unlike other materials used for building walls, clay bricks have the
ability to absorb heat creating a very important time lag between the
peak hours of the sun shining on the exterior wall of the house, and
when the interior has reaches its peak temperature for the day preventing
what is commonly termed