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Nobody asks about Thermal Mass! (only R-factors and R-values)

Updated: Aug 30

Okay, so the title isn't 100% accurate. Architects and builders who have been in the energy conservation world for a long time do ask about thermal mass, but the majority of people I talk to ask about r-value. I understand that, because we have always been taught that r-value is a comprehensive measurement for insulation, and that high r-value insulation is the sole way to minimize energy use around heating and cooling. But, it's really not. Not at all!


"Thermal mass" refers to the ability of a material to absorb, store, and release heat over time. It plays a crucial role in regulating indoor temperatures and reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling.


When it comes to building materials, different substances have varying thermal properties. Materials with high thermal mass, such as Agriboard's™ compressed straw panels, have the ability to store a significant amount of heat. Incorporating materials with high thermal mass into a building's design can provide several benefits including:


-Temperature Regulation: During hot periods, thermal mass can absorb excess heat, preventing rapid temperature increases indoors. Conversely, during cold periods, it can release stored heat, helping to maintain warmth.


-Energy Efficiency: By stabilizing indoor temperatures, thermal mass reduces the need for active heating and cooling systems, leading to energy savings and lower utility bills.


-Comfort: Buildings with good thermal mass tend to have more stable and comfortable indoor environments, as they experience fewer temperature fluctuations.


Thermal mass is a vital aspect of building design, and choosing appropriate materials, such as Agriboard panels, can greatly impact a building's energy efficiency and comfort. When combined with other passive design strategies, thermal mass can significantly contribute to creating sustainable and comfortable living and working spaces. Customers from both residential and commercial buildings that were built with Agriboard panels have reported between 20%-40% energy savings by using our product. In areas that do not use electrical heating and cooling, the residents have also told us how much more comfortable living in an Agriboard house is compared to their previous residences.


Below is a short video about Agriboard panels and how they react to high temperatures.



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