August 5, 2015
This 6 meter high rammed earth wall we recently built on the Northern Beaches of Sydney NSW, is located in the middle of the house. It will serve as great thermal regulator. As thermal mass is slow moving, it evens out the daily temperature curve. Being internal it allows it to be cross ventilated in summer by sea breezes, whilst in winter it will store any heat from solar gains or heating and act like a hot water bottle. The only thermal mass better than rammed earth is water.
A recent article in the conversation talks about the benefits of radiant heat, which is an important feature of rammed earth. “……we knew that, at the low wind speeds typical of offices, radiant heat exchange mattered more than convective heat exchange. In other words, radiation temperature is more important for thermal comfort than air temperature. You could argue that offices should have wall conditioners, rather than air conditioners.” This is yet another reason to include internal rammed earth.
If you open a fridge that is empty, all the cool air will fall out, but if the fridge is full (same as thermal mass) the coolth stays inside the fridge. It is the same principle for ovens and same principle for houses. This is why internal thermal mass is so effective.