Fabric First with concrete is the logical step to maximise energy efficiency.
There are many elaborate systems that can be added to improve the energy efficiency of your home. However the most important first step is to make best use of the structure: i.e the Fabric First approach. Masonry and concrete construction can easily meet and exceed the requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations – Conservation of Fuel and Energy. The enhanced energy performance of masonry construction has been achieved through a range of measures including higher standards of insulation, airtightness and thermal bridging and of course, harnessing the benefits of concrete’s thermal mass.
Airtightness is a key factor in achieving energy-efficient homes. The airtightness of new concrete buildings has steadily increased in recent years as greater knowledge has informed the design and construction process. Concrete provides the basis for a robust air barrier that is not reliant on sticky tape or sealant.
As the energy use of buildings accounts for the largest part of their environmental impact, the Fabric First approach leads to reduced CO2 emissions and improves well-being and comfort.
Did you know that concrete can store heat energy and later on, this energy is then released? Thermal Mass is a word used to describe the ability of construction materials to store and release large quantities of thermal energy. These materials are normally dense structural elements that form part of the building’s fabric. Materials such as concrete and stone are particularly effective.
Thermal mass has two effects in a building;
- Thermal Mass moderates internal temperatures
- Thermal Mass delays peak temperatures.
In effect, daytime temperatures in a heavyweight building, such as a concrete or masonry built building, will peak lower and later than in a lightweight building and temperatures will not drop as much over the course of the night.
Behaving like a thermal flywheel, the walls and floors of a concrete building can store thermal energy during times of daytime surplus and release it back to the building during night-time scarcity, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing energy bills.
Concrete Buildings can be built to Nearly Zero Emissions Building Standard (NZEB)
Concrete’s in-built thermal mass comes at no extra cost.
Concrete’s thermal mass reduces temperature fluctuations, thereby providing greater comfort.
‘Fabric First with Concrete’ – The first step to maximise a buildings performance!