Thermal mass is particularly effective in places
where there is a big difference in the maximum day
temperature and minimum night temperature. In
general, the greater the daily temperature range,
the more thermal mass required.
There are three main climate Zones in Australia. It is imperative to define the climate Zone you live in before you begin even thinking about your new home. The climate you live in will affect many decisions you make about all aspects of your house design.
A term which will be discussed many times in the designing of your house is Thermal Comfort. This term basically refers to how comfortable a human feels in a room or space at any given time.
North of the Great Dividing Range
The climate north of the Great Dividing Range is
different to that south of the Divide.
On average, Mildura has a hotter summer, warmer
winter and greater day-night temperature range
than Melbourne. Thermal mass provides greatest
benefits in this situation.
South of the Great Dividing Range
For locations south of the Divide, summer comfort
is usually a priority. Thermal mass provides real
advantages in comfort terms and energy savings,
enough to offset any potential winter disadvantage.
In alpine areas or cool climates, thermal mass is
less important than insulation and correct sizing of
glass areas. There is little need for thermal mass
to moderate low summer temperatures, although it
is not a disadvantage where heating is operating
continuously, provided the building envelope is