The effect of thermal mass on thermal performance in UK primary school classrooms

Azadeh Montazami, F. Nicol, M. Gaterell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


According to the current set of UK climate scenarios, climate change is likely to increase the average temperature during summers by 7 ºC by the end of this century. Therefore, and naturally ventilated schools are at risk of experiencing overheating during summer months. However, the use of thermal mass could help to control indoor temperatures and provide thermal comfort in UK schools. This study investigates the effect of thermal mass on summer thermal comfort in UK primary school classrooms. The analysis is based on an extensive survey of 139 classrooms selected from three London boroughs in the summers of 2005, 2007 and 2008. Indoor classroom temperatures were recorded every half hour over 43 days in June and July with I- Button temperature datalogger. Indoor temperatures were compared with those derived from use of the adaptive thermal comfort model in order to determine the percentage of people that may experience thermal stress inside a classroom. Results show that heavy thermal mass schools are more likely to deliver thermal comfort in comparison to medium and low thermal mass schools.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event2015 TAU Conference: Mitigating and Adapting Built Environments for Climate Change in the Tropics - School of Architecture, Tanri Abeng University, Jakarta, Indonesia
Duration: 30 Mar 201531 Mar 2015


Conference2015 TAU Conference


  • Thermal mass
  • Overheating
  • Global warming
  • UK schools
  • Primary schools
  • Classrooms


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