Disadvantages In Cold Climates The Concrete Block House
Concrete blocks are lightweight, durable and fireproof, making them a useful homebuilding material. Thermal mass, correctly used, moderates internal temperatures by averaging out diurnal (day−night) extremes. Thermal mass is particularly beneficial where there is a big difference between day and night outdoor temperatures.
Curing Concrete in Cold Weather
The outdoor temperature has a sinusoidal curve between maximum and minimum temperatures, depending on the time of day. What’s the deal with thermal mass?
Thermal mass is a solid or liquid material that can store heat. There are a few fixed rules on what constitutes hot or cold weather in respect of concreting operations. Schedule nighttime placement if possible.
When used in concrete mixes, fly ash improves the strength and segregation of the concrete and makes it easier to pump.
Frozen masonry units must be melted and dried before use. High temperatures may cause the mortar to settle prematurely. For example, heavy vehicular traffic will require eight to 12 inches of the aggregate base. This base layer serves as the support for the sand set paving system.
Attendees will also learn the basics of air barriers as a system. Nowadays, concrete may be the material that best fits the bill. The purpose of a retaining wall in a residential setting is to “correct” the natural slope of the grounds, leaving a level area for gardening, building a patio, or otherwise enjoying more of your property than you would otherwise be able to.
What’s more, after installation, your concrete retaining wall will continue to cure in place, further increasing its strength.
Properly done, repointing restores the visual and physical integrity of the masonry. Improperly done, repointing not only detracts from the appearance of the building, but may also cause physical damage to the masonry units themselves. Granite=mineral crystals, principally feldspar and quartz, many colors, many finishes. Classified according to their grain: fine, medium, coarse. This means your household’s expenses for gas and heat will decrease and save you money in the long run. It’s fireproof, termite proof, and durable over a long period of time. These types of homes are fairly easy to work with and the material is lightweight, too.
Innovative products – Disadvantages Masonry In Cold Climates
Cooling only climates: solar exposed glass should be avoided; low mass construction with high level ventilation is usually best. Deeper, more stable ground temperatures rise beneath the house because its insulating properties prevent heat loss. Use surfaces such as quarry tiles or simply polish the concrete slab. The angle of the eaves prevents summer sun directly reaching the windows. This is known as passive solar control. Masonry walls also provide good thermal mass. Reverse brick veneer is an example of good thermal mass practice for external walls because the mass is on the inside and externally insulated.
A brick or block wall is filled with insulation separating it from the stud frame. The thermal mass floor is deepest at the point where it lies underneath the wall. Thermal mass floor and lightweight frame.
High thermal mass moderate embodied energy concrete blockwork forms the interior part of the exterior wall. The wall is supported by strip footing; a termite barrier lies between the wall and the strip footing. Locate thermal mass in north-facing rooms with good solar access, exposure to cooling night breezes in summer, and additional sources of heating or cooling (heaters or evaporative coolers).
Locate additional thermal mass near the centre of the building, particularly if a heater or cooler is positioned there. Thermal mass can increase energy use when used in rooms where auxiliary heating or cooling is the only means of adjusting the temperature because it slows the response times.
Natural convection creates higher upstairs room temperatures and upper level thermal mass absorbs this energy. Will the current use of thermal mass still be appropriate in 20 or 30 years’ time? Think about the impact of predicted changes in climate due to global warming. The predominant requirement for cooling in these climates is often suited to lightweight, low mass construction. This is particularly important if sleeping spaces are located on upper levels. Insulate slab edges and the underside of suspended slabs in colder climates. Buildings that receive little or no passive solar gains can still benefit from high mass construction if they are well insulated. Where supplementary heating or cooling is required, locate thermal mass where it is exposed to radiation from heaters or cool air streams from evaporative coolers.
Underground or earth covered homes give protection from solar radiation and provide additional thermal mass through earth coupling to stabilise internal air temperatures.
To isolate existing mass, line the interior wall surface with sheet insulation materials and plasterboard.
The underside should be insulated and well ventilated if not earth coupled.
It may be necessary to consider revising the layout of the house, ‘turning the house around’ to place living areas to the north.
Add shading to protect thermal mass from summer sun both internally and externally, particularly outside windows and in uninsulated double brick walls. Internal or enclosed water features such as pools can also provide thermal mass but require good ventilation and must be capable of being isolated, as evaporation can absorb heat in winter and create condensation problems year round.
Air enters this building across the pool (thermal mass) through a semi-enclosed courtyard. This ‘coolth’ can be stored in thermal mass.
For example, rubber has high density but is a poor conductor of heat. In moderate climates, a 24 hour lag cycle is ideal. Thermal lag influences internal−external heat flow through walls. In other words, water has around twice the heat storage capacity of concrete. Can lower embodied materials such as water or recycled brick be used? This energy does not change their temperature — only their state. Phase change temperatures vary enormously between materials.
They are an ideal way to install mass in existing buildings and are particularly useful in lightweight buildings where cost savings are often achieved.
Accordingly, both can be cost effective mass options for upper storeys because they require no (or less) additional structural support.
In each case the high density concrete elements make excellent thermal mass. Greater quantities of both thermal mass and passive heating and cooling are required to moderate temperature cycles up to one week (e.g. Very high levels of thermal mass (e.g. Non earth coupled mass can overheat during summer days, leaving an undesirable radiant heat source at night — particularly in upper level bedrooms.
Actively shaded, double glazed west-facing windows with solar access are particularly useful for meeting variable heating and cooling needs in spring and autumn. Australian earth-covered and green roof building, 3rd edn. Sustaining the future: energy, ecology, architecture. Discharge transit mixer trucks as soon as possible. Exterior pavers can be exposed to any number of potentials spills, oils, contaminants and other types of soiling as well exposure to impact and scuffing damage.
Some of these sealer types will deepen and enhance the inherent color of the paver, while drying to a clear finish that will not leave the surface slippery.
Brick and other types of masonry paving can add character and aesthetic sophistication to any space. Concrete masonry walls crack as a result of drying shrinkage, temperature fluctuations, and carbonation. Using the fireplace can also be more risky in a wooden log cabin.
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Explain the purpose and typical locations for each in concrete slab.control joints are cut into the concrete to control where it cracks cracks. It can be created by laying a rope in the mortar joint and later pulling it out, by a plastic or metal tube being laid in the mortar, or just by leaving the head joint un-mortared.
Mill construction uses heavy timber framing for internal construction. Mill construction are slow to catch fire. I use for material, tell me; that would be appreciate !
How does cordwood construction hold up in rainy climates like the pacific northwest?
It is quite possible that our log-ends undergo a greater variance in expansion and contraction than log-ends in a constantly damp climate. Alaska is a great place to build a cordwood house and lots of people have already done so. If we built into the existing berm, all of our windows would be north-facing. That is quite a question, and a good one to ask. But you begin to heat the earth-shelter from a more favorable starting ambient temperature. I like the cordwood approach, but wonder if it has ever been used for a retaining wall. The wall is approximately 12′ high by 100′ long. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.
Cordwood masonry would not make a good retaining wall. Fungi would have an ideal climate and, before long, the wood would begin to deteriorate. These need to be kept well off the ground and there needs to be some kind of overhanging protective cap at the top of the wall, to stop water running down the wood surface.
My question is how well do the cord wood constructed walls stand up to such extreme temperatures. Cordwood masonry walls hold up very well in the cold. City) and the available wood species are very suitable.
They both have very good thermal properties, are natural materials, and the construction process is fairly easy, as far as the walls go. I would personally favor cordwood, since there is less risk of problems with moisture potentially getting into the wall and because once the walls are erected there is no further finish or plaster work that must be done, either inside or out.
Is there a specific type of wood you would suggest for this type of dry and hot climate?
Cordwood should do well in the climate you describe. Lime putty mortar has been iffy in those conditions however, not a high rate of success. Without appropriate repairs to eliminate the source of the problem, mortar deterioration will continue and any repointing will have been a waste of time and money.
In addition to determining the most appropriate solutions to the problems, a consultant can prepare specifications which reflect the particular requirements of each job and can provide oversight of the work in progress.
Analysis of unweathered portions of the historic mortar to which the new mortar will be matched can suggest appropriate mixes for the repointing mortar so that it will not damage the building because it is excessively strong or vapor impermeable.
This late 19th century granite has recently been repointed with the joint profile and mortar color carefully matched to the original. Examination and analysis of the masonry units—brick, stone or terra cotta—and the techniques used in the original construction will assist in maintaining the building’s historic appearance.
A simple, non- technical, evaluation of the masonry units and mortar can provide information concerning the relative strength and permeability of each—critical factors in selecting the repointing mortar—while a visual analysis of the historic mortar can provide the information necessary for developing the new mortar mix and application techniques.
However, there are limitations with such an analysis, and replacement mortar specifications should not be based solely on laboratory analysis. Analysis requires interpretation, and there are important factors which affect the condition and performance of the mortar that cannot be established through laboratory analysis.
This allows the color and the texture of the mortar to be matched with some accuracy because sand is the largest ingredient by volume.
The sand must match the sand in the historic mortar. This mortar is the proper consistency for repointing historic brick. The sand and fine-grained acid-insoluble material is left behind. The gas collection method provides more information about the binder than a simple acid digestion test.
All instrumental methods require not only expensive, specialized equipment, but also highly-trained experienced analysts. However, instrumental methods can provide much more information about a mortar. Examination of thin slices of a mortar in transmitted light is often used to supplement acid digestion methods, particularly to look for carbonate-based aggregate.
This early 19th century building is being repointed with lime mortar. While stresses can also break the bond between the mortar and the masonry units, permitting water to penetrate the resulting hairline cracks, this is easier to correct in the joint through repointing than if the break occurs in the masonry units.
Permeability, or rate of vapor transmission, is also critical. High lime mortars are more permeable than denser cement mortars. When moisture evaporates from the masonry it deposits any soluble salts either on the surface as efflorescence or below the surface as subflorescence. If the mortar does not permitmoisture or moisture vapor to migrate out of the wall and evaporate, theresult will be damage to the masonry units.
For repointing mortar, rounded or natural sand is preferred for two reasons. It is usually similar to the sand in the historic mortar and provides a better visual match. The gradation of the sand (particle size distribution) plays a very important role in the durability and cohesive properties of a mortar. Well-graded sand generally has a 30 per cent void ratio by volume. Thus, 30 per cent binder by volume generally should be used, unless the historic mortar had a different binder: aggregate ratio. This represents the 1:3 binder to sand ratios often seen in mortar specifications. Sand color and texture also should match the original as closely as possible to provide the proper color match without other additives.
Lime is derived from heating limestone at high temperatures which burns off the carbon dioxide, and turns the limestone into quicklime. There are three types of limestone—calcium, magnesium, and dolomitic—differentiated by the different levels of magnesium carbonate they contain which impart specific qualities to mortar.
Caulking was inappropriately used here in place of mortar on the top of the wall. Lime, itself, when mixed with water into a paste is very plastic and creamy. Once a lime and sand mortar is mixed and placed in a wall, it begins the process of carbonation. If lime mortar is left to dry too rapidly, carbonation of the mortar will be reduced, resulting in poor adhesion and poor durability. In addition, lime mortar is slightly water soluble and thus is able to re-seal any hairline cracks that may develop during the life of the mortar.
Lime mortar is soft, porous, and changes little in volume during temperature fluctuations thus making it a good choice for historic buildings. A straight portland cement and sand mortar is extremely hard, resists the movement of water, shrinks upon setting, and undergoes relatively large thermal movements.
Some portland cement assists the workability and plasticity of the mortar without adversely affecting the finished project; it also provides early strength to the mortar and speeds setting.
Thus, it may be appropriate to add some portland cement to an essentially lime-based mortar even when repointing relatively soft 18th or 19th century brick under some circumstances when a slightly harder mortar is required.
The cement should not have more than 0.60 per cent alkali to help avoid efflorescence. It may contain hydrated lime, but it always contains a large amount of portland cement, as well as ground limestone and other workability agents, including air-entraining agents.
Because masonry cements are not required to contain hydrated lime, and generally do not contain lime, they produce high strength mortars that can damage historic masonry.
Replicating such unique or individual mortars will require writing new specifications for each project. For example, crushed oyster shells can be obtained in a variety of sizes from poultry supply dealers.
Accelerators are used to reduce mortar freezing prior to setting while retarders help to extend the mortar life in hot climates. If the joint is properly prepared, there will be a good bond between the new mortar and the adjacent surfaces. Here, a hammer and chisel are being correctly used to prepare a joint for repointing. Thus, no two repointing projects are exactly the same. Specifying the proportions for the repointing mortar for a specific job is not as difficult as it might seem. Masonry deterioration caused by salt deposition results when the mortar is less permeable than the masonry unit. However, in a wall constructed of soft bricks where the masonry unit itself has a relatively high permeability or vapor transmission rate, a soft, high lime mortar is necessary to retain sufficient permeability.
It is preferable to repoint only those areas that require work rather than an entire wall, as is often specified. But, if 25 to 50 per cent or more of a wall needs to be repointed, repointing the entire wall may be more cost effective than spot repointing.
When repairing this stone wall, the mason matched the raised profile of the original tuckpointing. Total repointing may also be more sensible when access is difficult, requiring the erection of expensive scaffolding (unless the majority of the mortar is sound and unlikely to require replacement in the foreseeable future).
Each project requires judgement based on a variety of factors. In scheduling, seasonal aspects need to be considered first. If necessary, shade can be provided for large-scale projects with appropriate modifications to scaffolding. The joint preparation process can be quite noisy and can generate large quantities of dust which must be controlled, especially at air intakes to protect human health, and also where it might damage operating machinery.
Entrances may be blocked from time to time making access difficult for both building tenants and visitors. Qualified contractors then can provide lists of other repointing projects for inspection. Several panel locations—preferably not on the front or other highly visible location of the building—may be necessary to include all types of masonry, joint styles, mortar colors, and other problems likely to be encountered on the job.
Unskilled repointing has negatively impacted the character of this late-19th century building. If cleaning tests, for example, are also to be undertaken, they should be carried out in the same location. Usually a 3 foot by 3 foot area is sufficient for brickwork, while a somewhat larger area may be required for stonework. These panels establish an acceptable standard of work and serve as a benchmark for evaluating and accepting subsequent work on the building.
Any loose or disintegrated mortar beyond this minimum depth also should be removed. Although some damage may be inevitable, careful joint preparation can help limit damage to masonry units. The traditional manner of removing old mortar is through the use of hand chisels and mash hammers. The use of power tools by unskilled masons can be disastrous for historic masonry, particularly soft brick. Using power saws on walls with thin joints, such as most brick walls, almost always will result in damage to the masonry units by breaking the edges and by overcutting on the head, or vertical joints.
Caulking cutters with diamond blades can sometimes be used successfully to cut out joints without damaging the masonry. Although mechanical tools may be safely used in limited circumstances to cut out horizontal joints in preparation for repointing, they should never be used on vertical joints because of the danger of slipping and cutting into the brick above or below the vertical joint.
Contractors should demonstrate proficiency with power tools before their use is approved.
Using any of these power tools may also be more acceptable on hard stone, such as quartzite or granite, than on terra cotta with its glass-like glaze, or on soft brick or stone.
The test panel should determine the acceptability of power tools. Mortar should be removed cleanly from the masonry units, leaving square corners at the back of the cut. Before filling, the joints should be rinsed with a jet of water to remove all loose particles and dust. At the time of filling, the joints should be damp, but with no standing water present. Sand must be added in a damp, loose condition to avoid over sanding. The remaining water should then be added in small portions until a mortar of the desired consistency is reached. The total volume of water necessary may vary from batch to batch, depending on weather conditions. Mortar should be used within approximately 30 minutes of final mixing, and “retempering,” or adding more water, should not be permitted. No additional water is usually needed to achieve a workable consistency because enough water is already contained in the putty. But mixing, in the familiar sense of turning over with a hoe, sometimes may not be sufficient if the best possible performance is to be obtained from a lime putty mortar.
It’s lighter, which cuts down on transportation costs and fuel use.
These often need to be sawed, adding labor and fuss to a building system that’s supposed to be simple. Canadian climates without additional insulation. If you’ve used it, how did it perform?
Check out the link below for their time laps video.
Modern buildings are tight and need air flow. Imagine what can be done in the world of modular construction!
I teach classes in it and use daily and need a supplier fast. It is 3 inches thich with thin rebar through it and is supported on joists 18 inches apart. I knew it would be about 6 months before the house would be weatherproof.
Do not drop it, support it thoroughly on both sides of the cut when cutting it, do not use a hammer drill, do not drill closer than 2 inches from an edge.
Unless you cover the floor with boards, simply walking around on it will create a constantly dusty environment in the house until the carpets are laid.
We have infloor radiant heat, yet we seldom use more than a 1000 watt bathroom heater after baths or occasionally in the bedroom. When we left the condo, it was about 35 degrees outside and the high temperature for the day was 52 and it was sunny and very windy with gusts up to 30 mph.
The ceilings are 10′ 4″ throughout the unit and we have six double windows and three sliding class doors leading to decks or balconies. Heat/ac/water heating are all electric. It has 9 ft ceilings, two double windows and one sliding glass door. We rent it, and the electric is in our name so we see the bills. Prior to living in the condo across the street (which had drafts), we lived in a 4500 sq ft conventionally built house. Even though this house was built to high standards at the time, it was still drafty. In many cases, the exterior temperature may experience large temperature swings. India and have considered earth berming one of the structures. Buildingreen thing about this centuries old concept.
One room per the original plan turned out to be too narrow for the fire pump that needed to be installed within, while the adjacent room had space to spare.
Scandinavia, than most conventional products in most regions of the world and exceptionally better in moderate climates. Thunderbird–but no response as of yet.
At night, when it is cool outdoors and relatively warm indoors, the heat flows outward. A high-mass wall introduces a thermal lag or time delay in the flow of heat from the exterior to the interior. Since air conditioners operate more efficiently at night, when the outdoor temperature is low, than they do during the heat of the day, energy savings can result from the thermal lag introduced by a high-mass wall.
Can thermal mass lower my heating bills? In the classic thermal mass scenario — a hot-climate house with uninsulated adobe walls — a high-mass wall can provide thermal benefits. After all, heat is flowing through your walls in just one direction: from the interior to the exterior. Studies have shown that thermal mass can provide heating energy savings in only a few areas of the country. The maximum thickness of the thermal mass (usually concrete) should be about 4 inches. Dark-colored concrete floors work better than light-colored floors.
Concrete floors should be bare — not covered with carpets.
The net result of including plenty of thermal mass in a passive solar building is to reduce the amount of energy needed for space heating.
In a high-mass building, nighttime thermostat setbacks won’t save as much energy as in a low-mass building. In some climates, high-mass buildings use more energy than low-mass buildings — but only if the insulation is installed on the wrong side of the wall.
The interior layer of insulation prevents the thermal mass from easily absorbing heat from, or releasing heat to, the building’s interior.
It’s hard to know whether the code provision that allows “mass walls” to have less insulation than wood-framed walls is logical or not. Most concrete walls are insulated with continuous insulation (for example, rigid foam) rather than ribbons of insulation interrupted by thermal breaks (otherwise known as studs).
If you live in a hot climate, and want the thermal mass to help lower your air conditioning bill, your thermal mass should be located in your exterior walls.
Even though interior concrete sometimes has thermal benefits, it also has drawbacks — including its high cost. Thanks for clearly illustrating the importance of a 24-hour temperature cycle when considering thermal mass. The exception to the “denser is better” rule of thermal mass concerns phase-change materials. Phase-change materials used in construction are usually some type of paraffin or wax. These materials have the ability to absorb and then release heat by changing phase from solid to liquid and back. During this phase change from solid to liquid, a material absorbs heat from the surrounding environment. The energy that can be stored and released during the change of state occurs over a very narrow range of temperature. Phase-change materials only provide benefits for indoor environments where occupants are willing to allow indoor temperatures to range above and below the thermostat set point.
It takes energy to remove moisture from the air, and there is no way around that fact. Most central air conditioners are oversized, however, and easily handle the extra load from this small appliance. Very interesting topic, thanks for posting this information!
Is load linear to temperature?
Mass seems to have this flywheel or momentum effect. If load is not linear, then wouldn’t the buffering effect of mass create lower load experienced by buffering temperature spikes?
If the temperature ranges between 10f and 30f, would a high mass structure experience a load of 20f?
Kelvin, with absolute zero as one’s starting point.
Yes, and this benefit occurs with all houses — not just houses that include concrete. But really, since equipment is always oversized, it’s very hard to save money with this trick. Discourage use of continuous fan in cooling mode.
Discourage use of natural gas or propane for cooking.
Specifying a dehumidifier before or in lieu of implementing the ten steps above amounts to an expensive, irresponsible band-aid.
No worthy building scientist would specify one before attacking the roots of a humidity problem as outlined above.
Hot And Cold Weather Masonry Techniques