Baines Masonry Blocks, a leading Australian manufacturer of a broad range of masonry products, enumerates the benefits of concrete masonry in a development.
Lower embodied energy
Unlike clay masonry, concrete masonry doesn’t need to be fired during production, resulting in significantly less embodied energy. Concrete masonry only needs curing in low temperature kilns, which are mostly exothermically heated.
Higher thermal mass
Thermal mass refers to the ability of materials to store heat. Building materials with thermal mass can absorb and store heat, and release it at a later time. Concrete masonry is a high thermal mass building material, which when used within an insulated building envelope helps reduce the extremes in temperature experienced inside. This moderates the average internal temperature throughout the year, regardless of the temperatures outside, leading to a more comfortable and energy efficient home.
Homes built with heavyweight construction materials such as the high thermal mass concrete can reduce total heating and cooling energy requirements by up to 25 per cent compared to a home built from lightweight construction materials with a low thermal mass such as brick veneer and timber.
When selecting building materials for buildings being constructed in temperate climates, where summer temperatures are high and there is significant difference between daily average maximum and minimum temperatures, thermal mass is an important consideration for ensuring comfort.