A passive wall design to minimize building temperature swings

R J Duffin, Greg Knowles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


It has been found in many countries with arid climates that massively walled buildings provide steady, comfortable inside temperatures even though the outside temperature fluctuations may be sizeable. The adobe houses of the American South-West, and the rondavels of southern Africa are particular examples. This phenomena is often termed the thermal flywheel effect. One explanation is that the temperature at the inside of a massive wall lags approximately out of phase with the outside, and so it partly offsets the direct, in phase, infiltration losses into the building. Thus the room temperature is kept approximately constant. In this paper the question of designing a non-homogeneous wall to optimize this effect is considered. © 1984.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1984


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