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0100 Thermoregulation

Myth:
Wood in buildings is associated with homes which protect against the cold, but not against heat. For this reason, they are considered to be hot in the summer.
Reality:
How can one compare the degree of thermal insulation in different materials?

In order to compare the materials from the perspective of the degree of thermal insulation, the table shown below calculates thermal diffusivity. That is, the capacity a material has to conduct heat energy in relation to its storage capacity. For this reason, density is taken into account ( the quantity of mass per unit volume),the specific heat capacity (the quantity of energy required to be added to one unit of mass of a material in order to cause an increase of one degree Kelvin in temperature) and thermal conductivity (the capacity a material has to conduct thermal energy in relation to its capacity to store it).

We can see that wood has a thermal diffusivity which is lower than other construction materials. Therefore, its thermal regulation capacity is higher.

The reason why wood works so well as thermal insulation is in its cellular structure, since the fibres it is made of do not accumulate heat.

Conclusion:

Wood does not conduct heat and, therefore, both in summer (it does not let it in) and in winter ( it does not let it escape), we can have optimal temperature conditions indoors if we manage the inflow and outflow of air.

In summer we must keep inflows of air to a minimum when the sun is striking hardest and maximise inflows of air when the sun is striking the least. In winter this process must be inverted.

Moreover, thanks to the thermic comfort capacity of wood, it helps to regulate humidity indoors thereby obtaining with this temperature optimal thermal comfort and energy savings all at the same time.

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