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Old 01-05-12, 02:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MN Renovator View Post
I'm trying to think of how to add thermal mass to the house, in a design phase, I don't see why I wouldn't be able to 'build it in'...
A hydronic slab floor would certainly provide the mass you are looking for.

I saw a great article a few years back, in which a house was designed so that winter sun fell onto a substantial amount of the concrete floor, and the heat radiated out in the evening, along with heat from hot water in the slab.

I have a friend who built a very successful passive solar house near Portland Oregon, an area not known for its sunny winters. The house was long, East/West, and narrow, North/South. It had the usual overhang to shield against summer sun, was backed into an earth berm on the North side. Had an abundance of windows along its South face, an insulated concrete floor to store heat (no hydronics) and something like R-60 in the roof. It has a wood stove in the living room that supplies heat to the whole house... there's a free-standing stone wall behind the wood stove to capture and slowly release heat from the stove.

He says he burns a bit less than a cord of wood per year. That's his only heat, other than the sun.

A very pleasant house...

I'm not an HVAC technician. In fact, I'm barely even a hacker...
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