Synchronizing Thermal Mass with Buoyancy Ventilation
(by remy_fo)

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This definition shows how to optimize the thickness and surface area of thermal mass inside a building, to control the interior temperature and rate of buoyancy ventilation in "free-running" mode. The thermal mass and ventilation are synchronized in a natural feedback loop, similar to the way that termite mounds work. One surprising prediction is that timber can work almost as well as concrete. It is just a matter of tuning the proportions of the building-mass correctly.

This definition is the Grasshopper version of:

S.Craig and R.Fortin,"How to Design a Building So It Works Like a Termite Mound,"

and is based on the analysis and the equations presented in:

Craig (2019) The Optimal Tuning, Within Carbon Limits, of Thermal Mass in Naturally Ventilated Buildings, 165. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106373.
The article is free to download here: 

We wrote a Python code to solve the equations in the above reference. We have broken the computational flow into different parts so that users can better understand the relationship between parameters. 

If you want to learn more about how termite mounds work thermally, read this article.

This definition also includes interaction with the Ladybug tool in order to measure the impact of using thermal mass in different climates on thermal comfort and thermal sensation, and to design for thermal resilience in future climates.

Ladybug can be downloaded here:

This definition was authored by Remy Fortin under the direction of Salmaan Craig.

How to cite:

Fortin, R., & Craig, S. (2020). Synchronizing Thermal Mass with Buoyancy Ventilation. Food4Rhino. Retrieved 31 August 2020, from

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