Convective concrete : additive manufacturing to facilitate activation of thermal mass

D. de Witte, M.L. de Klijn, R.C.G.M. Loonen, J.L.M. Hensen, U. Knaack, G. Zimmermann

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This paper reports on the research-driven design process of an innovative thermal mass concept:
Convective Concrete. The goal is to improve building energy efficiency and comfort levels by addressing
some of the shortcomings of conventional building slabs with high thermal storage capacity. Such
heavyweight constructions tend to have a slow response time and do not make effective use of the
available thermal mass. Convective Concrete explores new ways of making more intelligent use of
thermal mass in buildings. To accomplish this on-demand charging of thermal mass, a network of ducts
and fans is embedded in the concrete wall element. This is done by developing customized formwork
elements in combination with advanced concrete mixtures. To achieve an efficient airflow rate, the
embedded lost formwork and the concrete itself function like a lung. The convection takes place with
separate pipes on both sides of the concrete’s core to increase the charge/discharge of the thermal
storage process. The first stage of the research, described in this paper, is to simulate the Convective
Concrete at the component level, whereupon a mock-up is tested in a climate test set-up. The paper
concludes with describing planned activities for turning this concept into a real building product.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPOWERSKIN Conference: proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationJanuary 19th 2017 - Munich
EditorsTh. Auer, U. Knaack, J. Schneider
Place of PublicationDelft
PublisherTU Delft Open
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)978-94-92516-29-9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017
EventPowerSkin Conference - Munich, Germany
Duration: 19 Jan 201719 Jan 2017


ConferencePowerSkin Conference


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