Benefits of Thermal Mass

Benefits of Thermal Mass used as part of living laboratory in Newcastle University

As part of the project at Newcastle University Urban Science Building, Where the building really differs from any standard building is the fact that the whole building is a laboratory and has several key features which allow the operation of the building to be analysed by academics with an overall view to improving its performance. One of the features of this building is that plate slab was used so that the soffit could be left exposed to get the benefits of thermal mass. This means the concrete if left exposed can absorb heat when the building heats up and then releases it when the building cools down. It’s like a natural ventilation but without the costs associated with running a ventilation system. Because the soffit is exposed to absorb the heat it needs to look good so hence wet cast plate flooring was used.

Flood Precast provided Hollowcore and Flood Super Wideslab® flooring for this project which was completed in September 2017. The £58million 12,500 sqm Urban Sciences Building (USB) is a flagship development.

The building and its surrounding city area is a living laboratory underpinning research to make urban centres more sustainable for future generations. The Urban Sciences Building will house a number of ground-breaking projects including the creation of a unique £2m grid-connected energy storage test bed in collaboration with Siemens. The Urban Observatory which will collect a diverse set of data from across the city of Newcastle (measuring air quality, light, sound and temperature).

Project: Newcastle University Urban Science Building

Contractor: Bowmer & Kirkland Ltd.

Engineer: Mott MacDonald

Architects: Red Box

Products: Flood Super Wideslab® and Hollowcore

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Martin Darby

Martin graduated from the University of Dundee with an Hons degree in Engineering. He joined Flood Precast in 2000 and headed up the Dublin design office. Martin now works extensively across the UK. In addition to his Structural Engineering background he has extensive knowledge of all precast construction and commercial aspects associated with the companies work.

Contact Martin for projects in the UK. Email
Martin Darby