Effect of Thermal Mass and Insulation Position in Walls on the Thermal Performance of Residential Buildings in a Cold Climate

Neha Das

Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India
(Corresponding Author: nehadas19nd@gmail.com

E. Rajasekar

Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India

Prabhjot Chani

Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India

Krishan Sharma

Alliance for Energy Efficient Economy, New Delhi, India

Cite this article

Das, N., Rajasekar, E., Chani, P., Sharma, K. (2024). Effect of Thermal Mass and Insulation Position in Walls on the Thermal Performance of Residential Buildings in a Cold Climate. In Proceedings of Energise 2023- Lifestyle, Energy Efficiency, and Climate Action, pp 84–92, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy. https://doi.org/10.62576/HTGE7544


  • Thermal mass on the interior side and insulation on the exterior side of walls exhibit better thermal performance in cold climates.
  • It reduces the HED by 4% and HDD by 3% across the different climate severities.
  • The South orientation is preferred over other orientations.
  • Higher WWR leads to higher energy consumption and heat loss.


This study investigates the effect of thermal mass and insulation position on the thermal performance of residential buildings in a cold climate. A combination of numerical simulations and field measurements is employed to assess the impact of different wall configurations on heating energy demands and comfort. Configurations with thermal mass placed on the interior side of walls exhibit better thermal performance, reducing temperature fluctuations and enhancing thermal comfort. The study also explores the influence of climate severities, changing the window-to-wall ratio and building orientation on energy savings and comfort for various wall configurations. Wall B (thermal mass inside and insulation outside) reduces HED by 4% and HDD by 3% across different locations. Wall B reduced HED by 9.8% and HDD by 1.4% for a south facing building, and reduced HED by 3.2% and HDD by 2.2% for 10% WWR. 


Thermal Performance, Thermal Mass, Insulation, Residential Buildings, Cold Climate.


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