Trombe Walls

Since ancient times, people have used thick walls of adobe or stone to trap the sun’s heat

during the day and release it slowly and evenly at night to heat their buildings. Today’s

low-energy(green) buildings often improve on this ancient technique by incorporating a thermal

storage and delivery system called a Trombe wall. Named after French inventor Felix

Trombe in the late 1950s, the Trombe wall continues to serve as an effective feature of

passive solar design.

A Trombe wall has masonry or concrete on the inside that is painted black on the exterior face, an air space, and glass on the exterior of the home. The completed walls look like windows with black shades. Photos: Joe McGovern, Living Designs Group

 

Trombe Wall Design and Construction:

A typical unvented Trombe wall consists of a 4- to 16-in (10- to 41-cm)-thick, southfacing masonry wall with a dark, heat-absorbing material on the exterior surface and faced with a single or double layer of glass. The glass is placed from ĺ to 2 in. (2 to 5 cm) from the masonry wall to create a small airspace. Heat from sunlight passing through the glass is absorbed by the dark surface, stored in the wall, and conducted slowly inward through the masonry. High transmission glass maximizes solar gains to the masonry wall. As an architectural detail, patterned glass can limit the exterior visibility of the dark concrete wall without sacrificing transmissivity.

Do It Yourself Trombe Wall:

Just another feature in green construction that may look normal. However these windows could not be used for ventilation or access for RIT.

Stay Safe

Lt. John Shafer

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

John Shafer

An 18 year veteran of  the fire service, and currently a Lieutenant and the Training Officer for the Greencastle Fire Department.  An Indiana regionally recognized instructor on building construction, fireground search and command management, he has traveled throughout the State of Indiana delivering specialized training programs on building construction, fireground search and firefighter safety.
Comments
John Crabbe
Looking at modern construction features in honor of Lt. Arnie Wolff
I read the article and much is true, but where I find some issue is where the author digresses into the flow path aspect. I find that it is important to note that while smoke did fill the floor, the fire itself was located in an area with no windows, a single door (which FF…
2014-09-15 16:20:57
John Shafer
Fire Safety Challenges of Green Buildings Report
I you have questions you can email me at greenmaltese@gmail.com Thanks John Shafer
2014-09-01 17:41:22
sandeep
Fire Safety Challenges of Green Buildings Report
i am doing bachelors degree in bulding technologies in final year currently iam doing my project "fire fighting systems for green buildings" so i need your valuble guidence and references.iam very thankful to you if you can do....
2014-09-01 16:26:36
Another Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Attic Fire | Green Maltese
Spray Foam Basics for the Fire Service
[…] in September I wrote a post to raise awareness of Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) for the fire service. In this article I […]
2014-07-27 00:20:14
Shan Raffel
Going Interior? Keep the door closed until you make the push!
Nicely analysed John. Notice at 3.02 that the flame issuing from the front windows was right down to the bottom of the opening indicating that these were all functioning as exhaust outlets. Which means that there must be other openings that are serving as the inlets on side B,C,D. The front door showed a bi-directional…
2014-07-01 03:12:55
Give It The Best That You Have
First Day Back
First Day Back
New Leaders: JFK's Nightmare
New Leaders: JFK's Nightmare
It's OK.
It's OK.
Welcome to the Club
Welcome to the Club

John Shafer's Discussions


Follow John Shafer

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

LATEST FIREFIGHTER NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS

LATEST ON FIRE ENGINEERING

FEATURED DISCUSSIONS