Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

Drywall Installation Farmington NM

While drywall may seem flimsy and an unlikely thermal mass, two factors combine to make it very effective in storing excess solar heat. Read on for details.

High Desert Homes
(970) 858-9030
Farmington, NM
Site-Built Homes

Childers Builders
(505) 325-4203
940 Valentine Rd
Farmington, NM
Magic Roofing & Construction Co Inc
(505) 324-1094
920 E Murray Dr
Farmington, NM
Key Energy Pressure Pumping Services
(505) 334-3818
26 Road 3720
Farmington, NM
Industrial Mechanical Inc
(505) 325-5005
3030 La Plata Hwy
Farmington, NM
Accurate Construction and Development Inc.
(505) 326-0593
Farmington, NM
Site-Built Homes

Farmington Construction Inc
(505) 325-1853
1030 Walnut Dr
Farmington, NM
Babcock & Wilcox Construction Company
(505) 326-4823
1909 E 20th St
Farmington, NM
Equipment Maintenance Services
(505) 327-6055
1025 Troy King Rd
Farmington, NM
Liessmann Construction
(505) 327-5502
421 Canyonview Dr
Farmington, NM

Home Building Questions

Provided By:

Question: I am trying to build a "solar-tempered

house, and I understand that I should add mass to the inside of the house to soak up and store the solar gain for later release. Someone has suggested that I simply apply a double layer of drywall to the walls and ceilings. Is this a cost-effective way to increase the mass?

Jack Schroeder

Redding, Calif.

Answer: While drywall may seem flimsy and an unlikely thermal mass, two factors combine to make it very effective in storing excess solar heat:

1. Per pound, drywall has a greater capacity for heat storage than brick or concrete.

2. Although drywall is thin (one-half inch), the average house contains thousands of square feet of it in walls and ceilings, so its total volume and heat capacity is substantial.

As an example, a 2,000-square-foot, two-story house contains approximately 7,000 square feet of one-half-inch drywall on its ceilings and walls. The book Adding Thermal Mass to Passive Designs: Rules of Thumb for Where and When (Northeast Solar Energy Center, 1981) states that each 114 square feet of one-half-inch drywall will effectively store the solar heat gain from 1 square foot of south-facing glazing. The 7,000 square feet will therefore store the heat from 61.4 square feet of glazing (7,000 divided by 114). Adding a second layer of drywall will allow for another 61.4 square feet of glazing.

The added cost of the second layer of drywall is just a bit more than the cost of the material ($0.25 per square foot), since no labor-intensive taping and finishing is involved. Allowing a cost of $0.35 per square foot, the 7,000 square feet would add about $2,000 to the bill. Whether this seems cost-effective depends on your alternatives. The same amount of heat storage would result from the addition of 480 square feet of 3-inch concrete slab or 660 square feet of brick wall.

Note, however, that walls with double layers of drywall transmit far less sound and are more resistant to damage.

Click here to read article from