Project – Use of Phase Changing Materials in Future Construction

Anita  Rasmussen

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Project – Use of Phase Changing Materials in Future Construction

PSO 2008 – Effective Energy Utilisation

Project start April 2008. Expected completion March 2010.

The project is completed.

Faseskiftende materiale på pulverform med pcm-beton i baggrunden

The purpose of the project is to create a basis for the use of phase changing materials to improve the summer temperature conditions in future buildings. The heat capacity of the buildings plays a large role in avoiding the risk of excessive temperatures in the summer, and thus in reducing the need for cooling.

The active heat capacity of the buildings can be increased significantly by using phase changing materials (PCMs), where significant amounts of energy are accumulated, even with small increases in temperature, when the material changes from solid to liquid form (like melting ice). With the introduction of new energy regulations in the Building Code of April 2006, the tightening of the regulations in 2010 and 2015 and the planned introduction of requirements for highly energy conserving houses, it will be necessary for future buildings to be kept comfortable in the summer whilst avoiding extra electricity consumption for ventilation and mechanical cooling.

The results of the project are intended specifically for manufacturers of building materials, as well as architects and engineers involved in planning and design.

Project Objectives

  • Gain knowledge of optimal utilisation of PCM in building construction.
  • Develop and demonstrate utilisation of PCM in cement based construction materials.
  • Demonstrate energy and indoor climate potential with the use of PCM in full-scale experiments in EnergyFlexHouse.
  • Develop a supplementary module for the simulation tool BSim for simulation of buildings with PCM.


  • Aalborg University Centre – Building and Construction
  • IHA
  • SBi
  • 3xNielsen
  • COWI
  • Danish Construction Association
  • BASF A/S
  • Maxit
  • Rockwool International A/S (Rockfon)
  • Aalborg Portland Group
  • Knauf Danogips

The project is divided into the following activities:

  • Knowledge Gathering: Accumulation and processing of European and international knowledge, such as German experiences and IEA Annex 44. Knowledge gathering will focus on the practical use of PCM and building constructions with them, as well as theoretical knowledge of constructions containing PCM.   
  • Test and Model Building: The dynamic properties of constructions with PCM will be tested in a climate chamber, and possibly in selected rooms in buildings. The tests will include existing (e.g. German) solutions and new solutions. Based on the results of these tests, detailed dynamic models will be set up, i.e. in HEAT 2.
  • Modeling in BSim and Be06: Further to the tests and the detailed dynamic models as described above, complete construction models will be set up in BSim andBe06, including building materials and constructions containing PCM.
  • Energy and Indoor Climate Potential: The construction models are used to assess the energy saving and indoor climate potential for standard buildings when using PCM. Buildings will include small houses, apartment buildings, institutions and offices, new constructions and renovation.
  • Potential for Use and Further Development: The potential for use and further development of PCM in construction is being assessed, both technically and financially.
  • Dissemination: The results of the project will be communicated throughout the construction industry via articles, lectures and seminars, amongst other things.

A small group with participation of the Danish Energy Agency (Peter Bach) and Erhvers- og Byggestyrelsen (Ejner Jerking) will be attached to the project.

Do you want to know more?

  • Article in Ingeniøren  June 13, 2008 discussing the project
  • Enemærke & Petersens newsletter about PCM
  • EnergyFlexHouse