Comparative analysis of the thermal behavior between cellular concrete blocks and stabilized earth blocks as wall materials

I. Marincic*, J. M. Ochoa, M. G. Alpuche, I. González

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In extreme climates like the desert climate of Northwest Mexico, indoor thermal conditions in buildings, and particularly in low-cost housing developments, are very uncomfortable. In buildings where the use of air conditioning devices can be afford, excessive energy is spent, leading to high acclimatization costs. In many cases, construction materials for low-cost houses are selected according to the lowest price, and not taking into account the best thermal behavior according to the local climate. Different types of blocks are widely used as a construction material for walls, such us earth blocks, adobe, concrete hollow blocks, cellular blocks, bricks, because of their low price and easy installation. Design strategies must be very carefully selected according to the local climate, because they have a great impact on energy consumptions and in the quality of life of the occupants. The selection of the appropriate materials for the envelope is part of these design strategies, and is the main subject of this paper. In this work we analyze the thermal behavior of a wall compound of two different materials: cellular concrete blocks and stabilized earth blocks. The monitored wall is part of a low-cost house constructed for demonstrative and experimental purposes. External and internal superficial temperatures have been measured and infrared images of the same areas have been analyzed. Infrared thermography is particularly useful to evaluate non-homogeneous materials or non-traditional materials, from which not all thermal properties are known. The thermal behavior is analyzed, in relation to the expected characteristics according to the climate, such as adequate thermal insulation and thermal inertia of the envelope, which are different for air-conditioning and non air-conditioning situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1783-1791
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Procedia
StatePublished - 2014
Event2013 ISES Solar World Congress, SWC 2013 - Cancun, Mexico
Duration: 3 Nov 20137 Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 The Authors Published by Elsevier Ltd.


  • Construction material
  • Thermal behavior
  • Thermography


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