Gaines Group Architects

Green Term Defined: Trombe Wall

Trombe Wall is a thermal mass wall that is located within a structure used to absorb solar energy during the daylight hours and radiate that energy back out at night. The trombe wall is not a new invention, it has been used since humans started building structures.
A trombe wall can be made of solid mass or water. The goal is to have enough thermal storage that the structure can maintain a comfortable level of heat during the cooler temperatures at night. Of course this design solution has virtually disappeared with the modern construction methods we use in most homes – wood frame.
A trombe wall can be an architectural feature of the home. In this photograph you can see the trombe wall that runs through the center of the home separating the quiet private rooms of the home from the more public domain. This functional element also allowed us to introduce stone into the interior design of the home bringing a sense of nature into the living space.