Materiales de Construcción, Vol 64, No 315 (2014)

Review of the use of phase change materials (PCMs) in buildings with reinforced concrete structures

O. Pons
Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya – UPC, Spain

A. Aguado
Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya – UPC, Spain

A. I. Fernández
Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

L. F. Cabeza
GREA Innovació Concurrent, Universitat de Lleida, Spain

J. M. Chimenos
Universitat de Barcelona, Spain


Phase change materials are capable of storing and releasing energy in the form of heat in determined temperature ranges, so to increase a building’s thermal inertia, stabilize its indoor temperatures and reduce its energetic demand. Therefore, if we used these materials we could have more energetically efficient buildings. Nevertheless, are these materials most appropriate to be used in buildings? Could the incorporation of phase change materials in buildings with concrete structures be generalized? This article aims to carry out a review of these phase change materials from construction professionals’ points of view, study their applications for buildings with reinforced concrete structures and the key points for these applications, draw conclusions and provide recommendations useful for all professionals within the sector who are considering the application of these materials.


Phase Change Materials (PCM); Energy efficiency; Reinforced concrete; Structures

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