Thermal properties


Thermal properties for materials used as ceiling in buildings typically include factors. Such as thermal conductivity, specific heat capacity, absorptivity, and diffusivity. Choosing the right insulating materials hinges on their thermal characteristics, such as thermal conductivity, absorptivity, diffusivity, and specific heat capacity (Gesa et al., 2014). Insulation in buildings serves multiple purposes. Conserving energy, minimizing heat exchange, stabilizing temperatures, optimizing equipment performance, preventing condensation, fostering comfort, and ensuring personnel safety. Ultimately, insulation diminishes heat flow across a structure’s boundaries.

Thermal properties of ceiling materials are the overhead interior surfaces that cover the upper boundaries of a room. Typically, they are not regarded as structural elements but serve as finished surfaces that hide the underside of the room’s structure. Or the floor of the level above.  In Nigeria, it is quite common to use zinc roofs without ceilings, leading to significant heat transfer into the interior spaces, potentially causing thermal discomfort for the occupants (Etuk et al., 2007). A method to mitigate this discomfort is the installation of a radiant barrier, such as a ceiling board, which reduces heat flux.


Understanding the thermal properties of various materials is very important when selecting materials for radiant barriers, as heat flow in a building is influenced by the thermal characteristics of the materials used (Etuk et al., 2007). Studying these properties helps determine the suitability of materials for use as ceiling materials in homes, schools, and industries. Heat enters interior spaces through roofs and walls, and partially through ceiling panels, via conduction and radiation (George et al., 2010). Common roofing materials, such as zinc and aluminum, have high thermal conductivities (Michael et al., 2012). To mitigate this heat, it’s important to use ceiling materials with appropriate thermal responses.

Good insulating materials have high thermal resistivity, meaning different types of ceiling materials will exhibit varying thermal behaviors. An insulator is a material or device used to inhibit or prevent the conduction of heat or electricity (Gesa et al., 2014). The proper selection of insulating materials depends on their thermal properties, including thermal conductivity, absorptivity, diffusivity, and specific heat capacity (Gesa et al., 2014).

AInsulators in buildings conserve energy, reduce heat loss or gain, maintain stable temperatures, ensure effective equipment operation, prevent condensation, create comfortable conditions, and protect personnel. Insulation reduces heat transfer through a building’s envelope.  Heat naturally flows from warmer to cooler spaces whenever there is a temperature difference. To maintain comfort in winter, the heating system must replace the lost heat; in summer, the cooling system must remove the gained heat. Therefore, studying the thermal properties of insulators is essential to minimize energy gains or losses and enhance comfort in homes, schools, and industries.


In Nigeria, the prevalent use of zinc roofs without ceilings results in significant heat transfer into interior spaces, leading to thermal discomfort for the inhabitants. To mitigate this, the selection of appropriate ceiling materials, which can act as radiant barriers, is crucial. The choice of ceiling materials should be informed by their thermal properties. As these properties determine the material’s ability to inhibit heat flow and maintain comfortable conditions within the building.

The thermal behavior of ceiling materials is influenced by various factors. Such as thermal conductivity, thermal absorptivity, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat capacity. These properties dictate how well a material can insulate against heat transfer. Thereby conserving energy, reducing heat loss or gain, and maintaining a stable indoor temperature. Given the high thermal conductivities of common roofing materials like zinc and aluminum. Tt becomes imperative to explore and understand the thermal properties of alternative ceiling materials.

This study aims to investigate the thermal properties of selected ceiling materials to determine their suitability for use in buildings. By understanding these properties. We can make informed decisions on the best materials to use as ceilings in homes, schools, and industries. This will help in reducing energy consumption, improving thermal comfort, and protecting occupants from extreme temperatures. The ultimate goal is to enhance the overall energy efficiency and comfort of buildings through the appropriate selection of ceiling materials based on their thermal performance.


The aim of this project is to investigate and evaluate the thermal properties of selected ceiling materials. And to determine their suitability for use in buildings, with the goal of enhancing energy efficiency and thermal comfort.


Compile a list of commonly used ceiling materials in buildings. Including but not limited to gypsum board, plywood, PVC panels and fiber cement boards.

Assess how the thermal properties of these materials impact the overall energy consumption in buildings. Particularly in terms of heating and cooling requirements.

Determine the impact of the selected ceiling materials on indoor thermal comfort. Considering factors such as temperature regulation and condensation prevention.

Establish criteria for selecting ceiling materials based on their thermal performance, cost-effectiveness, and suitability for different building types. (e.g., residential, educational and industrial).

Highlight the importance of selecting materials with favorable thermal properties in promoting sustainable and energy-efficient building practices.