Specific heat capacity
The higher the specific heat capacity of a substance, the more energy is required to raise its temperature.
Specific heat capacity (c) in J (joules) / kg °C can be calculated as:
c = E/m θ
- E is the energy transfer in J.
- m is the mass of the substances in kg.
- θ is the temperature change in °C.
Some examples of the specific heat capacities of different substances are listed below:
- Aluminum 902 J/kg°C
- Copper 385 J/kg°C
- Gold 129 J/kg°C
- Iron 450 J/kg°C
- Lead 128 J/kg°C
- NaCl 864 J/kg°C
- Oxygen 918 J/kg°C
- Water 4181 J/kg°C
- Brick / block: 840 J/kg°C
- Concrete: 880 J/kg°C
- Marble: 880 J/kg°C
- Steel: 480 J/kg°C
- Timber: 1200 J/kg°C
Specific heat capacity is one of the properties that contributes to the thermal mass of a material, that is, how much heat it can store. Water, which has a very high specific heat capacity, is very effective at storing heat.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.
IHBC article considers how heritage is dealt with when infrastructure schemes are authorised.
It was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 years, but to this day the exact construction techniques are a mystery.
Shortlist for the industry's most coveted award announced.
Government responds to Mark Farmer's review of industry, rejecting the call for a levy on clients.
Peter Hansford to examine what wider lessons can be learned from the fire.
Every project is subject to uncertainty. How can construction better understand uncertainty for performance improvement?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a futuristic campus for electric car manufacturer.
Homebuyers could borrow more with better forecasting of energy bills, according to industry consortium's new report.
Read our introductory article on carbon capture and storage.