Clay is a precious ally for construction or ecological renovation. It can be used from structural work to finishes, for its bricks, as a plaster, as insulation or as paint. Clay is a traditional material that offers many advantages. It finds a new lease of life in modern, healthy and comfortable homes. The clay that is used in construction or renovation is actually a varying mixture of clay, silt, sand and sometimes even gravel. In this mixture, the clay acts as a “binder” like cement in concrete. The sand plays the role of aggregate. Properly proportioned and well implemented, these two components can give high-quality results and are very resistant. Raw earth is used for plasters, paints, mortars and mud bricks. Terracotta is used for making bricks. Here’s how to use clay when working in your house. The clay making workshop singapore is pathbreaking in this matter.
For the shell: Clay bricks
The assembly in compressed or adobe mud bricks. It is an old method which consists in preparing blocks of earth dried in the sun and masonry them with a clay or lime mortar. Their moulding is mechanical and the earth is compressed to increase their resistance. They can be used:
- Inwood frame, to fill the interior partitions in order to bring thermal inertia to the house (simple adobe);
- Or to participate in the insulation when adding an insulation e.g. straw to the mixture (lightweight adobe).
You can also use some compressed earth blocks for the realization of interior or exterior load-bearing walls. On exterior walls, they are combined with exterior insulation.
Interior or exterior wall
According to the technique of formwork in place or rammed earth, a mass of clay is poured and packed in a formwork which rises as the successive layers dry. The final wall can be thick, solid and seamless. A variation is to add chopped straw to the mixture. It is an old construction technique. Today, it is used when looking to increase the thermal inertia of the house, thanks to the high density of the earth. The variation in the tones of the earth used for each layer allows all kinds of aesthetic play.
The cob, filling the walls of old half-timbered houses
In this technique, a thick layer of damp earth is applied to a wooden lath. A braided basket or lath is fixed to a load-bearing wooden frame. Then a thick layer of clay mixed with chopped straw is applied to this support. You can make a cob both outside and inside, under certain conditions. This technique was often used. It is therefore found during heritage renovations. For new constructions, vegetable fibres are added to the mixture to meet the desired energy performance. As a floor covering you can make a clay and sand mortar-like smooth concrete.
For Plastering Plasters
Clay plasters are prepared by mixing clay, sand and water. You can cap in several layers. The grip layer: the clay plaster can be applied on any type of support: bricks, blocks, plaster, straw bale, various panels, etc.
The thin topcoat may contain colour pigments. Diapers may contain chopped straw. This allows better cohesion of the layer and reduces the risk of cracks when applying thick layers. Don’t panic, these cracks can be repaired easily. The straw is pruned according to the degree of finish of the layer: in the finishing layer, it is finely chopped. You can use a mud plaster with wall heating. The hot water pipes are then embedded in the plaster.