Experiments with Light Clay Insulation — 8 Comments

  1. Are there any building projects where the bag strips or packing peanut in clay strips were used? If so, how did they fair? We’re making a walk-in freezer and are trying to use salvaged materials as much as possible. We have some beadboard scraps that could be ground up and put in a slip, but if plastic bags strips out perform the EPS to the degree that your testing shows, we may use that instead.

    • Contact Patti Stouter. She’s constantly innovating along these lines.

      Also, I found a website recently that shows how to build walk in coolers using a standard window air conditioner. Are you familiar with that site? Even though the air conditioner is not large, it works because the walls are highly insulated. It seems hundreds of people have built them with good success.

  2. Ok thank you I understand it better now. What a great use of those plastic bags! I’m assuming this is then meant to be stuffed inside poly bags? Or would it hold on the exterior wall without the bags to be covered with stucco mesh and then plaster?

  3. Pingback:Experiments with Light Clay Insulation (via Earthbag Building Blog) | Workshop

  4. This is useful information. I attempted to do something like it recently to test water bottles stuffed with plastic grocery bags but my testing procedures were unsuccessful. These are much more accurately done. Kudos! I am, however, confused by what “grocery bag strips” are and how they were added to the clay.

    • I have added another image in the blog post that shows the plastic grocery bag strips that were combined with the clay to form a test sample. You can see that there really isn’t much clay that holds it all together.

  5. Would this also work with perlite and/or scoria. It may not add to the R value much but would it be worth while in making them more structurally stable when tamp down?

    • It depends on the application. Scoria, for instance, is stable enough on its own, and would have a higher R-value without the clay slip. Or maybe you have a post and beam design to stabilize the walls and so clay slip isn’t needed.

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