How did I miss this site of one of my favorite magazines??? Maybe because I’m not a big Facebook fan? Lots of good stuff here. There’s a close-up photo of a bamboo splitter, rammed earth fireplace and lots of other interesting natural building projects. The photo above shows a good example of a lightweight building system that does not require intense physical effort.
“Halftimber wood framing with light clay straw infill (“straw/clay”) shown on the left and with finish plaster shown on the right. Simple materials. Soft finishes. Natural. Touches the soul. Need I say more?
Light clay straw is loose straw fiber, coated lightly (but thoroughly) with soupy clay (like a chocolate milkshake) and then compacted into a form. The clay dries and holds the insulating straw in place like hairspray (but not as stinky…!), the forms are removed, and the wall can be plastered as shown.”
The Owner Builder
Half-timber work definition from Encyclopedia Britannica: “A method of building in which external and internal walls are constructed of timber frames and the spaces between the structural members are filled with such materials as brick, plaster, or wattle and daub.”
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The photo shows the yellowish straw/clay on the left. The right side is plastered straw/clay. Straw/clay is hundreds if not thousands of years old. It even meets code in Germany where the codes are very strict. Straw/clay is especially good for interior walls. (I prefer other thick wall methods such as earthbags and strawbale for exterior walls.)