What are clay plasters?
Clay plasters are a seamless, high performance wall finish system. In terms of performance they compare favourably to other solutions but have many unique features which relate mainly to their aesthetics, human health and almost faultless environmental credentials – such as very low embodied carbon, made from abundant materials and contain no toxic chemical additives.
Clay plasters are an attractive alternative to many other surface materials, including gypsum, paint and concrete, and can create extraordinary interior design solutions, such as mimicking polished concrete, traditional plasters, stucco, Tadelakt, Venetian plaster and others. Perhaps surprisingly they come in lots of different colours – not just brown. Clay plaster application is a specialist skill, so Clayworks have developed a worldwide network of trained and accredited installers.
A key functional benefit is the ability to regulate internal relative humidity (RH). Unfired clay can absorb and release humidity faster than any other building material, helping to keep humidity in the healthy zone between 40% and 70% RH. This region provides the lowest likelihood for airborne infectious bacteria and virus to survive. The risk of wall moulds and potential for damp are also minimized. The high specific heat capacity of unfired clay is also likely to lead to energy saving benefits in most types of buildings.
Clayworks plasters are made from a blend of unfired clay and sands and there is little energy consumed in the mixing process. From an ASBP perspective there is everything to like about clay plasters.
The Clayworks story is also fascinating. They grew from a small cob-building company based in Cornwall into a product manufacturing enterprise that now sells worldwide. Not surprisingly given their roots – there is a deep commitment to sustainability. They launched their clay plaster range in 2011 with the ambitious vision that they would be:
‘not only the best in the world, but the best for the world’
Clayworks have had great commercial success in the high end restaurant sector. A quick glance at the images accompanying this article and it’s not difficult to understand why. But Clayworks have more ambitious plans. They want to make clay plasters an ‘everyday’ product – not least because to do so would help them to achieve their deep and sincerely held commitment to sustainability.
The ASBP encourages you to consider Claywork’s Clay Plasters in current and future projects. For more information about Clay Works visit clay-works.com.