[Strawbale] Use of ashes in clay plasters and/or floors (RT)

Max Vittrup Jensen max at permalot...
Fri Feb 6 12:33:15 CET 2009

Hi Rikki, Tom and others,

My gut (and reasoning) completely agrees with the gut feelings stated by 
Rob Tom.

How close are you to the sea? You may be able to use musselshells 
instead, as used in NL and DK. Friends of mine used a layer of flattened 
PET bottles, as here in Czech we're far from the ocean...  As you can 
see on the illustrated 'comics' available on www.PermaLot.org/resources 
, I've been using a layer of 24cm tall canning jars, for capillar 
breaking layer, with weight distribution and more insulation made by 10 
cm styrofoam; On top of that an earthen floor (with floor heating). 
It may not be the best approach, but it worked here. Any other good 
approaches out there?

PermaLot Centre of Natural Building

>    1. Re:  use of ashes in clay plasters and/or floors (RT)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Wed, 04 Feb 2009 08:14:57 -0500, Rikki Nitzkin  
> <rikkinitzkin at earthlink...> wrote:
>> Hi all in a debate on the Spanish list serve, talking about
>> "insulating" clay floors, the following observation was made:
> ---------
> ......Oficial-looking numbers aside, my gut tells me that ashes wouldn't do much  
> towards providing any insulation value to a clay floor, either if mixed  
> with the clay or configured as a separate layer underneath the clay.
> Why ? Because my guess is that any insulating value that ashes my have is  
> probably due to trapped air in the interstices between the ash particles  
> and when compacted (as would be the case in a floor construction, most of  
> those air pockets would likley be gone.
> The other thing is that ashes seem to suck up water quite readily and when  
> a materialis water-logged, it becomes a better thermal conductor than  
> insulator.

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