Loam Plaster

Loam plaster consists mainly of sand and silt with only as much clay as is necessary. Animal hair or cut straw is added as reinforcement. Adding rye flour improves the resistance of the surface against dry and moist abrasion. When the mix sticks to a sliding metal trowel held vertically yet is easily licked away the correct consistency has been reached.The underlying surface has to be sufficiently rough and should be moistened before the work starts. If the surface of the wall needs a layer thicker than 10-15 mm, this should be applied in two or even three layers to avoid shrinkage cracks.To improve surface hardness cow dung, urine or lime should be added in the top layer.To provide resistance against abrasion the surface should be finished with a coat of silicate or lime paint (Minke, 2006) (Figures15.7and 15.8).

Planing loam plaster. Source: Hock.

Basic info is found in Chapter 9.

Rolls of building paper or thicker felt impregnated with bitumen are the most commonly used waterproofing membranes in both the exterior and interior of buildings (see Chapter 14). These are also referred to as 'tar paper'. In wider rolls this is also a very common, simple roof covering. In felt products, bitumen is mixed with a filler such as limestone or sand and reinforced with a weave of glass fibre or polyester. The products for roof covering are topped with a robust layer of ground stone. The felt is glued and/or pinned to a firm base of wooden panelling, mineral sheeting, etc.

Bitumen is a heavy fraction of fossil oil. The resource base is thus very limited and its use entails heavy pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases, in addition to aromatic hydrocarbons.

During their lifetime on buildings, a significant amount of bitumen can be washed off and pollute the environment. Their durability is not very high, and bitumen surfaces often have to be renewed every 15 or 25 years. The products cannot usually be re-used or recycled as new materials. Where glued on to underlying surfaces, these too lose their potential for recycling. Normally they must be treated as special waste. If combusted for energy recovery they cause similar emissions to fossil fuels.

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