Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)


Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!

widget @ surfing-waves.com

Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.

    Hallo everyone,

    I am in the development stage of building a new house for our family. I have a dislike for plasterboard, i have to work with it in the building trade and it drives me mad. I dont think i have to mention why i hate it, i think you all understand.

    So i am looking for a ecological alternative to complete some of the internal walls and ceilings. I was maybe thinking of a straw board but i have found it difficult to source anything. Preferably it would be indigenous(UK) and recyclable at the end of its use.

    Any help would be much appreciated, Dave
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2009
    lime plaster on a mesh -- organic or metal?
    • CommentAuthorJulian
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2009
    As Tony suggests if you want to plaster...lime on reed mats or laths. If you want a board finish without the need for plaster that isn't plasterboard have a look at Fermacell (German) and Sasmox (Finland). Made from reclaimed gypsum and cellulose fibre (Fermacell) and wood chips/flakes (Sasmox). Harder and slower to fix than PB and more expensive but you can hang cupboards etc without noggins if you need to.
    We're using multipro boards, which are magnesium silicate - breathable and paintable and fire resistant. Not cheap at over £20 a sheet, but easy to work with.
    Thats a great start folks, thankyou, only started this thread about 1/2hr ago. Lime plaster on lathe i had thought of and was intending to use but it is very expensive, but i hadnt thought of mesh. These other boards look interesting but can we get these items from the UK?

    Keep it coming i'm all ears, the other walls i am intending to install are a cordwood wall and possibly an exposed oak lathe studded partition. I cannot install this thro-out the whole house due to time/cost factor, as much as i would like to.
    • CommentAuthorSaint
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2009
    As Jem suggests MultiPro boards, thinner, tougher, breathable http://www.resistant.co.uk/products/multipro.aspx
    What are peoples thoughts/experiences are about fermacell?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2009
    too expensive -- and too heavy!
    • CommentAuthorJulian
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2009
    Some discussion of Fermacell and rigid boards here Bot:


    Dave, all the products I mentioned are available direct from the agents/importers or your local builders merchant. Whereabouts in UK are you?

    They are heavier as Tony suggests but if you were planning a skim on the PB (rather than taping/filling) the price difference is negligible as you save on noggins and a plasterer. Regarding laths if you have a table saw you can rip some down yourself. Not as good as riven chestnut maybe but quick. cheap and effective.
    • CommentAuthorRachel
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2009
    I have used lime plaster or clay plaster on reed matting from the garden centre ...works well and inexpensive
    • CommentAuthorStuartB
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2009
    Design more open plan and do without some walls all together. Use moveable partitions to define the space.
    Saint.....thanks for the link, checked that out last night, that looks like a good idea for the walk in shower and bathroom area.

    Julian..........Gonna check that link out after my tea, thats quite a long thread. I am in The Shire thats (South)Shropshire to everyone else. Thats interesting with the lathe, i have table saw, i also have several long oak branches from a couple of limbed oaks in my field.

    Rachel.........What does the the finish end up like, excuse me for being stoopid but i havent heard of this method before. Is the wall sturdy and what can you fix to it. I presume this method gives me the option of a curved wall which is something i have to do.

    StuartB...........I have omitted some walls and open plan is the theme at one end of the house, but i need to seperate bedrooms, bathroom, seperate lounge and utility.

    Just a note to say i designed some curved walls into our home so we need something flexible for this area, and not to forget the ceilings, has anybody had experience of straw/mineral board.

    Thanks everyone and keep the ideas coming, Dave.
    • CommentAuthormarktime
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2009
    So what do have against plasterboard?
    • CommentAuthorJulian
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2009
    I think Rachel and Tony are talking about using lime (or clay) plaster over mesh, lath or reed mat. This approach would allow you to make a curved (or other shaped) wall and then plaster it to whatever kind of finish you wanted. Mesh and lath can bend around a curve fairly easily and I imagine reed mat might have similar properties - not used it though. If you plan to fix into such a wall carefully sited noggins would be useful.

    Laths were traditionally riven and later sawn. Riven laths are supposed to offer a better key to the plaster than the more uniform section of sawn laths but are slower and require more skill to produce. You can buy riven chestnut and oak laths if you want. As Rachel has described elsewhere on here reed mats from the garden centre offer an inexpensive background for lime or clay plasters.
    • CommentAuthorRachel
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2009
    Nice smooth finish ... just fix/ staple the reed matting to some batons ; 2 or 3 by 2's, 400 mm apart.
    Marktime...........i dont have anything against plasterboard it just is not a very good building product.
    1. Difficult to recycle and impossible to reuse.
    2. Huge amounts of waste from the installation of.
    3. Difficult to fix anything to the walls and ceilings unless noggins or similar are used which in most cases is impossible to think that far ahead.
    4. Its weak and has to be plastered to offer any strength.
    5. Does not like getting damp.
    6. Promotes mould.

    Julian and Rachel........ive checked out the fermacell site and a sample is on the way, they even manufacture 6000mm x 2500mm boards. Reed mat and lathe is my next research product.

    Thanks again, Dave
    Posted By: waveydavey
    1. Difficult to recycle and impossible to reuse.
    2. Huge amounts of waste from the installation of.
    3. Difficult to fix anything to the walls and ceilings unless noggins or similar are used which in most cases is impossible to think that far ahead.
    4. Its weak and has to be plastered to offer any strength.
    5. Does not like getting damp.
    6. Promotes mould.

    Sigh, you guys in the UK are just not used to the stuff.

    1. No more difficult to recycle than old plaster that's been hacked off a wall. True about the reuse though.
    2. Not much waste if a skilled installer is used.
    3. Easy to think ahead if you're used to using plasterboard. What do you want to fix to ceilings anyway?
    4. Not true - no-one here plasters over it and it's strong enough in general.
    5. No wall surfaces should be getting damp anyway
    6. How does it "promote" mold? See 5 above. I saw more moldy plaster walls in the UK than gyproc walls over here.

    One advantage of gyproc is that it is a handy byproduct of plant that is used to clean up SO2 emissions from industrial processes. Though the same gypsum can be used to make regular plaster too.

    Paul in Montreal ... getting ready to install another 52 sheets of gyproc in the next couple of weeks
    I plastered a room with a mixture of hydrated lime and oak shavings from a power planer.

    Fill wheelbarrow with shavings, add two shovels of lime and bucket of water.
    Mix thouroughly.
    Apply to wall, squeezing firmly allowing excess water to dribble out.
    Finish with thin coat of lime after plaster is dry enough to be hard.

    It dries in a few days to a consistancy akin to Wheetabix. More lime give stronger result but less air so less insulation. Less lime gives more aerated texture but is trickier to apply without crumbling off as you go. It takes a bit of practice. Doesn't everything?
    Posted By: RachelI have used lime plaster or clay plaster on reed matting from the garden centre ...works well and inexpensive
    I've done exactly that as well. Search on net for reed matting at half the price of garden centre (or available in 40 foot container load direct from China!)
    Thanks Biffvernon, i have a free and local supply of sawdust. These are internal walls so not to worried about insulation although i will reuse the rockwool insulation from our existing house in the cavity. Dave
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009
    Other products not already mentioned that may be worth a google are Claytec board and Stramit. Also unfired clay blocks, possibly made on site but also available commercially.
Add your comments

    Username Password
  • Format comments as
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   

© Green Building Press