Friends of the Earth – AuwaEarth have some exciting news. We have relocated to the beautiful Northern Rivers region of NSW, Australia.
Many of our clients have been asking us about projects in this region and it has long been a dream for the owner to return to the area where she grew up camping and enjoying the simple things with her family. This is a growing region and very environmentally aware so we are now perfectly placed to service the entire area – from the Byron Shire, to the Tweed as well as the rest of Australia.
As a way of introducing ourselves and getting to know the locals, whilst giving a taster of the fantastic possibilities that exist with earth building we will be making a demonstration wattle-and-daub wall as part of the World Environment Day Festival, coming up soon on June 2nd, 2019 in Knox Park, Murwillumbah NSW.
This wall will be constructed using traditional techniques and materials (reeds, straw, sand and clay) and will be finished with a smooth decorative clay plaster. Children are more than welcome to come down and join in the fun, as we will be mixing the clay there with our feet and applying it with our hands.
Wattle-and-daub, of the many earth construction techniques, is so fabulous as it is easy to learn, looks beautiful and most of all is easily applied by any family members, young or old. This is because the clay is applied to the wall in small pieces and is not heavy to lift like adobe bricks and cob can be, or very technical like rammed earth can be. You can build a wall 100mm thick or up to 1000mm thick and more, simply by applying layer after layer. A wattle-and-daub wall also has the benefit of having a high insulation value due to the amount of straw used in the initial clay mix. So in more temperate climates, where protection from the elements is important, this is a great choice – and was our traditional building material of choice by the early white settlers in Australia.
Known as ‘Pau à Pique’ in Brazil and ‘Bajareque’ in Mexico it is possible to create beautiful feature walls anywhere in your home, either inside or outside. You can even apply the finishing render coat over a concrete block wall, brick wall or plasterboard wall! Though you will not get 100% of the benefits that you would by building the whole wall from earth you will still get many of the benefits – not least how incredible it looks and feels to have around you. People also report feeling much happier and healthier when living in an earth home – try it out with a feature wall to start with!
So please come down and say hi if you can – we look forward to meeting you at the festival!