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All Natural EcoFriendly Earth Plasters Demonstrated at Greenbuild Expo

Award-winning American Clay Enterprises returns to the Greenbuild International Expo to showcase its all-natural, eco-friendly earth plasters with a larger hands-on demo area.

American Clay in-process Test Unit

They will also discuss the start of a long-term experiment inspired by feedback from users of the products who claim that the clay provides them energy savings, in addition to the other acknowledged benefits - inhibiting mold, moderating temperature, repelling dirt, controlling humidity, sound attenuating, flexible, repairable and containing no VOCs. For the November 19-21, 2008, event, American Clay will exhibit in booth #1422 at the Boston (MA) Convention and Exhibition Center. They will host ongoing demonstrations, in which anyone can participate, and have both their original - primarily residential - earth plasters, plus their recently launched ENJARRE, a single-coat plaster directed at the commercial and multi-unit residential markets.

The experiment, called "Dynamic Solar", is being conducted at the American Clay facility in Albuquerque, NM, starting this month. It is expected to run for at least a year. They have built five identical test structures, 7'h x 8'w x5'd, of frame construction with R13 fiber-glass bat insulation, and one door each. They break down in this way:

  • One has cement stucco exterior with interior paint.
  • One has vinyl siding exterior and interior paint.
  • One has cement stucco exterior with American Clay interior plaster.
  • One has vinyl siding exterior with American Clay interior plaster.
  • One has American Clay's soon-to-launch lime stucco on exterior with American Clay interior plaster.

All the units have on the inside an identical data logger, called Spectrum 2000, with an additional one on the outside monitoring exterior atmosphere conditions around the units. The Spectrum 2000 measures the relative humidity and temperature in a space. By comparing these, one can determine how much energy will be needed to keep a building comfortable. Once they get a baseline data for each unit, they can then start shifting conditions to determine how to maximize energy savings.

"Over time we have received information about energy savings from customers," says Croft Elsaesser, American Clay co-Founder and CEO. "At first we discounted their claims. But as more information came in, we began to look at whether there was validity to what they were saying, including one Pennsylvania graduate student who called us about energy variations in a house he was monitoring with half clay, half paint. This experiment is a real world approach to get a direct correlation to the different materials, and their impact on our energy usage. I think when the results come in, we will have the data to quantify what the energy savings could be if our plaster is used on a project. It will change the way people think about the interior materials that they use, and the value of clay for the interior walls."

The internationally-recognized Greenbuild Expo presents the perfect opportunity to announce how a company already recognized for its thoroughly sustainable product contribution to building and design is constantly checking itself to innovate behind the scenes.

One client who claims energy savings and inspired the experiment is an architecture firm that remodeled a 1950s building. The exterior walls, roofing, insulation and substrate materials are the same throughout, but a closed-off hallway separates two sides of the building - one side is covered inside with high-quality zero-VOC paint, and the other side with American Clay plaster. They have shown a great difference in energy use between the two separately-metered areas, with significant savings on the American Clay side.

American Clay will also be continuously demonstrating their products, from their three original formulations to the new commercially-directed ENJARRE, which comes pre-tinted in eight colors (some custom available). The plaster can be applied to multiple substrates, cover CMU blocks in one pass, and typically lasts for the life of the walls. And at less than $.30 per square foot to contractors, with color and binder inclusive, ENJARRE gives builders a product that helps provide top indoor air quality and beauty--and can contribute toward up to seven LEED points (five in most areas)--at a very competitive price.

They will also be showing at Greenbuild an exciting new technique they've discovered that uses burlap to help manage issues with plastering corners.

American Clay's mission is to better the planet, through their commitment to healthy solutions for beautiful, calm, and healthy environments. To that end, some energy saving company methods include:

  • Their manufacturing uses low inherent energy to produce our products. i.e. 250 tons of material costs $45 in electricity.
  • They use no water in manufacturing.
  • Plaster is shipped dry to save shipping energy and cost. (Additional 20 pounds of water if sent premixed.)

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