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Wattle and daub in Nepal - Clay render failure  RSS feed

 
Sona Huberova
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Hello everyone,

I am seeking advice on re-rendering a wattle and daub building in Nepal.

We built this school in the mid-range Nepali mountains (elevation around 1500m, no snow in winter, but frosts, heat in summer, and monsoon; strong winds and earthquakes) in 2012-2013.
We got an advice from an earth-building expert, shortly before the construction started, based on which we changed the technology from rammed earth to wattle and daub.
It was not simpler, as expected, and also the building dilapidated very fast.

The walls were rendered from both sides with a mixture that followed local recipe (which is used for rendering the traditional rural houses):
3 parts of soil (half in half mixed from two soils, one more clayey, one less)
1 part of rice husks
1 part forest grass finelly chopped
1 part cow/buffalo dung

The mixture has been left to rest for six week and it was very strong after drying, although it cracked a lot and two more coats were needed to finish it.

No maintenance was done on the walls in those 4 years; it was needed, but unfortunately the person who was in charge of the renders and who advised us on the traditional way and managed the works (very responsible, experienced, and lived just next door) accidentally died when the building was just completed. There is no one else in the village who would have the capacity or willingness to maintain and repair it, and the principal now speaks about demolishing the school and building with RCC.

We as organisation would try to get some more funds and repair it (tear down the old render and do a new coat), but would have to come up with a longer-lasting solution. What we need is a mixture that would survive some dynamic stress as the building is flexible and moves (I suspect that the movement is the cause of the fast dilapidation - which does not occur with the traditional stone houses that much).

Any ideas?

Thanks ahead.
Sona
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