Category Archives: Workshop

Light Straw Clay Workshop Report

Slip straw is a great beginning natural building technique because it is quick to learn, simple, Light Straw Clayand can be used in new buildings or to add non-toxic insulation to existing buildings. Ben Waldman, contractor and natural builder, taught a slip straw workshop at the GrowHaus in Denver last month.
Workshop participants included permaculture students, landscapers, farmers, and people who wanted to explore options for building projects they have coming up.

Mixing Clay SlipSlip straw is made by combining fiber (preferably wheat straw) with a runny clay slip. The hollow shaft of the straw creates air pockets, while the clay binds the fiber together and adds thermal properties.

Once the straw and clay slip have been mixed to the right consistency, the mixture is added into a wall’s framing and then tamped down.

Slip straw is not load bearing on its own, but is meant to be used as an infill for framed walls. Different framing designs were discussed, along with their advantages and disadvantages for combination with this technique.

Once the straw has been fully tamped into the wall, it will be finished with a clay or lime plaster. Clay is able to control moisture on its own, which helps protect infill of the wall against mold or Mixing Plasterrot.

Clay plaster is another huge topic that will be taught at a future workshop, but students in this class got to have some hands-on introduction.

Burlap coated in clay slip was added over wood framing members to help bind the plaster to the wall.

Students left the workshop having gained firsthand experience with natural materials, knowledge of how to achieve the right mixtures for slip-straw and the steps involved in applying this method for better wall insulation, and access to additional resources.

Light Straw Clay Workshop

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to use straw and clay in combination to create a low cost, low impact non-toxic insulation called “light 6a013487c4922b970c017743005b5f970d-800wistraw clay”. Participants will understand the variety of applications light straw clay can be used in. The hands-on portion of the workshop will include mixing and installing light straw clay in a conventional wall system, and installing a basic clay plaster finish over the light straw clay wall system.




In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn about the following topics:

  • Properties of slip-straw construction
  • Properties of clay plasters
  • How to retrofit an existing home
  • How to install in a new home
  • Building code compatibility
Saturday, January 24th 2015
10:00am to 1:00pm
The GrowHaus – 4751 York Street, Denver CO 80216
$35 for DPG members
$40 for non-members

Greywater Reuse

We are happy to announce that Colorado Greywater, Common Earth, and Urban Mud are partnering together to host a workshop on residential greywater reuse. The workshop is scheduled for July 13 at a private residence. In addition to covering all the available systems we will be installing a laundry to landscape system so that folks can get there hands dirty.

Here you can find all the details and register for the greywater workshop.

We hope to see you there and don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

Laundry to Landscape