軽量藁土充填工法 Light Straw Clay Construction: Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Greenhouse at Spring Harbor

In April, 2015 I had the opportunity to participate in the construction of the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Greenhouse at Spring Harbor Middle School in Madison, WI.
外壁は軽量藁土充填工法という工法でできました。Design Coalitionという環境建築設計事務所によって設計されました。デザイン・コアリションは20年前から軽量藁土充填工法を開発しています。The greenhouse features light straw clay walls built under the direction of Design Coalition, a sustainable and socially conscious architectural firm in Madison, WI. Design Coalition is a pioneer of light straw clay construction in North America and has been researching and designing with light straw clay for over 20 years.
The construction of the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Greenhouse at Spring Harbor Middle School is led by middle school science teacher Dave Ropa. In addition to the use of natural building materials, the building will showcase a number of ecological features including rain water catchment and organic gardens.
The interior finish features Kiwado's NAGOMI Japanese lime plaster applied directly over an earthen plaster base coat.

下の写真が建設の記録で、ある写真がManderfield Video Productionsあるいはデビド・ロパ先生の厚意による写真です。
The following is a photographic exploration of the construction of the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Greenhouse. Some photos are courtesy of Manderfield Video Productions and Dave Ropa.

基礎断熱 Insulated Foundation

Durisol Blocks made from cement and wood chips recycled from used pallets

木造 Timber structure

軽量藁土ミクサー Light straw clay mixer

Stomping light straw clay into formwork

Wooden spacers secure inside shuttering. As the wall is built, the spacing blocks are removed creating a monolithic light straw clay wall

Before applying the first coat of earth plaster, a clay slip is sprayed on the surface.
The base coat of plaster was applied in two days.

The first day the entire middle school took turns plastering.

What incredible energy and team work! Truly an inspiration.

The second day parents and community members continued plastering.

下塗の様子 Completed base coat of earth plaster

Generally a brown coat is applied before the finish coat. However, given a limited schedule, the interior finish was applied in 2.5 days. The interior finish features a traditional Japanese lime plaster. In Japan, lime plasters have been used to finish earthen walls for hundreds of years. The finish plaster was applied in two consecutive coats.

Kiwado's NAGOMI plaster consists of hydrated lime, recycled jute fibers and seaweed glue.

Textured wave pattern applied with brush.

Sun and moon truth windows exposing the light straw clay (right) and base coat of earthen plaster (left).

内装 Kiwado's NAGOMI lime plaster

外装 Wood siding on the exterior


An Introduction to Japanese Plastering:

Theory and Practice

▲Friday, May 1, 1-5pm: Workshop 
Polished Clay Balls
Popular among plasterers in Japan, learn the art of polished clay balls using earth and lime plasters.
Cost: $40
Please Register for this workshop here:

▲Friday, May 1, 6-8pm: Lecture and Convergence
“Traditional and Contemporary Natural Building in Japan”
An introduction to traditional Japanese architecture including timber framing, stone foundations, thatch roofing and plastering, followed by a pictographic exploration of contemporary Japanese natural building.
Cost: Donation (and bring you own drinks)
Please RSVP here:

▲Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3, 9am-4pm: Workshop
Japanese Earth and Lime Plastering
An introduction to traditional and contemporary Japanese plastering, including history, fundamentals, plastering procedures, materials and tools. The workshop will involve repeated practice of a typical Japanese earthen plaster brown/middle coat application and finish applications of lime plasters over earth and gypsum.
Cost: $350 (includes two trowels for application and finishing)

 Yamanishi Hanyaki Application Trowel 240mm (9.5 inches) and Stainless Steel Finishing Trowel 180mm (7 inches)
Please Register for this 2 day workshop here:

Instructor:  Kyle Holzhueter, PhD
  Kyle works as a builder, consultant, researcher and educator in Japan specializing in natural building materials such as straw bale and natural plasters. He is also a graduate of the Kyoto Plastering Institute.

Location:  Anna Wolfson Studios
                    1919 N Springfield Ave, Chicago, IL

Clay Ball Event: http://polishedclayballs.eventbrite.com/
Lecture/Convergence: http://lecture-convergence.eventbrite.com/
2 Day Japanese Plastering Workshop: http://japaneseplastering.eventbrite.com/

Further Inquiries: japanese.plastering*gmail.com (* = @)


ものさしかぐたかはし ショールーム ~ Chigiri

机も棚も高橋作です。写っているのがSekiura Designさん。
Chigiri, in Japanese, is the butterfly tie used to attach two pieces of wood or prevent a piece of wood from splitting, as seen the photo above. Chigiri is also the name of a new furniture showroom in Kumano-cho, Hiroshima Prefecture, featuring the works of Yuji and Sanae Takahashi of Monosashi Kagu Takahashi. Designed by Masafumi and Sumire Shimatani of Hankura Design, Chigiri is the renovation of an old factory office. But that is only half of the story. Having an active industrial sea port, Hiroshima has a tradition of steel work. With the help of local metal fabrication craftsman Murata-san, Takahashi-san was able to redesign an adjacent factory into a beautiful workshop space, known as Tetoma.