Exterior Lime Plaster--expansion joints?

BBSteeleSeptember 4, 2012

We are building a new home that is a replica of a late 1800 farmhouse. The building material is a product called "faswall" or a recycled wood chip product in a concrete slurry, lined with mineral wool, stacked over rebar, and filled with a concrete pour: We are also building a healthy home, with breathable walls... the question I have is ARE EXPANSION JOINTS NECESSARY? Our lime plasterer is quite young, although experienced, and I just don't want to do the expansion joints unless absolutely necessary b/c they are apparently visible. Please share your expertise with me :)

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What is the square footage of the wall that the expansion joint is being called for?

Are you sure its an expansion joint (which would go all the way through the wall, including through the faswall), or a control joint (which just goes through the stucco/finish)?

I'd say that there would be no need for expansion joints, and likely no need for control joints unless the wall is abnormally large and unbroken (no window/door openings). Something like 20 lin. ft. or 300 sqft. between openings would be okay without a control joint.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Lime plaster? I don't remember all I probably should, but isn't lime plaster less durable than cement plaster? Is there a special reason to use lime plaster? You will not be able to tell the difference visually. But if you have any sort of extreme weather conditions the lime plaster may not be as durable. I'd do some checking before doing lime plaster.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:00PM
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It is our understanding that lime plaster is very durable, if the application is done properly -- as it cures back to its original form: limestone. Using lime plaster is a decision we made based upon using traditional materials that have withstood time in Eastern Europe, in a climate close to our own in Oregon. We recognize the cement plaster has its benefits, but the house is being built based upon healthy home specifications, and whenever possible, we are opting to choose traditional, organic materials. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 9:30AM
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" we are opting to choose traditional, organic materials"

Portland cement is just as "traditional" (think ancient Rome) and "organic" (dig rock form earth, grind to powder and dry) as limestone.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:08PM
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