The Natural Beauty of Exterior Stucco

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Personally, I love the look of smooth stucco on a home or any other building. So, I decided to do a little research into exterior stucco options and hoped I would find one that is eco-friendly. While synthetic exterior stucco has a reputation of being problematic due to incorrect installations, and cement stucco is not exactly a green product due to its energy intensive production and harmful chemical ingredients, there is a natural alternative that works very well — lime stucco.

St. Astier Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) is a 100% natural, recyclable product that has been in production since 1851. It is extensively used in preservation and restoration projects, as well as in new construction. It is basically calcium carbonate from limestone that originates in the unique St. Astier basin in France. Production of NHL is significantly less energy-intensive than cement production. Characterisics of this product include: its breathability, elasticity, longevity, low shrinkage and cracking, and perhaps its greenest quality — its absorption of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). It does not trap condensation, as cement-based mortars and incorrectly-applied synthetic stuccos do. Is suitable to be used in a wide variety of climates and can be applied almost all year round.

It will not react with old mortars because it does not contain reagent components. ‘Ordinary cement mortars, and mortars made with lime where cement has been added, are sure to contain a high quantity of tricalcium aluminate, which in contact with sulphates and water, can produce sulphate attack starting with efflorescence and progressing to damaging joints, bricks and stone.’

A St. Astier showroom is located in Petaluma, CA and its products are available through a network of distributors situated throughout most of the United States. (a home finished with NHL is pictured here).

American Clay of Albuquerque, New Mexico will be launching its own lime stucco (SLS) which uses aggregate containing up to 65% post-consumer recycled glass combined with proprietary pozzolans (volcanic ash). This eco-friendly company is well-known for its beautiful, natural interior stucco products. American Clay products are available through dealers in all 50 states.

Tag(s): Green Building, Greening the Home, Greening the Office

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