#2 Rendering in Casaprota

Last weekend AK0 together with a small team of volunteers and trainees got back to Casaprota where the association had build a small multipurpose building as the result of LearnBIØN workshop#2 during the month of July.

Although partially used, the building lacks some final renders which where the main item of a new little training event on site.

The Friday afternoon session was dedicated to basic rendering techniques. Silvano, a retired bricklayer from Casaprota helped us to get familiar with the right use of trowel and straightedge. To his surprise the raw-earth plaster prepared with only local clay and river sand (moreover in a building site with a clear majority of female workers) proved to be comfortable to apply and pleasant once finished. With Silvanos help, we managed to render almost the whole internal wall surfaces.

The Saturday session focussed on lime-based renders that can be used on exposed surfaces. Mariastefania Bianco, an architect and ecological building expert from Apulia, Southern Italy joined us to explain all the slight differences between natural and industrial or between aerial or hydraulic lime and introduced us to some of the locally most sensible aggregates that can be used. Besides the classic mix of fat lime and pozzolana, a type of sand from volcanic origin that can be found in many Italian regions, Mariastefania showed us how to produce a cocciopesto-render. This antique technique, which the Romans used to waterproof their aqueducts and which Vitruvius widely described in his construction manuals from 15 BC, allows to generate surfaces that are impermeable to water but still able to breathe. With enough patience the render can be treated with a small spatula in order to produce infinite different shades of light red.

The workshop participants have had the possibility to learn on site how to apply the different rendering products help by a short theoretic introduction. The practical exercise helped completing the renderings for the little LearnBIØN building and triggered new contacts to the local community and its administration which is continuing in its search for additional funding to complete the building and make it always more useful for Casaprota’s citizens and visitors.

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