Building with wood and clay is as old as human existence. To describe the wood-clay technique it is possible to stray into an infinite number of techniques. We therefore limit ourselves to 2 wood-clay techniques, with attached photos.

Clay with wood chips

A mixture of small pieces of wood with very fatty clay. Let the mixture stand for at least 1 day, then fill the finished battens and reed formwork. Allow the wall to dry for 6 weeks before plastering it with a clay or lime plaster. Wood-clay is not a load-bearing construction and must always have a self-supporting wooden frame! It is also important to always build with a roof overhang of at least 1 meter and with a 40 cm high plinth in the splash water area. This is the “Dry Hat, Dry Foot” Principle.
This building system is very fast and therefore relatively cheap to build.

Clay with wooden slats and branches

Cut all slats and branches to the desired length of the wall thickness. Mix the basecoat clay with water and apply the desired consistency. Brick the wood with the basecoat clay and straw sawdust in the center of each wood block. As described in the first method ‘Clay with Woodchips’
This is a more complex construction method and takes time.

Wood-clay has a high insulation value. With its 700 kg / m3, the walls do not let the cold through and ensure a comfortable indoor climate.

Pavilion de ‘Raatzaal’

As can be seen on the banner photo above, this pavilion owes its name to its honeycomb-shaped windows and its future function as a bee palace and also a meeting location, etc.. Commissioned by the “Fruittuin van West”, the pavilion was built with cut off wood using the Cord Wood technique and ZERO WASTE principles. For more information see here.

Cord Wood-technique

Originally a natural building method in which short logs are stacked crosswise in a ‘natural’ mortar mixture to build walls. This technique uses local materials at minimal cost.
Stadshout (CityWood Amsterdam) was responsible for the design and execution of the construction, supplied wood for the skeleton, residual wood for the construction of the walls, plus the wood sawdust for the composition of the mortar mixture, as additional insulation for the clay walls. Tierrafino supplied the BASE basecoat clay for the construction of the walls, took care of the execution of the outer walls and the plastering of the inner walls with DURO clay plaster in a honey-coloured white and ocher with straw.

The walls are constructed from 2 horizontal clay dams, consisting of basecoat clay mixed with wood sawdust, which increases the insulation value of the clay, 1 dam forms the outer wall and 1 dam forms the inner wall with wood shavings in between as insulation. Vertical wooden slats have been placed on these clay dams, on which 2 clay dams have been applied, etc.……..

This is a fairly simple but labor-intensive construction method. It is quickly learned and with many hands available it goes considerably faster. The result is definitely worth it.

For more information see here!

Or read more on the pages below about the other clay building techniques!


Our Technical Friday Mornings (TFM) are especially for professionals. In abt. 1.5 hours we explain clay construction in general and the technical applications of our clay products. There are no costs associated with attending a TFM. Only upon registration.

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