Mr. K, Hachioji City
We visited the home of Mr. K, who renovated his 30-year-old house with plaster walls and natural wood floors.
Why did you choose to use plaster?
When I was remodeling my house, the first thing I wanted to do was to use as few chemicals as possible.
So, after reading and researching, I came to the conclusion that plaster would be good for the walls.
Partly because I have asthma, I wanted to keep my children away from chemicals.
I was worried about the accumulation of harmful substances in my child’s body, so I wanted to renovate the house with natural materials.
I felt that what we eat and what touches our skin is important when we are young.
However, it was difficult to find a reliable contractor who would work with plaster without additives.
We asked another contractor to give us a quote, but the thickness of the plaster was thinner than what we wanted, and the proposal did not reflect our request, so we quit….
I thought diatomaceous earth might be good, but I was concerned about the mixtures in diatomaceous earth, and plaster is harder and stronger than diatomaceous earth, so I decided to go with plaster.
I think the reason why I chose Air Cycle Housing was because I had read the book “The Real House I Finally Found” at the library and felt the way of thinking of Air Cycle Housing’s house building was very similar to mine, so I felt the way of thinking and selection of materials of other builders were very thin and superficial.
What is the appeal of plaster?
I’ve always liked looking at buildings, and I like the smoothness of the walls of castles and warehouses, the cool feeling when you walk in, and the crisp, clean air.
The plaster absorbs moisture and makes the air feel clean. That’s the best part.
Also, it’s easy to clean. It doesn’t yellow, and it doesn’t get dusty.
I hate cleaning, you know. One of the important elements of the renovation was how to save time and effort in cleaning, so the fact that I don’t have to clean the walls is a high point for me.
The floor is also natural wood, so I don’t have to wax it, and I think natural materials are easy to maintain.
Mr. Ueda is a plasterer from Awaji Island, and his “real plaster” is made from 100% natural materials, which is rare elsewhere.
He does not use chemical glues when applying the plaster, but uses funori, which is made by boiling seaweed on site.
Because it does not contain chemicals, it does not generate static electricity and does not attract dust.
It does not deteriorate to a yellowish color over the years.
With a special method, plaster can also be applied over vinyl cloth.
The only thing is that the walls are white, so the marks of children’s hands are a bit noticeable.
However, it’s impossible not to get dirty in daily life, so I’m hoping that as I get older, I’ll be able to say, “There was a time when this happened.
Also, when the light hits the plaster walls, the shadows come out beautifully, and it is soothing to look at them.
He suggested that it would be good to paint with different patterns, and I was happy to have patterns on the ceiling and stair walls.
Yesterday, we had a barbecue party with 40 people, and there was no smell left from the barbecue.
There was so much smoke that the room was filled with it, but I think it was the plaster that kept the smell away.
Can I hang calendars, clocks, or pins on the plaster walls?
I can hit pins and studs, but I don’t want to scratch it yet, so I use the clock standing up.
I’m thinking, “If it’s a small hole, why don’t you just drill it?
Do you have any advice for people who are planning to build a house?
I think it’s important to go through the process of asking all the questions you have and getting answers.
If they can’t do it, I think it’s good to ask them to explain why they can’t do it, so that it’s good to build a house with conviction.
What I like about Air Cycle Housing is that they always answered my questions, gave me alternative plans for things that were not possible, and allowed me to proceed with various things in a way that I was satisfied with.
Air Cycle Housing gave us accurate answers to our questions and did research.
They consulted with us not only about the plaster, but also about the insulation, and we felt very comfortable having meetings with them.
Right now, every contractor is assuming that they can’t do anything else by applying their own package. If you try to ask for something other than the package, they start with a negative, saying that you shouldn’t do it because XX is XX…. If they proceed with that, the house will be built without us being satisfied, and I think we will regret it later.
I think it is good to do what you want to do and then say, “Oh, that was a mistake,” but I think the regret is greater if you cannot do what you wanted to do, so I think it is important to talk with the other party until you are satisfied, or to choose a contractor who can give you a satisfactory answer.
I think it’s a good idea to choose a contractor based on your ideal image of what you want, making sure you know what you can and cannot compromise.
My first choice is natural materials. Next is easy to clean.
I had told them that, so the suggestions from Air Cycle Housing were in line with that, and I enjoyed choosing them.
The Passive Air Cycle (PAC) construction method aims to realize the health of the inhabitants and the building itself at the same time by utilizing natural energy such as natural wind and solar heat without using mechanical equipment.
Japan’s first external thermal insulation system allows natural air to circulate inside the building frame (inside the walls). This system eliminates temperature differences inside the house, making it possible to live comfortably in both summer and winter.
In addition to this “passive air cycle (PAC) construction method,” we propose a passive design floor plan with ventilation, heat insulation, and solar radiation shielding, and continue to build houses using natural materials.