« Return to BuildingGreen.com

Tierrafino Clay Plaster

Tierrafino® is a 100% natural clay interior finish made from colored sands and clays mined from European quarries… Read more
(0 User Ratings)
2 Comments Add a Comment
  • Just how low the VOC level needs to be for a given product to qualify for inclusion in GreenSpec depends on the product category. For most products, we require certification to California’s health-based emissions standard, CDPH Std Method v1.1 standard (also referred to as California Section 01350), which tests a product’s resultant VOC concentrations in the space after a given period of time. For wet-applied products like paints, caulks, and adhesives, we still also look for VOC content instead of, or in addition to, verified low emissions; this is because emissions testing doesn’t adequately test initial offgassing, and VOC content is currently the only widely available proxy.

Brent Ehrlich
Products Editor

Tierrafino® is a 100% natural clay interior finish made from colored sands and clays mined from European quarries. Imported by Hopper and available by mail order directly from the company, this product contains no pigment or chemical additives. Mother of pearl or straw can be mixed in to add interest. Because Tierrafino sets mechanically and not chemically, it may be reworked over and over again and the surface refreshed by wiping down with a wet sponge and rubbing with a soft brush. Tierrafino is available in several colors, which can be changed after installation by applying fresh Tierrafino powder with a wet sponge. The manufacturer claims the finish is suitable for areas of high humidity, though use should be avoided where it can come in contact with streams of water or excessively wet walls, such as in cellars.

Lime plasters can have slightly lower embodied energy than portland-cement-based plasters, and they don't include petroleum-based ingredients, as acrylic plasters do. Integral natural pigments obviate the need for painting.

Products listed here include natural lime plasters and wall coatings made from ingredients such as clay, sand, and cellulose.

Repairing old plaster is preferable to material-intensive replacement, so some plaster repair systems are also included.

LEED Credits

EQc4.1: Low-Emitting Materials—Adhesives&Sealants

IEQc4.1: Low-Emitting Materials—Adhesives and Sealants

Ratings and Commentary

500 mile radius?

Toerrafino's natural properties should contribute to much improved indoor air quality.

I usually try to consider how products can be "green" in more than one way.

So, how can a product mined in Europe and transported thousands of miles to Arizona, then shipped almost a thousand more to my jobsite in North Carolina, be considered "green"... regardless of its other fine qualities?

500 mile radius?

Hi Matthew, That’s a valid question. The overall environmental impact of products, including shipping, can be difficult to assess. We are certainly aware of the challenges shipping presents, but there are a number of reasons why we list products imported from overseas. In some instances, a product shipped from Europe to a local port and then sent to North Carolina might have less environmental impact than one made in the Northwest and shipped by truck. And local companies often choose not to make products because there isn’t enough of a market in the U.S. Hopefully, by including these products in GreenSpec we can increase demand in North America and make them more economically viable to manufacture here. We have seen this with a number of products, including high-performance boilers, which are typically made in Europe. Finally, some of our subscribers have offices abroad as well as the U.S. and Canada, so it makes sense to list products that are also available overseas when appropriate. There are a lot of variables, of course, especially when a product’s long lifespan, minimal processing, and low toxicity tip the scales in its favor. I hope this helps address your concerns, or at least explains our reasoning. But we agree with you; We should all buy locally whenever possible. Thanks for the feedback!


Add Comment

Welcome !