Archive for the ‘Green Design / Living’ Category

American Clay Enterprises, Inc. Develops Training Program, Increases Business Opportunities for Union Locals with the Help of O.P & C.M.I.A.

March 18, 2010

March 10, 2010

Albuquerque, NM (March 2010) – American Clay Enterprises, Inc., makers of the patented, award-winning, natural and healthy plasters for interior walls and ceilings, is working with the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association (OP&CMIA) developing an American Clay training program for the Union Locals. After great success in doing so last year with Plasterers Local 66 in San Francisco, Shaylor Alley, American Clay’s VP of Technical Support, and Gerry Ryan, the Director of Training for OP&CMIA, have spearheaded the program.

American Clay participated in the OP&CMIA booth at last month’s World of Concrete in Las Vegas. Typically the Cement Masons are focused on their ‘concrete thing’, states the American Clay Newsletter, and the Plasterers demonstrate high-end finish products. This year, in anticipation of rolling out the American Clay program, the masons did ‘wet wall demos’ of American Clay products. “It was sheer joy watching these professionals, guided by Isaac Leos, experiment and perfect American Clay walls,” states Peggy Cunningham of American Clay, who attended the event.

“We had not been thinking about ‘concrete professionals’ as American Clay prospects, but clearly we were missing something!” adds Alley. “No one came to the booth looking for plaster, however booth representatives were asked over and over: ‘I’m here to find new and innovative products for our customers. This looks cool! Can my guys learn American Clay?’ Everyone is thinking outside the box now, to increase business opportunities.”

Last year, the Plasterers Union 66 announced funding from the California Labor Federation and State Building & Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC) to prepare journey-level workers for transitioning into the new green economy. Having discovered American Clay, the Journey person plasterers were able to upgrade their skills and offerings using the revolutionary green interior plaster wall finish.

Many attendees at OP&CMIA who were looking for new and innovative products for their customers were excited to find out more about American Clay and eager to have their contractor and applicators learn to apply American Clay.

ABOUT AMERICAN CLAY ENTERPRISES, INC:
American Clay Enterprises, Inc., based in Albuquerque, NM, produces patented, award-winning, all-natural interior wall finishing products. Their Earth Plasters and the commercial ENJARRE single coat plaster are a unique combination of clays, aggregates and natural pigments that offer builders and consumers a natural and elegant option. There is no off-gassing nor inherent waste on-site. The plasters contain zero VOCs, are non-flammable, are mold resisting (without toxic fungicides), absorb odors, provide temperature and humidity buffering, repair/clean easily and come in recyclable packaging. American Clay, with an extremely low carbon footprint, is uniquely manufactured in the U.S. and made of materials found in the U.S. The product and various workshops are available through their New Mexico office or through one of the growing number of retailers and distributors across the U.S. The website, http://www.americanclay.com, offers information on products, ordering, technical specifications, product application and additional resources and links.
U.S. PAT No. 7,485,186 B2

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April 2: Grand Opening-L.A.’s ZENERGY House / Ed Begley, Sen. Pavley speaking

March 5, 2010

For Immediate Release

RESIDENTIAL ENERGY ASSESSMENT SERVICES, INC. (REAS) PRESENTS THE  GRAND OPENING OF THE  ZENERGY HOUSE, LA’S FIRST COMPREHENSIVE “GREEN” REMODEL

WHAT: Residential Energy Assessment Services, Inc. (REAS) presents the GRAND OPENING of the ZENERGY House, its green residential remodel project located in Studio City, CA. The grand opening will feature noted environmental activists, tours, and refreshments.

ZENERGY House was conceived as a living example and educational tool for the average person to learn about and incorporate greener elements into their home environment.  The one-story home was originally built in 1950 and includes 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2,450 sq. ft. of living space, and a pool. The home was selected because of its unique architecture and because the home’s size reflects the national average for square footage.

The ZENERGY House will host a number of seminars and tours for architects, builders, designers, government officials, realtors, financial institutions, homeowners and other interested parties through 2010.  Supporting ZENERGY House’s educational mission, tours will be performed by students from LACHSA (Los Angeles County High School for the Arts)‘The Giving Tree Club’ who have attended specific training events at the property.

The project’s major improvements address the mechanical systems; lighting; energy management systems; building envelope; ventilation; water conservation; appliances; interior finishes; and renewable energy. The home also showcases green furnishings; textiles; art; and wallpaper. For a complete listing of materials, sponsors and technologies used in the home please visit: www.ZenergyHouse.com.

WHO: Speakers at the event include renowned environmental activist Ed Begley, Jr., Senator Fran Pavely, author of bill AB 32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and Tammy Schwolsky, CEO of REAS, Inc.

WHY: The ZENERGY House project was created by REAS as a prototype for “greening” existing homes. This High Performance Green Home is the first comprehensive remodel in Los Angeles that combines building science based energy auditing with environmentally responsible design and construction to create a net-zero energy, healthy, whole house designer showcase. The benefits of a high performance green home are improved health, safety, comfort and the ability to protect property values from escalating energy costs.

The work of REAS and the ZENERGY House project reflect the goals outlined by Pres. Obama’s plan for incentives for homeowners to make energy efficiency investments in their homes, through, for example, his proposed “HOMESTAR” program and “Cash for Caulkers”.

WHERE: 4426 Irvine Ave., Studio City, CA 91602

WHEN: Friday, April 2nd 2pm-5pm.  Tours begin at 2:30pm.

For Additional Information please visit http://www.ZenergyHouse.com

Media Inquires: Please contact Julie Du Brow at 310-821-2463 / Julie@dubroworks.com or Agnes Gomes-Koizumi at 323-937-5488 / agnes@agkmedia.com

ABOUT REAS

Residential Energy Assessment Services, Inc. (REAS) is a multi-disciplined consulting, auditing and training firm with extensive expertise in Energy Efficiency Building Analysis with a focus on auditing, design and rehabilitation. REAS provides cost-saving energy solutions to provide owners and agencies with planning and implementation of energy-efficient technologies, water conservation and renewable energy systems. REAS consultants are LEED APs, HERS, BPI and GreenPoint Rated Professionals and is a licensed general contractor. The REAS, Train to Sustain program provides comprehensive green job training to build an inclusive infrastructure of skilled professionals to meet the demands of the emerging green economy. www.ReasEnergy.com.

GREENBUILD 09: American Clay Earth Plaster Announces Potential Energy Savings Generated by Clay Plaster Walls, Results of Yearlong Experiment

November 8, 2009

AmericanClayLogo-Horz

American Clay Greenbuild Booth Features New Lime-Based Samples, Demo Wall, and Commercial-Use Product Enjarre

Albuquerque, NM (November, 2009) – Award-winning, patented American Clay Enterprises returns to the Greenbuild International Expo, announcing the positive results-to-date of its year-long, ongoing energy savings experiment launched at Greenbuild 08.  A press conference will be held on Weds., Nov. 11 at 12:00pm in the Press Conference Room (#126B) ; lunch will be served. The all-natural, sustainable and healthy earth plasters for walls appear to provide, on average, more temperature stability than paint in a room, and thereby energy savings. For the November 10-13, 2009, event, American Clay will exhibit in booth #3754 at the Phoenix (AZ) Convention Center.  At this space, they will have a R&D section representing new lime materials and techniques, a section with artistic panels, and ongoing demo area with their products, in which anyone can participate.

data loggersSM

The ongoing experiment, called “Dynamic Solar”, has been conducted at the American Clay facility in Albuquerque, NM, with the data in the data logger downloaded once a week.  Each unit was tested for temperature (F) and relative humidity (RH) using a Spectrum 2000 data logger with one monitoring ambient condition directly next to the test units. By comparing these, one can determine how much energy will be needed to keep a building comfortable, and then start shifting conditions to determine how to maximize energy savings. The experiment was created in response to American Clay clients who claimed energy savings after remodeling with their patented earth plasters.

 

unit 2 extopcOUT paintINTsm

The five identical test structures, 7’h x 8’w x 5’d, were built using modern framing construction with R13 fiberglass bat insulation, and one door each.  They break down in this way:

  • One has cement stucco exterior with interior paint.
  • One has vinyl siding exterior and interior paint.
  • One has cement stucco exterior with American Clay interior plaster.
  • One has vinyl siding exterior with American Clay interior plaster.

Results-to-date:

• During the hottest times of the day, the test unit with clay interior are colder, on average, than the test structures with paint interior

• During the coldest times of the day, the test unit with clay interior are warmer, on average, than the test units with paint interior

• Paint interior test units have a greater fluctuation during the hottest and coldest times of the day compared to the clay interior test structures

• Regardless of the season, the test structures with clay interior maintain a more stable interior temperature compared to the test structures with paint interior

• To insure that the test units’ position was not skewing results, the test units were rotated in August to shift exposure positions. This produced no change in results.

“As the tests progressed, I was surprised at the overall results,” says Croft Elsaesser, American Clay co-Founder and CEO.  “I expected a 2% variation.  Instead we seem to be leveling off at 6%.  This has the ability to really make a difference when considering the potential impact on a large scale.  Our next challenge is being able to quantify the actual savings this could mean to our customers.”

The internationally-recognized Greenbuild Expo (www.greenbuildexpo.org) presents the perfect opportunity to showcase how a consistently customer-service focused company–which produces a recognized, thoroughly sustainable product for building and design–continually listens to its clients, tests itself, and innovates.

At their booth, American Clay will be sharing new products in its “R&D” area, as well as showcasing artistic panels of the clay plaster prepared by Elsaesser. They will also have their signature demo area, with their three original formulations and the commercially-directed, single-coat ENJARRE, which just expanded its color palette to offer the same options as the Loma formulation.  ENJARRE has become a popular product for the company this year, and at less than $.50 per square foot to contractors, with color and binder inclusive, it gives builders a product that helps provide top indoor air quality and beauty–and can contribute toward up to seven LEED points (five in most areas)–at a very competitive price.

American Clay’s mission is to better the planet, through their commitment to healthy solutions for beautiful, calm, and healthy environments.  To that end, some in-house energy saving methods include:

  • Their manufacturing uses low inherent energy to produce our products.
  • They use no water in manufacturing.
  • Plaster is shipped dry to save shipping energy and cost.

ABOUT AMERICAN CLAY ENTERPRISES, INC:

American Clay produces patented, award-winning, all-natural interior wall finishing products.  Their Earth Plasters and the commercial ENJARRE single coat plaster are a unique combination of clays, aggregates and natural pigments that offer builders and consumers a natural and elegant option. There is no off-gassing nor inherent waste on-site.  The plasters contain zero VOCs, are non-flammable, are mold resisting (without toxic fungicides), absorb odors, provide temperature and humidity buffering, repair/clean easily and come in recyclable packaging. American Clay, with an extremely low carbon footprint, is uniquely manufactured in and made of materials found in the U.S. American Clay Enterprises, Inc., is based in Albuquerque, NM, and its products are patent pending.  The product and various workshops are available through their New Mexico office or through one of the growing number of retailers and distributors across the U.S.  The website, www.americanclay.com, offers information on products, ordering, technical specifications, product application and additional resources and links.

U.S. PAT No. 7,485,186 B2

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American Clay / Press Conf @ Greenbuild re: Energy Savings Experiment

October 29, 2009

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******* MEDIA ALERT *******

WHAT: American Clay Enterprises will host a press conference about their energy savings experiment, at the GREENBUILD International Conference & Expo. The reasons, the procedure, the science used and the results-to-date will be presented, with handouts, by American Clay CEO and co-Founder Croft Elsaesser. Last year at Greenbuild 2008, American Clay launched a yearlong experiment whereby they created multiple testing units to gather information about the energy savings, and therefore potential monetary savings, which customers of American Clay have reported in their remodeled homes.
They have also just launched a foray into China, and will discuss that as well.
The first U.S. based, U.S. made earth plaster finish, American Clay has the lowest carbon footprint per pound of any commercially produced wall finish.

WHY: Award-winning and newly patented American Clay–model of a ‘new economy’ green business in mission, product and business issues– produces the all natural, healthy, and beautiful, interior plaster finish for walls/ceilings. The plaster is non-flammable, gives additional masonry mass in rooms, resists mold growth (tested and proven), absorbs sound, and repairs/cleans easily. (www.americanclay.com)

WHEN: Weds., Nov. 11, 2009 — 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Conference runs Nov. 11-13.

WHERE: Press Conference Room
Greenbuild Int’l. Conference and Expo
Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix, AZ

Please also visit American Clay’s booth #3754 during the show.

WHO: To schedule an interview with American Clay’s co-Founders–CEO Croft Elsaesser or Chief Vision Officer (CVO) Carol Baumgartel–please contact Julie Du Brow at 310-821-2463 ofc (in advance) or 310-922-1301 cell (at Greenbuild) or via email at julie@dubroworks.com.


ABOUT AMERICAN CLAY ENTERPRISES, INC:

American Clay produces patented, award-winning, all-natural interior wall finishing products. Their Earth Plasters and the commercial ENJARRE single coat plaster are a unique combination of clays, aggregates and natural pigments that offer builders and consumers a natural and elegant option. There is no off-gassing nor inherent waste on-site. The plasters contain zero VOCs, are non-flammable, are mold resisting (without toxic fungicides), absorb odors, provide temperature and humidity buffering, repair/clean easily and come in recyclable packaging. American Clay, with an extremely low carbon footprint, is uniquely manufactured in and made of materials found in the U.S. American Clay Enterprises, Inc., is based in Albuquerque, NM, and its products are patent pending. The product and various workshops are available through their New Mexico office or through one of the growing number of retailers and distributors across the U.S. The website, www.americanclay.com, offers information on products, ordering, technical specifications, product application and additional resources and links.
U.S. PAT No. 7,485,186 B2

Sat. 10/24, 11amPST / American Clay on LATalkRadio.com

October 23, 2009

American Clay’s VP of Mktg and co-Founder Carol Baumgartel will be on the newly dubbed “Good Green Witch” show (formerly Green N Easy Living) on LATalkRadio.com.

DATE: Sat., Oct. 24 TIME: 11:00am PST (live)

HOW: http://www.latalkradio.com, and click on the “Good Green Witch” show (there’s a spot to click on to hear live). Then can ask questions via Skype or calling in at (323) 203-0815.

WHY: Will be discussing how there’s No Turning Back as the umbrella topic. – political – small business – lifestyle – green in luxury building: Then again, with Rhonda and her partner Johnny — and Carol — you never know what turn the livley conversation will take!

About the show: Rhonda DeFelice, author of Good Green Witch, hosts this informative show featuring real ideas to create a “Greener” lifestyle. Join her every week as she shares simple ways to be “Green” while saving money.

http://www.americanclay.com

American Clay’s Earth Plasters Used in “Lorax Lodge” Green Environmental Center at Girl Scout Camp in Texas

September 28, 2009

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AC Lorax Lodge 1

AC L0rax Lodge 2

AC Lorx Lodge 3

AC Lorax Lodge 4

GIRL SCOUT SARAH JO LAMBERT MAKES TEACHING CHILDREN TO “GO GREEN” THE FOCUS OF HER GOLD AWARD PROJECT

Albuquerque, NM (September 2009) – American Clay Enterprises, Inc. is proud to be one of the sponsors for the Lorax Lodge, a “green” environmental center created by 16-year old Girl Scout turned environmental activist Sarah Jo Lambert. Her goal is to help save the environment by creating a space where children can be educated about green practices and inspired to make a difference. Sarah’s efforts will earn her a Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement for a member of the organization. Lorax Lodge—with interior walls covered in American Clay’s earth plaster–is located at Girl Scout’s Camp Rio Blanco in Crosbyton, Texas, and will be available for use by Girl Scouts, for school field trips and other visitors. The dedication will take place on October 11, 2009.

A team of fourteen design professionals committed to the cause and volunteered their time and expertise in green building to making Lambert’s dream a reality. The 800-square foot building will be constructed entirely of compressed earth blocks (CEB) and will be powered by solar energy. One section will be a place where visitors can watch and read about environmental issues while the other will serve as a place for students to do experiments focused on environmental topics. American Clay donated twelve bags of its patented, all natural, earth plasters in Loma with Bluefield as the chosen color for the center’s interior wall finish.

American Clay was the perfect choice for the project since their Earth Plasters are a unique combination of clays, aggregates and natural pigments which contain zero VOCs, are non-flammable, resist mold growth, absorb odors, provide temperature and humidity buffering, repair easily and come in recyclable packaging. It also has the lowest carbon footprint per pound of any commercially available wall finish.

“I am honored to have American Clay participate”, says Carol Baumgartel, VP of Marketing and Sales for American Clay. “Sarah Jo’s drive and commitment to the project was unstoppable, and I hope this encourages youths across the country to see what a difference they can make in the world they will inherit.”

Other green aspects of the center include windows made out of recycled glass, massive 18“ walls and an earthen floor made of compressed earth blocks by EarthCo Building Systems and the passive solar design, which uses heat and light from the sun as its power source instead of electricity.

As part of her project, Sarah has also written and developed a classroom curriculum with green teaching activities and has designed a new nature trail at the camp. For the final step of her project, she is including “The Green Challenge”, her personal plea to Girl Scouts around the world to incorporate green centers in their Girl Scout Councils.

“I believe in my project and know that I must personally take a stand to get things started”, says Lambert. “If we start teaching green concepts at earlier ages, all children will start living with the same green attitudes. I believe Lorax Lodge will be a positive educational experience for all who visit.”

ABOUT AMERICAN CLAY ENTERPRISES, LLC
American Clay produces patented, award-winning, all-natural interior wall finishing products.  Their Earth Plasters and the commercial ENJARRE single coat plaster are a unique combination of clays, aggregates and natural pigments that offer builders and consumers a natural and elegant option. There is no off-gassing nor inherent waste on-site.  The plasters contain zero VOCs, are non-flammable, are mold resisting (without toxic fungicides), absorb odors, provide temperature and humidity buffering, repair/clean easily and come in recyclable packaging. American Clay, with an extremely low carbon footprint, is uniquely manufactured in and made of materials found in the U.S. American Clay Enterprises, Inc., is based in Albuquerque, NM, and its products are patent pending.  The product and various workshops are available through their New Mexico office or through one of the growing number of retailers and distributors across the U.S.  The website, http://www.americanclay.com, offers information on products, ordering, technical specifications, product application and additional resources and links.
U.S. PAT No. 7,485,186 B2

ABOUT GIRL SCOUTS OF TEXAS OKLAHOMA PLAINS
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.6 million girl and adult members worldwide. The leading authority on girls’ healthy development, Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, visit http://www.gs-top.org.

American Clay Announces Winners of Its First Annual “Room Makeover Contest” 2009

September 24, 2009

AmericanClayLogo-Horz

CATEGORIES INCLUDE ‘PROFESSIONALS’ AND ‘DO-IT-YOURSELF CONSUMERS’XX

PRO-living room before

PRO-living room before

PRO-living room after

PRO-living room after

DIY-kitchen after

DIY-kitchen after

DIY-child's room after

DIY-child's room after


Albuquerque, NM (September 2009) – The winners of American Clay Enterprises, Inc.’s first annual Room Makeover Contest have been announced!  The team of Steve Gonzales and Dave Amundson from Missoula, MT, is the Grand Prize winner for the Professional category, and El Paso, TX’s PJ and Yukie Liu are the Grand Prize winners for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) category. The contest ran from January 1, 2009 – August 1, 2009 and Professionals and Do-It-Yourselfers submitted projects in their respective categories to show off their remodeling and renovating skills using American Clay’s award-winning, patented, all-natural earth plasters to re-do a room.

“We were so impressed by each project submission,” salutes Carol Baumgartel, VP of Sales and Marketing for American Clay.   “All of the winners proved the transformative nature of American Clay, drastically changing the look and feel of their space by applying our earth plasters to the walls, with creativity, beauty and skill.  Even before taking any additional steps in the remodel or spending extra on additional elements like furniture, just adding American Clay gave the walls a depth and texture that made the room look completely different.”

For the contest Steve Gonzales and Dave Amundson resurfaced the ceiling, walls and fireplace–the entire living room—using American Clay’s Loma in the colors Snow Canyon, Jasper and Nantucket Gold. The judges were impressed by the beautiful craftsmanship, how color accents balanced with the more subtle main walls, and that their work made the statement that American Clay is a “craftsman” material. Steve and Dave’s Grand Prize consists of a private artist training class ($1500 value) taught by an American Clay professional staff member and $500 worth of product.

PJ and Yukie Liu remodeled their kitchen and two bedrooms using American Clay’s Loma and Porcelina in the colors Dakota Red, Santa Fe Tan, Snow Canyon and Chimayo. The judges appreciated that the whole family participated—even the kids!—a process that American Clay encourages. The clay plaster’s use in the modern-retro, interpretation of the interior remodel–90s bold colors to subtler ones with soft light–created a grounded, timeless feel that sealed the deal.  PJ and Yukie won $1500 worth of product as their Grand Prize.

In the Professional category the Runner Up is Alicia Armstrong of Palm Desert, CA, and Honorable Mention goes to Janet Elich of Frisco, CO.  In the DIY category, the Runner Up is Laura Guthrie of Fairfield, IA, and Honorable Mention goes to Abby Paffrath of Wilson, WY.

Three rounds of judging resulted in five finalists chosen for each category – Professional and DIY.  Submissions for each project were judged based on aesthetics, creativity and use of materials. Project submissions required four to six photos of a room in the applicant’s home redone by using American Clay (including one before and one after photo), as well as a project description which includes a depiction of the processes carried out during the project, a list of the products used to complete the project, and type of finish used.

ABOUT AMERICAN CLAY ENTERPRISES, LLC:

American Clay produces patented, award-winning, all-natural interior wall finishing products. Their Earth Plasters and the commercial “Enjarre” single coat plaster are a unique combination of clays, aggregates and natural pigments that offer builders and consumers a natural and elegant option. There is no off-gassing nor inherent waste on-site. The plasters contain zero VOCs, are non-flammable, are mold resisting (without toxic fungicides), absorb odors, provide temperature and humidity buffering, repair/clean easily and come in recyclable packaging. American Clay, with an extremely low carbon footprint, is uniquely manufactured in and made of materials found in the U.S. American Clay Enterprises, Inc., is based in Albuquerque, NM.  The product and various workshops are available through their New Mexico office or through one of the growing number of retailers and distributors across the U.S. The website, www.americanclay.com, offers information on products, ordering, technical specifications, product application and additional resources and links.

U.S. PAT No. 7,485,186 B2

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American Clay Turns 7 Yrs., Launches in China As “Reverse Outsourcer”

September 17, 2009

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AMERICAN CLAY ENTERPRISES, INC., CELEBRATES SEVEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY BY LAUNCHING ‘REVERSE OUTSOURCING’ TO CHINA

‘CLAY WALLS’, KE LAI GIANG, IS NEW PHRASE IN CHINESE LEXICON

MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS DEFINE THE COMPANY’S FIRST SEVEN YEARS


Albuquerque, NM (September 2009) – America has it, and the Chinese are betting that their upwardly mobile middle class wants it.  American Clay Enterprises, Inc., is celebrating their seventh anniversary with the signing of a Chinese distributor for their award-winning, patented earth plaster finish for interior walls that is all natural, healthy, and produces neither off-gassing nor inherent waste on-site.  As the first U.S. based, U.S. materials, and U.S. made earth plaster finish, American Clay is excited to be “reverse outsourcing”, even to the point of helping fill what could be empty shipping containers returning to China, thus helping get close to maintaining their carbon footprint that is the lowest per pound of any commercially produced wall finish.

Distributed in almost every U.S. state, as well as Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Antigua, Thailand, and now China, American Clay has built a company that people and businesses understand is positive to be involved with, both in mission and financial terms.

”The last seven years have been an amazing roller coaster that would not have taken place without the passionate applicators that are really drawn to who we are and what we stand for as a company.  I’m proud to have given them a fresh tool, as well, to grow their business,” states CEO and co-founder Croft Elsaesser.  “With our distribution, we’ve been very strategic, but China was an unexpected opportunity that came our way with an energetic new company there looking to provide products that filled a growing niche within their marketplace.”

Witnessing China’s recent receptivity to green building materials and having received the patent for his earth plaster finish in February, Elsaesser was ready to expand his company’s exporting options.  When Elsaesser went to China in Spring 2009 to teach application of the earth plaster, and make the deal, he found an eager audience and a fascination with his expertise in natural finish materials.  In China, the target audience is the burgeoning middle class that is paying more attention to their interior surroundings, loves beauty, has money to pay for more improvements, and is more aware of climate change and how industrial growth plays a role.

In order to describe “clay walls”, a completely new phrase was created for and added to the Chinese lexicon, putting two particular symbols together for the first time—clay walls = Ke Lai Giang (pronounced kay lay chi-ahn).  American Clay, specifically, is Mei Ke Lai (pronounced may-kay-lie).  The Chinese distributor has created a website (www.americanclay.net) to mirror American Clay’s U.S. site.  Croft will return to China this year to offer more application training, and the company’s VP of Marketing will go to share tips on how to sell American Clay.

The past seven years have proved tremendous growth for the company that started in a barn, experimenting with different mixtures of clays and aggregates to create a highly consistent, durable, and easy-to-use all-natural product, which are American Clay plasters.  Since then, major accomplishments include:

  • Awarded patent relating to the earthen plaster formulation created by Elsaesser
  • Consistent product innovation
    • Single-coat, commercially-focused Enjarre (cuts application cost by 1/2)
    • Natural Depths color line
    • Packaging reuse and recyclability
  • Signed on 22 distributors and over 200 dealers over time
  • Trained over 500 applicators worldwide, and created workshops with help from our dealers wherever American Clay is distributed
  • Tested and confirmed American Clay earth plasters resist mold
  • Outstanding New Green Product 2004, NAHB
  • Best Product choice by Architectural Record and by BUILDERnews
  • Can contribute up to seven (7) LEED points
  • The first business to sign on to provide job-training for Green Collar Vets
  • In National Building Museum’s exhibit on new directions in sustainable architecture
  • Participated in top design showhouses, including Kip’s Bay, D.C. Design House, Los Angeles Magazine green house, and Good Housekeeping’s Your Good House
  • Consistently positive media recognition, including CBS Early Show, ABC-TV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Danny Lipford, shows on HGTV, DIY, and Planet Green; New York Times, Wall Street Journal, House & Garden, Domino, Architectural Record, Dwell, Sunset, Hanleywood and Meredith publications, etc.
  • Recognition by top green media, including Sustainable Industries, Environmental Design + Construction, eco-structure, Solar Today, MNN, Mother Earth News, Natural Home, etc.

The coming months will bring the results of their yearlong energy savings experiment, Dynamic Solar, as well as a revamped, even more highpowered and active, website.  American Clay understands the importance of online access to complete information so people can take action once they are inspired, and their website has proved that from the start.  They are actively involved on YouTube, Twitter (http://twitter.com/AmericanClay) and Facebook (American Clay) as well.

ABOUT AMERICAN CLAY ENTERPRISES, LLC:

American Clay produces patented, award-winning, all-natural interior wall finishing products. Their Earth Plasters and the commercial “Enjarre” single coat plaster are a unique combination of clays, aggregates and natural pigments that offer builders and consumers a natural and elegant option. There is no off-gassing nor inherent waste on-site. The plasters contain zero VOCs, are non-flammable, are mold resisting (without toxic fungicides), absorb odors, provide temperature and humidity buffering, repair/clean easily and come in recyclable packaging. American Clay, with an extremely low carbon footprint, is uniquely manufactured in and made of materials found in the U.S. American Clay Enterprises, Inc., is based in Albuquerque, NM, and its products are patented.  The product and various workshops are available through their New Mexico office or through one of the growing number of retailers and distributors across the U.S. The website, www.americanclay.com, offers information on products, ordering, technical specifications, product application and additional resources and links.

U.S. PAT No. 7,485,186 B2

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Revolutionary Interior Design Site AvaLiving.com Empowers Consumers to Spend Smarter w. A La Carte Design Services

August 26, 2009

new_ava_4CDESIGNER ROOM EVALUATIONS & ADVICE PROVIDE EXPERT TIPS FOR CONSUMERS’ “HELP-ME-DO-IT-MYSELF” APPROACH TO DESIGN

Long Beach, CA (August, 2009) – Ava Living (www.avaliving.com) is an entirely new way for consumers to engage in design.  Consumers love to design their space and find their own personal style for their rooms.  But, sometimes the results don’t turn out the way you hope.  While, consumers may want to access professional designers’ skills, vision and product resources, most want to do it at their own pace at home, and often in an a la carte fashion.  Enter, Ava Living, with their “Help Me Do It Myself” platform.

The first of its kind, Ava Living was conceived as a trusted, community destination to provide affordable access to interior design resources, and designer-driven room evaluation tools / advice portioned a la carte. Ava Living provides consumers a resource to research interior designers, get free room reviews (from designers of their own choice) on their existing space, and purchase entry-level, specific design advice to improve their particular room.  With an international network, consumers now have access to select and choose their most compatible designer from anywhere in the world.

California consumer Synthia checked out Ava Living after some disappointing designer experiences and found Texas designer Terri Symington.  Synthia shares:  “I took my time reading the Designer profiles, viewing the photos of their work [they had posted], and reading their Room Reviews.  I noticed that most of the rooms…submitted for evaluation were typically…nothing special;   ;homes like mine.  I immediately felt less intimidated!”  In the initial DRR report, designer Terri Symington “took [my] dilemma seriously and offered objective, thoughtful, helpful suggestions”, which made Synthia feel more “confident”.  She decided to take the next step and paid a small fee for Terri’s “Designer Advice”.  Continues Synthia, “I knew that if I clicked on that button, good things would happen!  And they did!  Terri’s advice was specific and creative.  It had some surprises too, and was extremely helpful AND doable.  She provided me with an overall plan that I could prioritize and implement at my own pace and within my own budget.  … I now have Terri’s plan to keep me focused and heading in the right direction.

The revolutionary Designer Room Review (DRR) program was developed specifically with the consumer in mind.  Recognizing that many people are interested in addressing one-room-at-a-time, the DRR provides a venue for consumers to get a free ‘appraisal’ of an existing room. The DRR places members on a path to spend smarter, while tapping professional advice that can be researched at their convenience.  If the consumer likes the designer’s DRR, they may elect to pay a small fee ($39-110) and purchase specific advice through the Designer Advice program.

“Our goal is to democratize design, help consumers spend smarter, and grow designers’ global client reach,” states Ava Living co-Founder and CEO David Bassett-Parkins,  “Consumers are often intimidated by the assumed cost/risk factor of working with a professional designer.  We hope and expect to become ‘E*TRADE’ for interior design.”

The DRR is a simple, FREE three-step process accessed from the Home Page.  After reviewing designers’ work, the consumer selects a designer to review his/her room, names the room / room type, and uploads room photo(s).  Within three business days, the designer rates (1 to 3 stars) the room based on five design principles (Harmony & Unity, Balance, Rhythm, Emphasis, Proportion & Scale) in a template and states briefly what does (not) work in the room.

Consumers can have more than one designer review their room.  Upon receiving their DRRs, they may find one designer with whom they resonate and would like to know how the designer would ‘design’ their room.  This leads to the next level in building that client-designer relationship called Designer Advice, in which the designer addresses the “7 Most Important To Do’s For Your Room” in more detail.  The points are selected from a checklist that includes fabrics, furniture, space layout, wall finish, window treatments, etc.; but the advice is unique.  After this stage, the ongoing relationship continues offline between the consumer and the designer.

The DRR is a core offering of the site’s mission to serve as a meeting place for consumers to interact with designers, a marketplace, to source design, a designer showcase, and a first stop for all things interior design.

Ava Living also provides a social networking aspect to facilitate easy interaction.  Members may create a member page (similar to Facebook) in a fun and easy-to-use networking environment, and then post blogs, connect with other members, post their own and ‘inspiration’ images among other things.  Consumers, aka design enthusiasts, can view designer pages, become a ‘fan’, and search professionally designed rooms based on room type, color, or tags that are divided by ‘style’ or ‘mood’.  These engaged consumers tap their creativity and start to see which designers’ work they relate to the most, by reading their articles and posts, and by viewing the rooms they present through single photos or through AvaVision (loading multiple photos to a 360 degree view).

Media inquiries and image requests, please contact Julie Du Brow (julie@dubroworks.com) or Agnes Gomes-Koizumi (agnes@agkmedia.com) or at 310-821-2463 or 323-937-5488.

ABOUT AVA LIVING

Ava Living (www.avaliving.com) is an international vertical social network combining interior designers, consumers, suppliers and advertisers from around the world.  Ava Living inspires and informs consumers while providing access to simple, professional-grade design tools to execute their a la carte design projects from inception through execution.  The mission is to serve as a showcase, marketplace, and ecommerce meeting spot to create more design consumers, increase the velocity of consumer spending in the design industry, and transform the international design paradigm.  Ava Living is founded by successful entrepreneur veterans and 15-year business partners David Bassett-Parkins and Hanh M. Ngo

Stenciling with American Clay — antique to craft, all beautiful

July 11, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBWqT15x3Hg