Designing and Specifying Traditional Portland Cement–based Plaster

Sponsored by Plastic Components, Inc.
By G. Michael Starks

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the features and benefits of traditional Portland cement-based plaster.
  2. Describe the relationship between the building codes and the industry standards for traditional Portland cement-based plaster.
  3. Explain the roles and contributions of the designer, contractor, plastering contractor and building official in achieving a successful stucco wall system.
  4. Discuss the design considerations, specifications and detailing requirements a successful stucco wall system.


As an IACET Accredited Provider, BNP Media offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard.
This test is no longer available for credit

The objective of this course is to provide a positive effect on the water- and vapor-resistive qualities of the building envelope through identification of underlying issues of the water-resistant barriers and the subsequent application of traditional Portland cement-based plaster (stucco) and to foster an industry-wide improvement in the quality of water-resistant barrier and stucco applications.

This course will also explore:

  • Benefits of traditional Portland cement-based stucco
  • Review of building codes and ASTM standards
  • Research reports on water intrusion
  • Design features required to managing water intrusion and stresses in stucco
  • Specification and detailing requirements and recommended best practices


G. Michael Starks, CGC, CDT, CCPR, LEED BD & C, President of In-Spex, LLC, entered the construction industry in 1981 in the plaster and drywall business on the supply/distribution side. He moved to the manufacturer’s side in 1986 with what was then Santee Cement. This company widely encouraged continuing education and this is where, through a thorough and continual extended education program, Mr. Starks gained his technical knowledge. At the same time, he was garnering practical knowledge on the jobsites he visited on a daily basis. While all of this was going on and as a part of his continuing education program, Mr. Starks became licensed as a contractor. He eventually upgraded his license to Class A, General Contractor. He also was a founding member of the Masonry Association of Florida and founding member and Chairman of the Florida Lath & Plaster Bureau. This varied experience gives Mr. Starks a rounded perspective on the issues facing our industry today. His daily dealings with contactors, subs, design professionals and code officials offer him an understanding of the problems faced by each of these players. Mr. Starks can be reached at with any questions.


Plastic Components, Inc. Since 1969 the industry leader, Plastic Components, has manufactured non-rusting PVC trims and accessories for stucco, drywall, CI/EIFS/hard coat, DEFS, and more. Their products deliver quality finishes, labor-savings, moisture management and proven compliance with ASTM standards.


Originally published in May 2020