They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and in the case of Branislav Prvanovic, a Serbian innovator and businessman involved in the building trades, a gigantic straw bale building project turned out to be the mother load of necessities. Charged with the task of rendering 150,000 sqft of straw bale walls on his industrial complex, he knew he had to get innovative and quickly in order to get the job done. Here we enter the story of how a progressive couple, Branislav and Gorica (his wife), living in Serbia came to design and create what may become the new standard for mortar sprayers around the world: the DragOn Pro Mortar Sprayer.
Serbia is a very small country in the Balkan region of Europe that is on it’s way to joining the European Union. This is an exciting time for this tiny nation and Brainslav and Gorica are on the forefront of environmental progress in the building sector of their country.
They are both passionate about building their industrial facilities as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. As such, in between 2007–2009, they brought together the best Serbian team of engineers and prepared for investing in the largest straw bale industrial facility in all of Europe (50,000sqft). The team chose straw bale technology because they love how sustainable, cost effective, healthy, and energy efficient it is.
In the process they intend to prove that it doesn’t matter if you are dealing with residential, commercial, or industrial projects, straw bale technology can be a solution for each of those situations.
When presented with the mega task of rendering the 150,000sqft of wall surface, they had to devise a solution that would produce excellent quality, be cost effective, and be able to plaster much faster than anything else on the market. Branislav, being the innovator that he is, took to the drawing boards and began to conceptualize a mortar sprayer that would suit their needs.
After many renditions, trials and errors, and modifications, they were able to fine tune the mortar sprayer to be a sleek, lightweight and highly-productive tool. At the time, they were calling this sprayer the “Revolutionar”, however, one day Gorica was looking at the sprayer and was struck by how it looked like a dragonfly. The sprayer has been called the DragOn PRO ever since.
The DragOn PRO mortar sprayer is a heavy duty pneumatic tool which delivers all kinds of plasters and rendering mortars to the walls surface quickly. One of the best details is the design ergonomics. It’s balanced well, so it’s possible to plaster for several hours without the strain that is typically associated with plastering work. Okay, it’s still hard work, don’t get me wrong, but it does take less physical strength to deliver the plaster to the wall than using a hawk and trowel.
It’s also cool that the DragOn PRO can apply all density mixtures with fillers up to 6mm including mortar of all types, plasters, clay renders, papercrete, and micro concretes. It works in conjunction with a compressor test which generates the force to push the plaster through the sprayer and out of the nozzle. Make sure you have a big enough compressor so that it can keep up with the required air supply!
One of the qualities we love about the DragOn PRO mortar sprayer is that it has been designed to be super easy to learn to use (it takes just minutes and can be used by pretty much anyone). We always appreciate innovations that are geared not only towards professionals but also towards the do-it-yourselfer. It weighs less than a shovel when empty and is actually quite comfortable to use (especially when compared to the job of applying plaster by hand with a trowel all day!).
It is pretty much indestructible so one can spray plaster with confidence. That said, if you don’t wash it after each use it will get heavier and heavier each time. I’ve seen that happen with other sprayers, and it makes the job more tiring and less efficient, so take the time to keep the tool clean.
It’s true that other mortar sprayers exist on the market today, however, Branislav and Gorica are confident that the DragOn PRO outperforms them all. They tout that their sprayer is significantly faster and more efficient than other sprayers because of the unique concept of their nozzle design and how it manages to spray the plaster. They have patented this solution in order to protect their innovation, so they obviously believe in it. The reception from buyers around Europe and the Southern Hemisphere has been tremendous.
The cost is reasonable and pays itself off after several working days, making it an obvious fit for not only professionals but also for owner-builders with their projects. Branislav and Gorica are also very pleased with how well the sprayer applies plaster in vertical, horizontal, slanted, curved and very high walls. I think the strong pressure of the application really helps in those situations too.
The DragOn PRO can be purchased at either wholesale or retail. The retail cost is 279€ and there is always an additional 10% discount applied for anyone that is building with straw bales. They also offer a retail program if you have an interest in becoming a retailer. By the way, Straw Bale Innovations makes no financial gain from writing about the DragOn PRO sprayer. In fact, we are not retailers or otherwise associated with DragOn, we simply thought this was a great product created by an amazing couple trying to make a positive impact on how green construction is developing in the world and we wanted to share their story.
Plastering is no easy task. Anyone who has done it can attest to the intensity of the labor and the time that it takes to do a job well. The DragOn PRO is a solution for easing this process. So, we want to thank Branislav and Gorica for believing in the benefits of straw bale construction and for creating a product that will make the plastering of bale walls much more manageable for everyone! To watch a video of the sprayer in action click here.