Building With Adobe And Use Of Mud Bricks

Categories: Building Methods

Adobe structures are extremely durable, and account for some of the oldest existing buildings in the world. Compared to wooden buildings, adobe buildings offer significant advantages due to their greater thermal mass in hot climates, but they are known to be particularly susceptible to earthquake damage, so if you have quakes.... don't build it there. This is where it becomes important in what style to build being relative to the place where you live.  Cob, reinforced concrete, wood, or other construction would be a better choice in earthquake proned areas. 

"Judy introduced me to Rina Swentzell’s house and I am really impressed. This house does not fit in the tiny house size but fits more in the small size but I find the simplicity and the beauty of the home well worth sharing for inspiration and ideas.

The house is based in Northern New Mexico and was designed for the grandmother of Bill Steen’s children and Athena’s mother. The grandchildren were involved in the construction and were able to show and develop there construction talents.

Benito worked on the building from start to finish, being there from the foundations through the walls andfinish plasters. Anything that was done with wood, from the roof to the finish carpentry and furniture.

The house itself, approximately 700 sf, is a tribute to Rina’s architectural design skills. The house is simple in shape, rectangular, but tastefully divided on the inside with curving walls that transform the angularity of the outside into subtle interior sculpture. As a whole, the little adobe house is a beautiful work of art and yet at the same time, ever so practical and functional.

The wood was local, as were the adobes used for the walls. The finish plasters were simple and elegant, a medium brown blend of finely screened clay with sand and straw. For me, one of the beautiful things about Rina’s little house is that, instead of being a cheap imitation (Santa Fe style) of the old pueblo style of building, her house is a thoughtful interpretation of the past and yet very contemporary. The comfort level is high, the passive solar design requires little to no additional heating or cooling."  

excerpt by Kent Griswold

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