Format: Online (6 Weeks)
Workload: 6-8 hours/week
Description: This course focuses on the fundamentals of making your own adobe blocks - a great way to learn the basics of adobe construction. We begin with a historical overview of adobe architecture in the Southwest of the USA. We cover soil selection & testing, block production, transport and storage. We also look at alternative earthen building traditions and techniques used around the world and why adobe makes sense for the owner builder.
Topic Overview: history of adobe architecture and construction in the Southwest of the USA and worldwide, overview of alternative earthen wall building techniques past and present, overview of earthen home characteristics and why earth makes sense as a building material, overview of the main building components of an adobe house from foundation to roof, overview of the main adobe architectural styles found in New Mexico - their pros and cons, overview of basic tools needed for adobe construction, locating soil and aggregates for adobe construction, performing and evaluating soil tests to determine soil suitability, making a 2-brick adobe form, making a soil screen, mixing soil for adobe blocks and mortar, producing and curing adobe blocks, transporting and storing adobe blocks, testing adobe blocks for strength and water resistance - field and lab tests, calculating adobe blocks and mortar needed for a project