One brick at a time

One brick at a time



Quentin Wilson (President)

Born in 1943, Quentin Wilson made miniature adobe bricks at age 10. At age 27 he started repairing and building full-sized buildings ending up as a licensed construction contractor. Teaching weekend adobe and solar classes all along, he went full time at Northern New Mexico College and established their Adobe Construction Program at 52 and nominally retired at 67.

Kirk Higbee (Treasurer)

In Kindergarten, Kirk walked with his class on a field trip to the El Pueblo Museum in his hometown Pueblo, Colorado and experienced adobe construction through the representation of the old Fort Pueblo. He began making miniature adobes in an aluminum ice cube tray, pounded roads (rammed earth), poured mud walls (puddled adobe) and mud plastered lilac twigs (cob) as play in his back yard’s dirt pile. The play, study, research, building and travel has not stopped in his backyard. Travel, research and study to 5 continents has yielded certificates in earthen construction from Iberoamericano de Arquitectura y Construccion con Tierra, PROTERRA; Earth Building United Kingdom and Ireland (EBUKI), Clay Dabbins and Earth Plasters; Dachverband Lehm (German Association for Building with Earth) Specialist for Building with Earth; Northern New Mexico College, Certificate in Southwestern Architecture; Southwest Solar Adobe School and in December 2017 a Bachelor of Science in Engineering: Civil Engineering from Arizona State University.  His experience of teaching at the College level gave insights to the needs and wants of another generation of earthen architecture builders. Volunteering on earthen construction projects in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado yielded a geographical perspective of earthen construction within the United States. Kirk continues to work on an annotated earthen construction bibliography with 11,000+ sources and 10,000 Journal articles, 1,200 books, 100+ videos on hand.  With the bibliography he has helped researchers, students, code officials and builders in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and the United States find solutions and ideas for earthen housing and construction. Currently Kirk is living in Phoenix rebuilding his adobe home built before 1926, cataloging adobe construction in Maricopa County and researching the adobe building codes in Phoenix since 1885 to the present. Kirk is a member of The Earth Builders Guild.

Ben Loescher (Secretary)

Ben Loescher is the co-founder of Loescher Meachem Architects, a Los Angeles based practice specializing in creative workplace and high performance adaptive reuse projects in California, New Mexico, and Texas. Loescher is active in building code development, and committed to reducing barriers to the appropriate use of earthen construction.

Lisa Schroder

Lisa Schroder is a professional engineer and architectural designer with over 16 years of experience in design and construction management, with a background in adobe brick construction. She is an author of “Adobe Homes for all Climates”, a book on how to build with adobe bricks based on her experience working in New Zealand.  Lisa also holds a patent on an innovative building system that incorporates reinforcement and scaffolding into the adobe brick wall system.

Currently Lisa is Co-Founder of Colorado Earth LLC, based in Golden, Colorado.  Colorado Earth manufacturers compressed earth blocks and adobe bricks, carries out design and engineering services, and constructs earthen walls.  Lisa is dedicated to the promotion and realization of natural building.


Cornelia Theimer Gardella (Co-Executive Director)

Cornelia Theimer Gardella has been involved with Adobe in Action since 2011. She is part of the organizing team of Adobe in Action's bi-annual conference Earth USA, and is the designer and editor of the conference proceedings. Together with Kurt Gardella, Cornelia translated "Sustainable Building with Earth" by Dr. Horst Schroeder (Springer) from the original German into English. Since 2017, Cornelia has been working on adobe field projects in the Southwest and California - both in new construction and restoration.

Kurt Gardella (Co-Executive Director & Instructor)

Kurt Gardella specializes in online and field-based adobe construction education. He holds a Certificate in Adobe Construction from Northern New Mexico College (Quentin Wilson) and is also certified as a Specialist for Building with Earth (Registration #01-208-0810) by the Dachverband Lehm (German Association for Building with Earth) and the Handwerkskammer Ulm (Ulm Chamber of Trades and Crafts).


Mike Lopach (Founder of Adobe in Action)
Mark Zaineddin
Sean Kaltenbach
Virginia Glenn
Jennifer Forester
James Baird