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.

Mike Lopach (Treasurer)

Mike founded Adobe in Action in 2010 after completing the Adobe Construction Program under Quentin Wilson at Northern NM College. He had experiences working as a volunteer in Mexico with the Franciscan order of the Catholic Church and professionally as a case manager in public housing communities in Seattle that led him to seek out adobe as a possible solution to affordable housing.  Mike spent 8 years in NM and recently returned to the Phoenix area where he continues to be involved with Adobe in Action in his current capacity and actively working toward initiating earthen building projects that will benefit community development.

Mark Zaineddin (Secretary)

At times, perhaps to the chagrin of family, friends, and colleagues, Mark Zaineddin seems to have often taken the road less traveled. Mark has often sought, in small ways, to bring wholeness to a broken world. With an undergraduate degree in International Studies, and graduate degrees in Public Affairs, Middle Eastern Studies, and Divinity, Mark has worked the hallowed halls of Washington DC; taught in Cairo, Egypt; and labored in Northern New Mexico. While at Ghost Ranch, an education and conference center of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A ), in Abiquiu, NM, Mark, among other things, helped spearhead the creation and implementation of its successful Youth Service Corps. Certainly not a technical expert in the field of earth building, Mark is especially interested in how individuals from across disciplines come to this field and, in doing so, can help promote the greater good.  He now resides and works in North Carolina.

Ben Loescher

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.

Kirk Higbee

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.


Cornelia Theimer Gardella (Co-Executive Director)

Kurt Gardella (Co-Executive Director)

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).