Q: What are adobe bricks made of?
A: While many types of soil can attain the strength and durability required, the most workable/mold-able raw material is a mix of about 75% sand with about 25% clay for bricks, mortars & plasters. The use of cement as a stabilizer dramatically improves the structural performance as well as the wall surface durability.
The cost of stabilizing the mix above is usually about 1% of the cost of a new structure and stabilization will allow the walls to endure centuries of exposure to weather, thus not requiring the building to be rebuilt for generations. We assert that this is sound logic with regards to environmental impact, with the long range being of equal concern to the short range.
Q: What are the benefits of building with adobe?
A: Conservation: There is no other material or method more sustainable for building one's home other than earth. It has the lowest embodied energy and is the most renewable. Adobes utilize abundant, non-polluting and non-toxic material, earth, while conserving limited resources (water, top soil, trees, energy, etc). Best of all, its totally recyclable; after all, it's just earth! And when Arizona Adobe Company makes adobes on site, further energy is saved in transportation and pollution.
Energy Efficient: Thermal Mass is an important part of an energy efficient building and is often left out of modern day construction projects. Thermal Mass allows a building to store or share excess heat as needed, thereby averaging out temperature extremes. Coupled with passive solar design and orientation, an adobe home will provide energy savings one can bank on!
Durability: Over one third of the world’s population lives in an earthen structure and the oldest buildings in the world are all of earthen materials and methods. The reason is - it works!
Affordable: Adobes are the lowest cost alternative for durable, energy-efficient structures. By slashing labor and material costs, our blocks can be produced and laid in place for much less than the competing alternatives; providing up-front construction savings as well as energy-savings over the life of the home.
Beautiful: Adobe buildings can be made to look like any kind of finished structure, however, most people who opt for this type of construction find they love the look of the block itself and the adobe look of a finish plaster. Exteriors typically are given a weather-resistant skin that can be colored or left natural and interiors are plastered with a variety of mixtures or left exposed.
Fire, Pest and Mold Resistant: Adobes are fire, sound and bug resistant. Earthen walls do not burn, they are dense and solid to discourage insects, and they “breathe” easily so they are mold resistant and promote healthy indoor air-quality.
Acoustic: Looking for quiet home? Adobe homes offer excellent acoustic properties. Earthen homes both diffuse sound reflection and effectively block sound form the outside or from room to room. Adobe homes will produce a tranquil internal environment quiet from the world outside, an often over-looked value.
Q: Will adobe brick walls wash away in the rain?
A: No. A well-designed mix resists degradation and will remain durable for centuries. At any point, the building can be plastered to further enhance durability.
Q: What kind of roof goes on a adobe brick house?
A: You can have any type or style of roof construction for your earthen home.
Q: Is adobe building slow?
A: No. The adobe brick walls of an average size home at around 2000 square feet (or 185 square meters) can be constructed within one month by a skilled 3-person team. A crew of 3 able bodies can produce around 600 bricks in a given 8-hour day. This same crew can lay approximately 250 bricks into a wall per day. This same house with a simple floor plan would use around 3600 adobe bricks.
Q: What are Earth Plasters?
A: Earth plasters (also known as natural clay plasters) are a blend of pure clays and aggregates with coloring agents that come from natural, non-toxic oxides and ochre mineral pigments. Earth plasters create stunning moods of their own; and they provide a beautiful backdrop for art or wall hangings as well.
Q: What are the benefits of Earth Plasters/Natural Clay Plasters?
A: Natural clay plasters are organic and environmentally friendly in both their production and application - they have a low embodied content and are safe to use when applying in their completed form. They are extremely energy efficient and help control humidity and temperature fluctuations - keeping you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. They are also non-dusting, mold and fade resistant and easily repairable.