Southwest Solaradobe School
October Newsletter 2007
Last call for a New Mexico Hands-on/classroom weekend until Spring 2008
There’s still room in this Saturday/Sunday class to be held at Bosque, NM, Oct. 27/28. To check it out, visit www.adobebuilder.com (this link should bring you directly to the class description titled, "3. Country Hands-on plus Classroom for Adobe and Compressed Earth Block“). The class is dedicated to Adobe and Compressed earth Block, in combination with Passive Solar Design.
A complete set of plans for Solaradobe 1576 will go to each registered student along with the Earthbuilders’ Encyclopedia CD. For “at-the-door” late registrations call 505-861-2287.
Special 2 ½ day San Antonio class for Lime-stabilized Compressed Earth Block November 9-10-11, 2008
Three entities will combine talents to put on this unique class. SWSA, AECT of San Antonio and Tierra y Cal, Proyectos Sostenables of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico will teach how to prepare soils and limes for the stabilization of compressed earth block, along with procedures to build adobe and compressed earth block homes in the South Texas region. Visit www.adobebuilder.com for details (this link should bring you directly to the class description titled, "4. 2 1/2 Day Class at San Antonio, Texas for Compressed Earth Block Construction and Lime Stabilization“). The class currently has 15 students with a classroom capacity of 30. We expect it to fill up by November 1. It combines classroom with Hands-on.
New Mexico Establishing a Green Building Bureau
Earlier this year, Governor Richardson of New Mexico called for immediate efforts to establish a Green Building Bureau, which will mandate building codes under the auspices of the Construction Industries Division (CID) in Santa Fe. Through the summer months and into this fall, CID Director Lisa Martínez and Head Building Official Fermín Aragón have been holding meetings with leaders of New Mexico’s residential and commercial construction communities to find the best way to phase in green codes that will save energy, create sustainable building practices and respect human health and the environment. An interesting aspect of New Mexico’s codes is that the state already has been practicing green building through its centuries-old adobe traditions, which had been codified starting in the 1950’s. The state has also been a leader in Passive Solar Design, especially through the period 1976-1985. None of this has been lost on the CID, which has welcomed participation by those representing the Earthbuilding and Solar communities, as well as other “alternative” builders. The task amounts to a paradigm shift in code creation. Brain cramps are already being experienced by committee members, who are studying LEED, NHBA and other “green” standards, while looking at what is green in the current IBC and IRC codes. However, spirits are high among committee members who face the taunting job of devising a way to educate New Mexicans about green construction, including the building inspectors. A committee of some 24 people is working with the CID in the effort.
SWSA begins a new house plan, to be dubbed “The Bisbee Bungalow”
Says head draftsman Joe Tibbets, “If you look at some of the older adobes built after about 1900, you find many similarities with the Craftsman style, which was popular all over the country in the period 1900-1930. Many are squarish to rectangular shapes comprising 1000 to 1400 square feet of living area. You find them in older communities, along the Rio Grande and in Southeastern Arizona, as around Bisbee. Some were originally flat roofed, but later sprouted hip-framed, metal roofs. Our plan will combine the best of the Craftsman Bungalow with the best of a smaller, Passive Solar Earthen home. The Craftsman Bungalow style began in California and New Mexico and Arizona are where the earthen building arts have the most refinement. It’s time for these great traditions to meld into a home that utilizes solar design."
California to have a new Adobe Yard
We’ve just heard from Adobero Ray Schmal, a California resident and graduate of SWSA. Ray has secured property (north of Los Angeles, Mojave side, east of Interstate 5) on which he is establishing both a facility for traditional adobe as well as compressed earth block. He has purchased a larger AECT compressed earth block machine and has made arrangements to import vigas and latillas to his facility for sale. It’s too early to buy blocks, but we are hoping that Californians will give him a hello. His phone is 310-420-7677 and his e-mail is email@example.com.