1. Planning class~ April 25/26, 2015 (weekend)
Tracking the 8 Basic Stages to your Adobe or CEB Home
Albuquerque, New Mexico
This is an indoor planning class (Courtyard by Marriott in North Albuquerque) with two tours. The objective is to illuminate and explain the sequential steps for building with traditional Adobe and Compressed Earth Block (CEB) to code. This class marches steadily through the phases outlined below and students are expected to take good notes. Instructors use slides, sketches and show-and-tell, handing out hard copies of important details. The reference for this class is the Earthbuilders’ Encyclopedia CD (for PC and Mac) which is included along with a set of working drawings and various hard copy handouts.
Saturday April 25 at the Courtyard by Marriott:
(coffee on hand)
8:00am - 9:00am Class materials handouts and Site Preparation questions.
There are code requirements in preparing a site, especially in terms of runoff and flood control. Are you in a flood plain? How do you evaluate your site for Solar? Logistics are important when you are dealing with stacks of material weighing many tons. Supplies have to be placed so that they ease the work rather than block it. What do you know about the history of your site and its surrounding geology? How about the depth to water and its quality?
10 min break
9:10am - 11:30am Foundations, traditional
There’s a checklist here too. Do you need a soil test? Which excavation machinery? Options about what to do with your diggings, batter boards, perimeter insulation requirements, steel placement (including for fireplaces), use of concrete blocks versus concrete forms and monolithic pours- are they good or bad for the typical adobe? What prep for Radon elimination (if it's a problem). Use of native stone, figuring stem levels, prep-thinking for thresholds. We'll take a quick break in the middle of this long session, then start our tour.
11:30am - 1:10pm Tour combined with lunch break
We will visit an adobe facility and viga/timber supply within a few miles of the Courtyard. Return to Courtyard by 1:15. Burrito order (Casa de Benavidez) taken earlier and delivered to you as we tour (or bring your own mobile lunch). Cold drinks provided by SWSA. These tours are considered as part of the class - camera, notepad, etc. are helpful.
1:15pm - 2:00pm Rubble Trench Foundations
Resume class at Courtyard. This money-saving type of foundation was Frank Lloyd Wright’s favorite. We go through the construction sequence. It has become more popular in recent years due to its savings on concrete costs for massive wall construction. But not all sites lend themselves to its use.
10 min break
2:10pm - 3:10pm Stems to Floors
Floors are closely related to your stem wall as it rises from the footing. We look at 5 popular choices and their relative costs: adobe, brick on sand, tile on slab, slab alone and flagstone. With all of these, underfloor radiant heating systems and underfloor insulation are often utilized. What is the layering sequence of these different materials as you build your floor to its “finish level”?
5 min break
3:15pm - 4:30pm Solar Considerations
Class reviews a SWSA Plan set to study how the structure was set up for Solar. Direct Gain/Greenhouse or Solarium/Trombe Wall techniques discussed along with how to plan an effective solar design that can knock 60% off your winter heating costs and help to keep you cool during those long, hot summer days. Bucks for solar, glass types, figuring sun and shade angles, percentages of square feet in south glass for differing SW elevations, insulation, roofing and more.
4:35pm - 5:30pm Review of your Plan sets
Plan sets distributed. We will page through them and answer your questions.
End of day.
Sunday April 26 at the Courtyard by Marriott:
(coffee on hand)
8:00am - 10:30am Walls
More than one adobe or CEB wall type is allowed by code. Single walls are most common, but double walls or walls with insulation between double coursing are constructed. The one you pick will probably be determined by the severity of your climate zone, cost and the wall you like most, visually speaking. Adobe and CEB can be exposed inside if desired, a money saver over plasters and stuccos.
If you expose a wall to the outside, whether of adobe or CEB, it must be stabilized to a code standard. These procedures explained and what to do on-site to maintain quality control of blocks and mortar mixes.
10 min. break
10:40am - 11:30am Bond beam construction
The Bond beam is possibly the most important component in a well-built earthen structure. Both wood and concrete are used to build it. Where can you save dollars? What about costs of materials? What if you want to hide the bond beam? Clarification about different bond beam configurations and their purposes.
11:30am - 1:45pm
Lunch and tour to custom adobe home. Class travels to site about 3 miles north of class. The home visit is considered to be a necessary part of the class and the owners will prepare lunch choices for us. Details and map provided before we leave to lunch. Camera, notepad, etc. are helpful. Return to Marriott for rest of afternoon.
1:45pm - 3:45pm Roofs (resume at Marriott)
There are two ways to visualize roofs: what we see looking up from inside a room and what we see on the outside. With a well designed bond beam, just about every style of roof is possible, but not all roof styles lend themselves to ease of construction or cost savings. We look at Hip, Gable, Pueblo/Santa Fe, and Contemporary solar roof styles by showing them in slides and section drawings that are included in your handouts. Discussed are deckings, vapor barriers, insulation choices, and the use of upducts, upper roof insulations, reflective barriers, soffit vents, etc. Traditional roofs, using vigas and exposed decking or latillas are explained. Green question: While a 9” diameter viga has about the same strength as a 6” x 10” beam (using the same wood), which of the two is greener in terms of BTU's expended to prepare it?
10 min. break
3:55pm - 5:00pm Finish work and related Q&A's
Finish work involves many jobs where appearance is important as well as those where appliances are installed along with lighting fixtures, wood trim and tile. Work must be completed to a professional finish. Often, there are hidden costs. Part of the secret to avoiding long, costly hours is to 1) Contrive finish details that are simple to complete, especially where one material meets another. 2) Clearly show the finish details on your plan in a scale where drawing details are clear. 3)Train your crew on trial areas first. For example: While laying an adobe wall that will be exposed, it is much easier to strike and finish the wall while the mud mortar is still workable. Work walls exposed to the sun first. Wait too long and joints will dry out rock hard, requiring more time and crew dollars to rework the rough mortar joints and bring the wall to a cosmetic finish.
5:00pm - end of class
Certificates of Completion handed out
Cost: $323 single/ $516 for two registering together (web site adds state tax to these figures).Class Capacity: 14 students
Included Materials: Earthbuilders' Encyclopedia CD, various hard copy handouts and Plan Set 1310 or 1576 (your choice).