ADOBE BUILDING WORKSHOPS
Marjut learned how to build reinforced adobe when she participated in a Natural Building Course held by AMCC, Asociación de Mujeres Constructoras de Condega, in February 2018. AMCC is a Women Builders Association in Condega, North of Nicaragua.
In the beginning of 2019 House of Healing Arts will be holding a workshop on how to build reinforced adobe that is suitable for seismic areas. This course will be offered free for our employees. Consequently, we will be able to build the House of Healing Arts adobe buildings with a local team.
INFORMATION ON ADOBE
Adobe, ultimately earth, is a locally available, inexpensive and environmentally friendly building material. Manually produced adobe bricks are made of earth, sand and straw, with a 20% clay content. The earth mix is cast in open moulds onto the ground and then left to dry in the sun. An earth mortar is used to lay the ready bricks up into a wall. Before drying out, the finished walls are smoothed down and a surface coating is applied. Adobe brick building is an ancient technique common in the Middle East and Americas.
Advantages of Adobe bricks
Construction with adobe bricks is one of the simplest and oldest forms of earth building. Regardless of its merits adobe has suffered an inflation and a house built with adobe is often considered a poor man’s dwelling. However building with adobe has a number of advantages and relatively few disadvantages. Adobe bricks are fireproof, durable, biodegradable and non-toxic. They provide sufficient thermal mass to ensure that the building feels warm during the cold weather and cool in the heat. Other benefits include high sound proof levels and a general feeling of security and solidity. With a good level of supervision adobe is suitable for owner builders, as costly equipment or tools are not required and the essential skills can be easily learned in workshops and through hands-on experiences. One of the biggest advantages of the Adobe system is that the risk of extensive shrinkage and cracking is prevented by letting the bricks to shrink before they are placed in the wall. Adobe bricks have good water resistance due to the production process and clay content. Nevertheless, it is very important to provide ample weather protection to the adobe walls by building adequate eaves.