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Even though there are extant and occupied earthen homes scattered throughout the northern states and Canada from the mid-19th century, raw earth as a building material is overlooked in most of the USA. See Richard Pieper's article, "Earthen Architecture in the Northern United States" and these photos of earthen houses in upstate New York that I took in 2004, following Pieper's trail. Those are the tip of the iceberg, of course. The Earth Architecture website notes, "Currently it is estimated that one half of the world's population — approximately three billion people on six continents — lives or works in buildings constructed of earth." The Adobe Association of the Southwest hosts a biannual conference, which is now just a week away.
The 5th Adobe Conference of the Adobe Association of the Southwest, AdobeUSA 2009, will take place May 15 and 16, 2009 in El Rito, New Mexico on the campus of co-sponsor Northern New Mexico College in Cutting Hall Auditorium. Engineering and Architect Professionals will be eligible to obtain Continuing Education Units (PDH) during the conference.
Check out the abstracts, including great-sounding titles like:
   · Adobe 2030
   · ASTM earthen building standards
   · Mechanical performance of nonindustrial building materials manufactured with clay as a natural binder
   · The Effect Interior Earthen plasters and Exterior Lime plasters have on Controlling Temperature and Humidity in Building Envelope

What other natural materials can we use?

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Comments

1 Using local products for buil posted by Lee Beckman LEED AP on 06/19/2009 at 11:27 am

Using local products for building materials are very innovative. And by using dirt from the site itself really personalizes those projects that choose to do so. Proving that the material is as durable than modern methods is the next big step.


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