Archive for the ‘News’ Category

SFCC Adobe Class – Summer 2021

ADOB 123 – Compressed Earth Block Construction
Dates: June 7 to July 31, 2021 (8 weeks)
Format: Online (but 2 live-instruction weekends might be added if the pandemic situation improves)
Course Description: An introduction to compressed earth block (CEB) and stabilized compressed earth block (SCEB) construction techniques from around the world. This course examines various compressed earth block manufacturing methods, including the use of small and large forming chambers and manual and engine power as well as block stabilization techniques. Topics also include the design of compressed earth block walls that accommodate windows, doors and utilities

Full details about the Adobe Program at SFCC can be found at or contact adjunct faculty member Kurt Gardella at

TEG Virtual Tour

Casa del Sol Construction Adobe Build
On a beautiful little north valley lane in Albuquerque, there is work going on, and almost complete, on a spectacular adobe casa. The home is being built by master builder Mr. Danny Martinez of Casa del Sol Construction and is, as he says, his last commercial build which caps an illustrious career as a creator of livable, lovable homes. This build is a collaboration between Danny, his wife Renee Martinez, his daughter as architect, and the home’s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bud Burns, and is the realization of their dreams and Danny’s belief in creating a living space that showcases those dreams.

What I will attempt to do in this virtual tour is give a visual look at the progress of the build along with some amount of description. This is a first for TEG tours and it may take some refinement to adequately portray the beauty and intensity of the effort going on with this build. To my eyes, it is a masterpiece of earthen construction, but it also is a defining creation of a builder who is capable of bringing forward the exemplary possibilities of what adobe offers and how it can be used to realize just how effective this material can be in meeting the modern demands of an energy efficient yet completely livable space. This first installment showcases the creation and construction progress. The second installment will (hopefully) focus on the finished home in all its glory.

The homeowner has graciously given his permission to TEG to print this story and to describe the various aspects of the build. We thank him and we especially thank Danny Martinez for his willingness to allow us to follow and record the progress of this build. It has been my pleasure and honor to be able to bring this to our TEG membership.

July 7, 2018: Foundation and stem wall built as work starts at the home. Photo courtesy of Helen Levine, Master Adobe Block maker and provider of all adobes used in this build.

September 29, 2018: Work has commenced on the wall and structural construction. The floors in most areas have been started and the layout is starting to emerge.

September 29, 2018: Plumbing and some electrical are being roughed in and the initial window and door lintels are being placed. Some of the “gringo” blocks used for securing window and door frames can be seen.

September 29, 2018: One of the key aesthetic elements in the early stages, the Kiva style built-in fireplace by Renee Martinez. That’s our Helen giving her blessings to this construction project.

December 7, 2019: Much progress has been made and the exterior walls, roof, parapets, bond beams and canales are in place.

December 7, 2019: Windows are being installed and exterior features such as columns and overhangs for the porch areas are taking shape.

January 18, 2020: The great room is progressing. The Kiva fireplace is the highlight feature, with its beautiful lines and flowing design. The view out of the large window showcases the Sandia mountains.

January 18, 2020: Danny’s intricate patterns and extraordinary craftsmanship are evident in this picture of the doors leading to the courtyard.

January 18, 2020: The courtyard porch coming off of the great room and the kitchen space. The exterior walls have the wire affixed in preparation for the first scratch coat of stucco.

April 11, 2020: The grand entrance. As taken from this aspect you can see into the great room with the massive picture window. The fireplace is just to the right of this window.

August 12, 2020: The grand room is nearly complete. The Kiva fireplace has been finished and the vigas carry the eyes towards the main picture window with its close-in view of the courtyard and its distant view of the Sandia mountains. The energy efficiency of in-floor radiant heating, with its especially beneficial interior quality of living, will be appreciated for years to come.

October 7, 2020: The powder room just off of the great room. The wall tiles, floor tiles, and the wall finishes all come together in an elegant and accessible manner.

October 7, 2020: The hardwood flooring is down and the late afternoon glow coming through the front door gives a warmth to this room that promises many years of enjoyment.

October 7, 2020: Patio pavers going down, scratch coat and base coat of stucco in place, patio doors ready for use. The use of exposed lintels throughout the home lends continuity and visual beauty.

October 7, 2020: Portions of the finish coat done with some of the base coat awaiting its turn. This is the courtyard view from the patio in the previous picture.
This concludes the construction tour of the Danny Martinez constructed Burns Family adobe. I hope to be able to present another installment of this tour in the near future, with images of the completed structure showing the true beauty and grace of this grand home.

John Jordan – TEG Board Member

TEG Newsletter – Issue 11

Codes and Standards Notes

Despite complications from the C19 pandemic which have complicated work for many organizations, we are happy to report that earthen code and standards development continues. A few notes and updates from around the United States:
SCEB Mix Design Standard: The Earthen Construction Initiative (ECI) will soon begin development of research to inform standards for the mixes used in Stabilized Compressed Earth Blocks (SCEBs). While SCEB construction has enormous promise as a cost-effective, low-carbon building material, design professionals and contractors have lacked scientificly derived guidance on how and where to procure and process materials for optimal mixes. Upon completion, the Standard is expected to streamline fabrication and engineering, allowing wider adoption of SCEB construction in the United States and beyond.
ASTM Guide for the Design of Earthen Floors: An ASTM working group including representatives from ECI, EarthEnable, The Development Center for Appropriate Technology continues to develop an ASTM standard for earthen floors. Building on work initiated by EarthEnable to improve housing conditions in Rwanda, once completed the standard is expected to provide guidance on material selection, design criteria, installation, indoor environmental quality and sustainable deployment. The groups work is supported in part by a grant from The Earthbuilders’ Guild.
International Code Council Schedule: The International Code Council (ICC) is the organzation that develops and publishes the International Building and Residential Codes, including the national codes that govern adobe and cob construction in most states. The deadline for code change proposals for these sections will be January 10, 2022 so that they can be evaluated over the course of that summer and fall. Please contact TEG if you are interested in joining us as we continue to expand and improve our earthen building codes!
Ben Loescher – TEG Board Member


EBUKI Announces 2020 Clayfest to be Held Online – November 27-28th

Earth Building UK and Ireland are taking their annual Clayfest ONLINE! This is the very opposite of where Clayfest comes from, a chance to develop conversations with clay or a trowel in hand as well as the skills that pass there are opportunities to network with a big group of likeminded people from near and far.
But don’t despair, going online means speakers we couldn’t hope to bring from Africa, America North and South as well as nearer to home Ireland and the UK. And you can join us too, wherever you are! So welcome, we hope this can bring some skills, knowledge and understanding of what is going on in heritage, new build, design, research, standards and training, a full range of skills in building and building skills
When you join this Clayfest you can stay ‘in the hall’ right through or dip in and out and listen to the bits you think are most relevant to you, you’ll get a link to the recording after the event too. But the Clayfest spirit is also to bump into things you never expected, learn about topics you thought irrelevant which suddenly take a shape and significance you never expected. Take a look at the speakers below and come and find out what is going on in this and other corners of the earth…

Rowland Keable – Earth Building UK

Large test wall ready for the next steps for the ASTM E119 test procedure. The red points are where fire resistance caulking was applied to chink small through holes.

SCEB Research at Sandia National Laboratories (Cont.)

Large test wall ready for the next steps for the ASTM E119 test procedure. The red points are where fire resistance caulking was applied to chink small through holes.
SCEB Research at Sandia National Laboratories (Cont.)

Since my last report in July 2020, we have been busy wrestling with the multiple issues of how to manage a large scale (for testing purposes) wall build in an enclosed test facility that is designed to handle the heat stresses of the ASTM E119 fire resistance testing regimen.  What we have found is that perseverance is the bottom line when it comes to driving forward on this level of testing, probably the same conclusion that countless others in similar situations have arrived at, but nonetheless, it is applicable to our little test.  As a recap, we, Paverde LLC and four other small businesses located in New Mexico, as a group petitioned for and received $80k in research grant funding from the NM Small Business Administration (NMSBA) to be spent at Sandia National Labs here in Albuquerque to perform an ASTM E119 fire resistance test on our proprietary method of construction using SCEBs and non-cementitious, epoxy based bonding materials.  We are nearly at the end of the funding period which runs from January 1st through December 15th, unlike purely US Government organizations which have the standard October 1st through September 30th funding cycles.  This is important since it definitely affected the availability of the Sandia engineers and scientists.  

As we have progressed in this test, perhaps the most vexing issue has been the fact that as a grantee, we, Paverde,, have no leverage in when, how, or why the Sandia engineers work on our project, primarily due to the fact that any of these folks that help us do so on a voluntary basis.  Not to say that they work for free, but rather they peel out time from their regularly assigned tasks and devote some amount of time to our project which they are able to charge time against.  While this approach is the very heart of the NMSBA grant program, it is also a two-edged sword in that as a grantee we cannot dictate the specifics of the assistance that the Sandia folks provide.  We ran afoul of that when the COVID issues caused a ripple effect with the folks who are helping us.  They had to juggle several things at once regarding their time availability which caused them to have to devote more than anticipated time to their formal projects while putting our project on the backburner.  It was not a project killer, but it did set us back tremendously for the timelines that we had projected at the beginning of the year for milestone activity completion.

At this time, the middle of November, we are awaiting the small-scale testing of a 2x2x1 wall segment that we had hoped to have done by the end of September so that initial results would guide us in overcoming any construction or methodology issues before construction of the large (11’ wide x 9’ tall x 1’ thick) wall.  At this point, because we are running out of time, we went ahead and built the large wall, and we hope that any discovered issues when we test the small wall are manageable.   We anticipate the small wall fire test to happen around the week of Thanksgiving.  The large wall test is scheduled for the week of December 7th.  With fingers crossed, this should just give us enough time to coalesce the results into a definitive report.

The construction of the small wall (see image) gave some indication of how well the large wall could be constructed.  One of the most challenging aspects of our construction method is the operational speed that must be maintained due to set times of the bonding materials we are pioneering.  In the construction of the small wall, we had the luxury of being able to reach any area of the structure just by moving a bit, but once we commenced construction of the large wall it took on the same challenges as any large build, needing scaffolding and staging of materials as well as the complete attention of the workers.  I enlisted the assistance of Mr. Matteo Pacheco, of MRP Design and Construction, a current member of TEG, to lead and provide experience with construction methods to help with the construction of the large wall. With his help and insight, we were able to accomplish the large wall build (see image) while also figuring out some of the operational challenges and making decisions about how best to manage the operational part of this approach in the real world.  It was a voyage of discovery indeed!  

The next installment of this series should be the last.  We hope to have some solid answers regarding our construction approach, but we also hope to have the knowledge that SCEBs are a valid option for rapid earthen construction.  See you soon!

Left: Matteo Pacheco and John Jordan celebrating the finished large test wall completion. Right: Small test wall ready for transport to the Sandia Labs test facility. Wooden structures are for stability during moving and for lifting once on site.

Testing different clays for floor finish coats.

An Update on Fall 2020 Adobe in Action Activities

Twelve students are currently working their way through Adobe in Action’s final online class of 2020 – Floors for Adobe Structures. The students are getting ready to complete their midterm projects – making a small test floor box out of wood which will be used in a later week of the course to test various earthen floor types and finishes. Adobe in Action will be celebrating its 10th year of offering online classes in 2021. The spring 2021 class schedule is now online and can be found at In addition to our online classes, we continue to offer project support to four owner builders who have all completed our online adobe certificate and have begun working on their home builds. Finally, check out our latest Mud Talks podcast episode at

Kurt Gardella – TEG Board Member

An Update on Earthbuilding Activities in Germany

My colleagues over at the Dachverband Lehm (German Earthbuilding Association) asked me to pass the following message on through the TEG Newsletter:

Dear Colleagues,

On the occasion of the LEHM 2020 – 8th International Conference on Building with Earth, we are pleased to present the entire conference programme online in German and English.

While the LEHM 2020 has been cancelled due to the rapidly developing coronavirus situation, the knowledge and expertise of the presenters and contributors can still be made available for the benefit of the earth building community.

The online conference contains each of the presentations available to download as PDF files in German and English. The topics range from modern earth building, current norms and research and innovative product developments to sustainability and conservation in earth building:

All the conference papers and posters are also available collected together in a bilingual digital conference proceedings. The USB-Stick also contains the entire conference proceedings form the preceding LEHM conferences in 2004, 2008, 20012, and 2016. Full details in the DVL shop:

published by: section of public relations Dachverband Lehm e.V.

Kurt Gardella – TEG Board Member

Two more Certifications Issued – TEG’s Adobe Proficiency Exam

Congratulations to Ernest Aragon of Albuquerque, and Rob Taylor of Alto, New Mexico, on completing the Earthbuilders’ Guild Adobe Proficiency Certification. The exams were held in Albuquerque, at New Mexico Earth Adobes, on a beautiful September day – we were very fortunate in the weather! Quentin Wilson acted as proctor.

TEG upheld the NM Dept of Health requirements re Covid-19 in multiple ways: Fewer than 5 people in attendance, both the written exam and the practicum were held outdoors, and participants were masked. Although this was awkward at times the steps were worth taking to protect all present, and will be kept in place for future exams until no longer needed.

The next exams will be in the Spring, once again in Albuquerque — visit TEG’s website for further information.

Helen Levine
TEG Board Member – Certification Committee

State of The Earthbuilders’ Guild
Accomplishments & Initiatives – 2020

Is it time to renew your membership?
Won’t you consider joining and supporting our efforts!

TEG has acted as a bridge between different regions and earthen specialties, building a community around our common interests in knowledge-sharing and the growth of the earthen construction market.
TEG’s accomplishments include extensive work with the New Mexico Construction Industries Division on codes pertaining to earthen construction. This includes a comprehensive adobe code as well as the first rammed earth and compressed earth block codes in the United States, and ongoing work with the New Mexico Historic Earthen Building Materials Code.
With Cornerstones Community Partnerships and Adobe in Action, TEG developed a curriculum and proficiency certification program for adobe construction, the first of its kind in the United States.
To provide consumers, contractors, suppliers and designers clear standards for appropriate practice, TEG established a Code of Ethics for those working within the earthen construction industry.
To increase the profile of earthen construction, TEG has conducted dozens of public tours of earthen buildings.
TEG has provided reoccurring financial support for Earth USA, the premier earthen design and preservation conference in the United States.
TEG has funded research and development programs to advance our understanding of earthen building performance. Grants have included monies to the Cob Research Institute, and a Colorado Earth initiative, both with the intention of better understanding energy performance and fire resistance of earthen wall systems.
Provided peer review and testified in support of the Cob Research Institute’s Monolithic Adobe (Cob) appendix to the International Residential Code.
Authored and obtained approval for new International Building Code provisions that now permit the use of clay plaster, lime plaster, and cement lime plaster, as well as introducing minimum finish permeability standards for wall finishes.
Created and maintained an extensive website with Earthen resources, contacts and news.
Held meetings every two months with an eight-member Board of Directors who represent a broad spectrum of individuals connected to the earthen industry whose commitment ranges from 11years to 3 years on the Board. We are now meeting via Zoom.
Collaborated with Vista Grande High School in Taos, New Mexico to educate and certify students in Basic Adobe Proficiency.
Facilitated communications between earth-associated nonprofit organizations that includes Adobe in Action, Mesilla Valley Preservation, Earthen Construction Initiative, and Cornerstones Community Partnerships.
Pat Martinez Rutherford – The Earthbuilders’ Guild

TEG Newsletter – Issue 10

 TEG Tours – A Look Back  

As with all aspects of our lives TEG is no exception, we are not able to continue gathering for our TEG Tours.  TEG Tours are held 5-6 times a year the same day we hold our Board meetings. 
We have incredible earthen buildings and homes throughout New Mexico.  Because we have not met in person since March, we are missing our TEG Tours.  Here’s a look back at the many places we have visited over the last nine years! All are located in New Mexico. Tours are arranged by TEG.  Consider joining TEG and being a part of discovering Earthen Buildings!  Follow us on Facebook for photos of the Tours.  We look forward to our future tours!
Wortley Hotel & Historical buildings, Lincoln
Chimayo Museum & Plaza del Cerro, Chimayo
The Armijo House, Las Cruces
Kit Carson Museum & Home, Taos
Casa San Ysidro, Corrales
Pat Taylor Restoration project, Mesilla
El Vado Motel, adobe restoration by Matt Pacheco, Albuquerque
Downey Rammed Earth home, walls by Mike Sims, Albuquerque
Taos Pueblo, Taos
Historical Tour of Hillsboro
Gutierrez-Hubble Home & Cultural Center, Albuquerque
Fechin House, Taos
San Miguel Mission, Santa Fe
Win DeLapp Adobe home project, Albuquerque
La Mesa Church, La Mesa
PERA Rammed Earth Building, Santa Fe
Classic New Mexico adobe home, Las Cruces
The Adobe Factory, Alcalde
Frenger House, Las Cruces
Matt Pacheco Home Restoration, Old Town, Albuquerque
Christo Rey Church, Santa Fe
Rutherford Home, Taos
Amador Hotel, Las Cruces
Adobe home of Mark & Betty Chalom, Abiquiu
New Mexico Earth Adobe Yard, Albuquerque
Adobe historic homes, J Paul Taylor Home, Mesilla
Adobe home of C.E. & Jan Laird, Albuquerque
Adobe home of Ernest & Dolores Aragon, Albuquerque
Adobe home & church of Vince & Mary Lou Chaves, Rodey
Martinez Hacienda, Taos
Adobe home of David & Midori Aragon, Albuquerque
Rammed earth home & Plants of the Southwest rammed earth, Albuquerque
Casa del Sol Construction, Danny Martinez, Adobe home, Albuquerque

Pat Martinez Rutherford – The Earthbuilders Guild

 An Update on Earthbuilding Activities in Germany

The adobe restoration project that I mentioned in TEG’s last newsletter is now complete. I shot a short project documentation video for the contractor which shows the modern equipment and construction techniques used by most earthbuilders in Germany. Examples of these modern techniques are: delivery of pre-blended plaster materials in construction grade bulk bags, the use of top-load pan mixers for high-volume plaster mixing, the use of plaster pumps to move the plaster mix to the upper floors of a building, the use of wood-fiber insulation boards for interior insulation of earthen walls, the use of plaster sprayers to apply earthen plasters to the walls. Trowel work still needs to be done by hand of course!

Even though the video is narrated in German, watch the above-mentioned techniques in action at

Kurt Gardella – TEG Board Member

An Update on Summer 2020 Adobe in Action Activities

Eleven students are currently working their way through Adobe in Action’s online Adobe Wall Construction class. The students just finished their midterm projects – making their own rough bucks, anchor blocks and story poles and braces out of scrap lumber. Some students used cardboard and paper to make small-scale models for midterms. Adobe in Action’s next online class – Roofs for Adobe Structures – begins on August 17th. We mainly focus on pitched roofs in this class to encourage the use of natural exterior plasters but flat roofs are also covered. More info can be found at In addition to our online classes, we continue to offer project support to four owner builders who have all completed our full adobe certificate and have begun working on their home builds. Finally, expect a new episode of our Mud Talks podcast series around the middle of August which will focus on the owner builder experience at Adobe in Action. All past podcasts can be found at

Kurt Gardella – TEG Board Member

New Book Chronicles San Diego’s Mid-Century Adobe Family

San Diego has perhaps the largest collection of adobe homes outside of New Mexico, many of which designed and built by the Weir Brothers. Rob Weir, grandson of the famous Weir Brothers construction family, has compiled a remarkable collection of anecdotes and photos from the Weir Brothers forty years of adobe construction. Built during a uniquely optimistic and prosperous time for the region, the homes combine western ranch house aesthetics with Southern California lifestyle preoccupations of the time – broad lawns, swimming pools, and wet bars. All are well documented in this book which was elegantly edited by Scott Hulet of Surfers Journal.
The book is available for purchase online.

Ben Loescher – TEG Board Member

 Adobe Certification Exam Rescheduled

The Earthbuilders’ Guild Adobe Proficiency Certification exam has been rescheduled to take place in Albuquerque on September 25-26, 2020.  The deadline to send in applications is September 15th.

TEG is adhering closely to guidelines and restrictions recommended by the New Mexico Department of Health and put in place by the NM state government—keep an eye on the TEG website for notice in the event further postponements become necessary.

The Adobe Proficiency Certification provides recognition of the applicant’s professional knowledge through a process of examination and review by adobe construction professionals.  The topics covered in the exam are extensive, encompassing aspects of modern construction: NM Earthen Building Codes and the permitting process, foundations, floors, wall construction, roof, insulation, finishes…and also include elements of adobe preservation and passive solar, among others. For more information go to 

The benefits of obtaining Certification thru a recognized trade organization are many, from showing prospective clients or employers the level of skill and competency one has obtained in the field, to encouraging the professional development of others interested in adobe construction, and in providing an example of what it is to be an Adobe Builder.

Helen Levine – TEG Board Member

Colorado Earth – Thermal Conductivity Testing with CEB & Hemp

Colorado Earth has partnered with the University of Colorado at Boulder to test the performance of adding hemp fibers to the earth block mix.  After acquiring six different samples of hemp fiber, from very fine powder to coarser fiber, we are testing compressive strength and thermal conductivity to understand the properties of the hemp fiber in a compressed earth block.  More interestingly however will be the carbon storage capacity of including hemp, or other types of fiber, to the blocks.  The tests will indicate whether or not the addition of hemp fibers provides meaningful results to the wall system.  In addition to testing hemp and other fibers, Colorado Earth and the University are working towards a hemp fiber insulation panel or loose fill that will serve as an integral component to the wall section.  Deepening our understanding of local building resources will help provide a greater range of building products to the public.  

Lisa Morey – Owner of Colorado Earth

SCEB Research at Sandia National Laboratories (cont.)

Since my last report in November 2019, there have been many developments that have proven beyond a doubt that we are onto something quite positive.  The results of last year’s mechanical/structural testing, the outcome of which were hoped for in my last (Nov. 2019) newsletter article, were both extremely positive and extremely disappointing at the same time.  The test was a failure.  The goal was to test a small 3’ x 3’ x 1’ wall bonded together with our developed epoxy mix by exerting a side shear force that would increase until the wall failed, either through cracking or through bond failure.  As the wall was put under load, several things happened.  First, while the side force climbed up through 4,000lbs. of side load, the wall actually tilted to the side where the force was being applied.  Keep in mind that this small wall weighed around 1200lbs.  The Sandia engineers realized that they had not sufficiently anchored the wall to keep it from lifting up so they stopped the test, applied steel supports across the wall to anchor it, and restarted the test.  This time the force went up to over 7,500lbs., by which time the wall had started lifting up again but this time was bending the steel strapping across the top of the wall.  As the lifting continued, there was a very audible crack and the instruments showed that the force dropped by nearly ¾.  Something had failed and we quickly discovered that what failed was the hydrostone that was poured on top of the wall to anchor the pull rod, a high tensile piece of thick all-thread.  The test could not continue at this point so the engineers shut it down.  The test was a failure in that there was no conclusive demonstration of what point our approach would fail, rather the test setup failed.  On the optimistic side, the wall held together without any discernable problems through all of this including bending the steel support strapping (3/4’” x 3” bar stock) under a shear load of almost 4 tons!

While the results of the 2019 tests were inconclusive, the general outcome was enough to really get the interest of the Sandia engineers who went to bat for us for another round of funding for a very important ASTM E119 test.  This is the standard fire resistance test for wall structures that determine the wall system’s resistance to failure under a very rigorous heating (~1,800°F for up to 4 hours) and then water blast (simulating a fire department hosing) to see if the structure can withstand it without buckling or blowing through.   We asked for $120K for the test and were awarded $80K.  Not too bad and the Sandia engineers were optimistic that the test could be done for that amount.  We will be constructing a 9’ tall x 11’ long x 1’ thick wall, bracketed by upper and lower I-beams which will exert a simulated roof load on the wall while undergoing the heating and water blasting.  Part of this year’s project have been small scale testing to tease out any preliminary issues.  So far the tests have proven spectacularly successful, leading us to believe that we will pass the large scale test up to the level of commercial construction, which is much more rigorous time wise than the residential qualifying level.  The image of our small scale test reveals that our SCEBs held up under the full 4 hour burn time, with the bonding holding.  One very real benefit from this testing that we will be sharing with the earthen community is the detailed thermal conduction data.  It is incredibly informative and should add provide some extremely beneficial information to the energy justification for SCEBs.  The proposed wall build for the test is included.  More to follow as this project progresses.

John Jordan – TEG Board Member

The Old Mill – Ruidoso, New Mexico 

Since it was built in the late 1800s, “The Old Mill” as it is now known, has been a Ruidoso landmark. It is easy to identify, with the tall wooden water wheel and sluice box standing on the west side of the building.
In 2018, the mill suffered catastrophic damage in an explosion. The roof was blown off and the ensuing fire and suppression wreaked havoc on the un-stabilized adobe walls.
After sitting for some time, efforts are now underway to restore this icon of old Ruidoso. The local owners have enlisted Pat Taylor, a TEG member, to handle the reconstruction. Pat is one of the most knowledgeable people in the field of vintage adobe structures and their preservation. 
Reconstruction work began in June 2019 with the assessment of damage and the mitigation of further deterioration. Work progressed until October 2019, with the cooler weather shutting down operations for the year.
The project is now waiting for the warmer days of spring to resume work. Since the blocks and mortar of an adobe structure rely on the warmth of the sun to cure, a shorter season of work is available at Ruidoso’s altitude. Although given the warmer temperatures we are becoming accustomed to, it is not unusual to have a hard freeze as late as May. Even so, work should be able to resume by April 2020.
Post Script: This article was originally written in February 2020. Given the disruption of the past few months, no work has progressed. Pat has asked me to keep up with site maintenance. I will provide updates to the newsletter as work continues.
Rob Taylor, TEG Board Member
Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico

SFCC Adobe Classes – Spring 2021

ADOB 116 – Roof Design and Construction
Dates: January 18 to March 13, 2021 (8 weeks)
Format: Online
Course Description: Traditional Southwest designs of pitched and flat
roofs on adobe buildings. Topics cover roofing materials, structure, and
plans, including vigas, beams, joists rafters, trusses. Ceiling
materials, including latillas, rough boards, tongue-and-groove, are
discussed along with details such as insulation, deck sheathing, canales
and parapets. Two actual or mock-up roofs will be built.

ADOB 114 – Floor Design and Construction
Dates: March 22 to May 15, 2021 (8 weeks)
Format: Online
Course Description: Traditional and modern Southwest floors and floor
coverings. Topics include mud, brick, stone, concrete, tile, wood and
sheet-goods flooring materials and applications. Students will design
and build floor mock-ups. Suspended floors over crawl spaces or
basements are covered as well as the sizing of joists and deck
materials. Radiant floor heating systems are also discussed.

ADOB 115 – Finish Practices
Dates: March 22 to May 15, 2021 (8 weeks)
Format: Online
Course Description: Traditional and modern finishes used in the building
of the exteriors and interiors of buildings of the Southwest. Topics
include treatments of exposed adobe bricks; mud plaster by hand and
trowel; plasters made with stabilized mud, lime, gypsum, cement and
elastomerics. Wall insulation, vapor barriers, moisture protection, and
the lath systems will be examined. The treatment of vigas, posts,
corbels, exposed lintels and wood trim are also covered.

Full details about the Adobe Program at SFCC can be found at or contact adjunct
faculty member Kurt Gardella at


Adobe Classes – Fall 2020

ADOB 111 – Adobe Construction Basics
Dates: 8/24 to 10/17/2020 (8 weeks)
Format: Online
Course Description: History and overview of adobe construction
techniques. Topics include monumental structures and settlements
throughout the world and adobe practices that meet modern building
codes. Students will examine construction and design techniques from
foundation to roof. Students will make adobe bricks, build walls and
construct other building components.

ADOB 112 – Adobe Wall Construction
Dates: 10/19 to 12/12/2020 (8 weeks)
Format: Online
Course Description: An introduction to exterior and interior adobe wall
construction techniques. Students will learn the requirements for wall
thickness, height and foundation construction based on the New Mexico
Earthen Building Code. Topics include the installation of windows and
doors and lintels over openings, the construction of bond beams at the
top of walls, methods for the attachment of roof structural members and
design and construction of buttresses and arches.

ADOB 113 – Passive Solar Adobe Design
Dates: 10/19 to 12/12/2020 (8 weeks)
Format: Online
Course Description: The integration of passive solar heating systems
into the design of adobe homes. Topics include direct gain systems,
Trombe Wall (indirect gain) systems and greenhouses/sunspaces. Students
will learn the advantages and disadvantages of each system in order to
choose among them for use in different parts of a house or commercial
structure. Students will calculate the proper sizing of systems as well
as auxiliary back-up systems.

Full details about the Adobe Program at SFCC can be found at or contact adjunct
faculty member Kurt Gardella at

San Diego Adobe Home Tour

Romance of the Rancho is the theme for the Ninth Annual San Diego Adobe Home Tour. The 2020 tour celebrates the rich Spanish-Mexican rancho heritage by opening the doors to four beautiful adobe homes and properties in Rancho Santa Fe and Escondido. The tour will showcase the 1831-built Osuna adobe ranch. It also features the home and gardens of a 1926-built home overlooking Lake Hodges that was featured in the October 2019 edition of San Diego Home/Garden.
The San Diego Adobe Home tour is a project of the San Diego Adobe Heritage Association, whose mission is to inspire the appreciation and understanding of adobe heritage.
Date: March 22, 2020, 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $30
Tickets: Available for the Adobe Home Tour website or from the Escondido History Center, 321 N Broadway, Escondido, 92025,
Where: Ticket holders will pick up their program on the day of the tour at one of two ticket locations at Kit Carson Park or Rancho Santa Fe Community Center.
Proceeds: Proceeds from the tour benefit the Escondido History Center
For More Information: Visit the website at
Please help us publicize this tour on your website and/or newsletter. Attached is a press release and digital poster. Photos are available upon request.
Valorie McClelland
Volunteer, Adobe Heritage Association

Orno build at the Gutierrez Hubble House

One of the two hornos originally built by the Edaaki family and rebuilt by Mick Gorospe has collapsed. The other horno is in need of plastering. We will raze the remnants of the collapsed horno, rebuild an adobe horno, and plaster both hornos.

Led by: Francisco Uviña, Director, Historic Preservation and Regionalism Program, School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico
& BernCo Open Space and Gutierrez Hubbell House (Elisabeth Stone, Site Manager)

July 1 & 2, 2019

Gutierrez Hubbell House
6029 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105

Bring something to share for lunch or bring your own lunch

Water will be available. Please bring a refillable water bottle.

Please contact Beth Stone estone@bernco.govif you will be joining us.

Taos News – Back to Building Basics – Vista Grande teens working on adobe certification–Lp5BlvSewlejNMAnEbmJ7n

UNESCO Chair on Earthen Architecture recognized the ECVET Earth Training Units.

Earth Building UK and Ireland
November 16 at 9:13 AM ·
Today the UNESCO Chair on Earthen Architecture recognized the ECVET Earth Training Units. The Units are free to download and used by anyone involved in training or assessing earth building in Europe or anywhere in the world with the confidence that UNESCO recognizes the quality of the outputs, take a look at them