Adobe is a dried dry brick, made out of mud and straw. It is a traditional material used to construct houses that have been passed on over the years until today. Well, the classic touch in the making of the bricks remains, but there is a couple of significant modification that modern builders have adopted. Read through this article to learn more about how modern adobe construction works.
It is recommendable to learn the traditional adobe construction process to appreciate the modern adobe construction, and ensure the process runs smoothly. Some of the aspects that you need to maintain in modern and traditional adobe construction include:
- Assembling the bricks with a mud mortar that has similar properties to the adobe. This means that you cannot use cement mortar to make mud bricks since it is too hard.
- The foundation should use red bricks or stones
- The walls should be load-bearing and thick enough. Bracing the walls with buttresses can be useful to achieve this expectation.
- The roofs are usually flat, wooden and have horizontal rafters that cover other materials.
Modern Architecture and Adobe
There is quite a significant twist when it comes to modern architecture compared with traditional ones. Modern constructors have adopted asphalt and cement to make the brick stronger.
Although there is a lot of changes experienced with the contemporary types of bricks, they do not match the texture and appearance that traditional bricks have to offer.
Preparing for Modern Adobe Construction
Making modern bricks is not entirely different from the traditional method despite the change that constructors have adopted. The process to make the bricks is as follow:
- Mix sand, clay and water
- Add straw or manure to help the mud shrink uniformly
- Put the mixture in a wooden form that has the kind of shape you intend to achieve
- Remove the bricks from the structure and lay them on the surface to dry them on sun
- Use straw or grass to cover the straw
- After leaving the blocks for a few days, you can now leave them to air-dry for at least a month
Step by Step Modern Adobe Construction
To build a house using the adobe bricks, you need to follow a well-defined process. The following is a basic procedure you can use to construct a house using adobe bricks.
- The foundation. You do not expect to find an adobe house to have a basement. The foundation is usually made out of stones or any other hard material available locally
- Set up the brick and mortar. The best material to use as the brick and mortar is mud since it swells together with the blocks
- Stack the bricks. The best way to stack the bricks is by putting them together to make a 10 inches wall. Such size offers enough strength to hold up the house together, keep the house arm during winter and cool during summer
- Leave openings for the windows and doors. Windows and doors are necessary for any house but should be minimal in adobe house to avoid weakening the house
- Roofing considerations. The roofs used in adobe houses differ according to the location. Modern builders us wooden shingles, metal roofing and terra cotton tiles to add a modern touch.
- Choose a coating. The most common coating used for the process is mud plaster, lime plaster and cement stucco.
Knowing how modern adobe construction works enables you to appreciate the blend between the traditional and the contemporary architect. However, there are some downside, such as fragility that requires a lot of careful consideration. Otherwise, this is a cheap construction option that will guarantee both aesthetic appeal and durability. Go for it!