10 Environmentally Friendly Architectural Styles


Pueblo and Adobe Revival

Most people associate adobe- and pueblo-style with hot, dry areas such as the Southwestern United States, Mexico, and parts of Africa and the Mediterranean. The homes built with adobe blocks or bricks made of a clay, water and sand mixture can last hundreds of years, and they provide excellent insulation from hot and cold weather, even though they're more widely found in warm, arid climates [source: Encyclopaedia Britannica]. Having adequate and regular sunshine to keep the adobe dry and to allow it to store heat energy is a must. Adobe has a low R-value, meaning it doesn't insulate as well outside of its ideal, dry and sunny environment, but its thick make up is very eco-friendly in terms of keeping the heat out [source: U.S. Dept of Energy]. In cold climates, it's possible to add insulation and counter any moisture, though it makes more sense to work with other materials more suited for the environment [source: Roberts, et al.]

Adobe- and pueblo-revival continue to be most popular in warm regions, and what makes them "revival" is they combine traditional clay materials and newer insulating and strengthening ingredients like concrete and paper composites, and sometimes applied exterior plasters, as well. Although the revival in this style started back in the 1920s and '30s, it has continued into the 21st century with its characteristic simple lines, central courtyards and wooden architectural details often with modern tweaks and varied rooflines.