How Adobe Construction Works

By: Linda C. Brinson  | 

Brown Is the New Green

There is a growing interest in new adobe construction, especially in the American Southwest. Because adobe bricks are made of dirt and dried by the sun and air, they're an inexpensive eco-friendly building material.

Adobe construction is popular with individuals and organizations interested in low-cost housing that does not harm the environment.


Here are some of adobe's assets:

  • It's renewable; after all, you can find dirt just about anywhere.
  • It's local; materials don't have to be hauled in.
  • It's inexpensive.
  • It's healthy; adobe doesn't release chemicals, as some modern materials do.
  • It saves energy; Thick adobe walls have lots of thermal mass. They collect heat from the sun during the day and release it slowly at night. That helps with cooling in summer and heating in winter.
  • It's so easy that many people learn to do adobe construction themselves. It's also a good strategy for volunteer groups building homes for others.
  • It's durable; with proper maintenance, an adobe structure can last centuries.
  • It's fun; if you liked Lego blocks as a kid, you'll enjoy building with adobe bricks.

Keep reading for lots more information about adobe.