Courses in Superadobe and eco-construction
Superadobe is a form of earth bag construction pioneered by the Iranian architect Nader Khalili. The technique uses layered bags filled with an earth and lime (as used at Finca La Tierra) mix and then manually compacted. The beauty in using a dome formation is that only one material (earth) can be used to build the entirety of the structure: from foundations to roof. It is a form of construction that can be used in any part of the world and also can be combined with more traditional building methods by building straight walls (as apposed to the dome technique) and then using a traditional wooden roof structure. It has also been used extensively as the foundation material in straw bale construction, isolating the straw walls from rising damp. All adobes have a very high thermal mass, meaning that it stores excess heat well, keeping houses cool in the summer and maintaining its heat for longer during the winter months.
The fact of it’s ease to learn and the relatively few different materials used means that superadobe is excellent choice of technique when considering a self-build.
Some of the oldest man made structures in the world are made of adobe bricks, with examples in from Spain to Iran to native American cultures dating up to 3000 years old. Similar to other earth structures, like rammed earth, superadobe and cob, adobes also have a high thermal mass meaning that they are an excellent choice of material for storing excess heat. As they are formed into bricks (from traditional size to up to 2 metres) they can be incorporated into more conventional architectural designs with ease.
Lime mortars, plasters and concretes
Here at Finca La Tierra we are dedicated to the use of only natural materials. Lime, that comes from limestone rock, has been used in construction for thousands of years and can be mixed with different sands, earths and aggregates to form very strong mortars and plasters. The concretes used by the Romans, a mixture of lime and volcanic sand, has been proved to be stronger and longer lasting that the cement based concretes used in conventional construction today.