An ancient method revived in modern architecture is thriving. Adobe-style homes and buildings are gaining global attention for their sustainable attributes, neutral presentations, and elegance. Adobe-style buildings are made with a wide variety of materials, but we believe these are the best ones to consider.
What is Adobe-Style?
Generally, any structure or home created using a mixture of earth materials, like clay, is considered an adobe-style building. Modern architects have embraced ancient methods of constructing adobe-style homes seen today, especially in the American Southwest.
Adobe-style homes feature thick walls, set-back windows, built-in shelving, uniform roofs, and the occasional fireplace and chimney in colder climates. Modern adobe-style homes, as they continue to gain architectural popularity, feature more complex designs. This may include more stories, balconies, outdoor patios, and added wood features for stability and aesthetics.
Dating back hundreds to thousands of years, adobe-style homes can be seen across the globe. Ancient cultures had their own unique methods of constructing adobe-style structures depending on the materials available to them in their environments. Thus, early adobe-style homes in the American Southwest differ from those found in South America or ancient European civilizations.
What they share is their use of earth materials, with each culture using different compositions and techniques. Clay, straw, water, wood, soil, sand, silt, rock, and even animal dung were used in traditional methods. Builders would create adobe bricks by creating a wet mixture of water, clay, and other aforementioned materials.
The bricks would then be dried in the sun over a period of days to harden, and would then be stacked and formed together to create a desired home or structure. A natural cement-like mixture would be used between bricks to hold them together. Often, straw was used in mixtures as it was believed to reduce cracking and shrinking of the adobe bricks.
The Modern Method
Modern adobe-style homes are still constructed using adobe bricks and cements, but are manufactured in ways that are suitable to zoning laws and to reduce weathering. Typically, modern adobe-style structures are made using semi-stabilized and/or stabilized adobe bricks.
Manufacturers commonly mix small amounts of stabilizing materials into semi-adobe bricks, like portland cement or asphaltic emulsions. Stabilized adobe bricks are made the same way, but with higher concentrations of stabilizing materials; up to 12% of asphaltic emulsions. Modern adobe homes are often built on cement foundations or slabs for added stabilization and to protect the home against weathering.
Contractors and designers of adobe-style homes often suggest adding other materials to a building for structural support or aesthetic value. We’re covering some of the best materials to consider adding to a modern adobe-style home.
Tiles are an excellent feature to add to adobe-style homes. Reclaimed or recycled tiles are even better, as they increase the sustainability of a building. Tiles give some creative freedom as they come in various colors and textures.
Tiles can be used in walls or as accents and are also commonly used as flooring in adobe-style homes or buildings.
Wood is a versatile element for adobe-style homes and is generally considered a sustainable material. Commonly added for structural support, wood beams are added in adobe-style homes. Often, the beams are left visible inside.
Wood is often used to create outdoor canopies or used as flooring, which fares well in adobe-style homes.
Adobe-style homes are generally not decorated with wallpaper. Thus, paint is often used to add pops of color or to decorate with wall murals. Paint is versatile, and many opt to use neutral, earthy colors in adobe-style homes to pay homage to ancient cultures or to simply match the exterior.
Since stone is a natural material, it is suggested to use them in adobe-style homes. Granite is a durable and aesthetic stone choice. Stone columns, patios, and other decorative presentations create an elegant and warm adobe-style home or building.
Generally, any structure or home created using a mixture of earth materials, like clay, is considered an adobe-style building.
Materials like wood, stone, and paint are some of the best materials to use in adobe-style buildings.
Adobe-style is gaining popularity due to its general sustainability and aesthetic presence.