Adobe Houses: The Face of New Mexico

Adobe Houses: The Face of New Mexico

Auditorio Museo Petstar,an earth construction LEED PLATINUM certified

Earth Lab is a company that integrates sustainability in urban and architectonic design and construction, promotes earth building and green certifications.
During 12 years we have been designing and building with rammed earth, along with other ecological, reused and recycled materials, as well as alternative techniques and natural energy efficient systems in our quest for sustainability of our projects and occupants and users wellbeing.

The Earth Lab certification company took the lead for the LEED certification process and managed to build an 100% walls earthen construction.

By July 2015 The Auditorium-Museum PetStar received from the U.S. Green Building Council the LEED BD+C New Construction v3- LEED 2009, PLATINUM Certification. The maximum LEED level of certification a project can achieve becoming the 10th LEED NC PLATINUM project in Mexico and the 1st Museum in Latin America with this type and level of certification.
As an Auditorium-Museum is the world’s 1st of its class, and although not confirmed, most likely the first ever earth based building to be certified.

The Owner commitment and Team involvement made possible a beautiful earthen construction that is both sustainable and comfortable, with a certain magic one can experience wile inside this space.

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Fall Adobe Classes SFCC

Dates: October 8 to 12, 2015 (4 full days) + 4 weeks of online work
Meeting time: 9am to 4pm on each of the 4 days
Location: Trades and Applied Technology 820
Instructor: Kurt Gardella

Dates: October 19 to December 12, 2015 (8 -week online course)
Location: online
Instructor: Kurt Gardella

Earth USA Conference Early-bird Registration

Earth USA Conference 2015 organizer Adobe in Action has extended the early-bird registration discount for October’s conference until August 31st.  The 31st is only a few days away, so take advantage while you can!  Earth USA 2015 is the Eighth International Conference on Architecture and Construction with Earthen Materials, taking place October 2 thru 4 in Santa Fe, NM, USA.

Here is the direct link for registration:

Earthen Construction in Spain

Here are some pictures showing earthen construction in Spain. The first picture shows what the building looks like from the front and what the rear looks like.  The third picture just shows a  combination of adobe and brick.  These pictures are from Arevalo Spain where Queen Isabela lived as a teenager.  Aravelo is also known for it’s Moorish art.  Taken by TEG member, Ernest Aragon.  

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San Miguel Castle

These pics are from San Miguel castle in almunecar Spain showing rammed earth in the construction of the mezquite. Taken by TEG member Ernest Aragon. 

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Earth Block Texas Project in Fredericksburg

Attached for your enjoyment, a couple of shots of the current Earth Block Texas project in Fredericksburg.

Earthen walls, roof, floor and interior plaster.  We’re getting there!


Earth Block International 


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Code Committee Update

Letter from Board Chair Sean Kaltenbach in response to the overwhelming response of the Compressed Earth Block industry:

FANTASTIC ENERGY !!!!!!! Great to hear from everybody. Thank you Susan Jerome for getting the CEB group rolling and for hopefully keeping it running. All this response from CEB for code committee work is what TEG has been waiting for. I believe it’s clearly evident we have our CEB component. I’d like to suggest that not only do we have a code committee but we have a CEB committee.   The time is now !!!!!!

Anne Galer is heading up the Code Committee as direct representative to CID; that means developing a clean consistent format in which TEG presents, represents, listens, responds, submits, and interacts, and follows up with CID ( I believe the key is being consistent). Working off a long term relationship that Joe Tibbets has nurtured and maintained with Fermin and CID, I believe Anne with the help of Claude Hayward is well underway in continuing and further developing that consistent quality interface/relationship. 

The foremost goal of the Code Committee itself is to develop out the Earthen Building codes, but with all the great response from CEB it seems, again, it’s clear, we have a CEB Component which brings so much more to the table.

It’s exciting to see the CEB emails and I do not want to constrict the CEB energy in any way. I believe we have some non TEG members commenting. Please Join TEG !!!!! but even more important, right now don’t stop the conversations, better yet bring a CEB friend and Join later !!!!!

Again I’m suggesting that as the quality conversations continue (and hopefully membership grows), and with the approval of the Board, a CEB committee be formed. 

Where’s University of Oklahoma, let’s get them conversing with us ????

My thought is that within the CEB Committee:
Code specific material be developed out and presented to Code Committee;
Education specific material be developed out and presented to Education Committee;
Certification specific material be developed out and presented to the Certification Committee.

(any member has an opportunity to join the committees, (as Chair I would ask/suggest that you have and maintain active participation not only in the committee itself but TEG as well) and CEB experts, we do need you on these committees)

The CEB experts have gathered and are talking and all the above needs their blessings and TEG needs their memberships . I can only hope that TEG given the opportunity can represent the CEB industry as well as it has the adobe and rammed earth so far. And as Chair that is my commitment to CEB.

TEG needs CEB, TEG need the CEB experts, TEG needs an opportunity to serve the needs of CEB.

Susan Jerome of Mule Creek has reached out, I have commended her and have asked her to continue to move forward without reserve.

One final note, TEG represents the industry; it is no one person. We all have contributing ideas, and we all have personal opinions. Some are better than others but it’s our responsibility as TEG members, to the industry and each other, to acknowledge and work thru them. As a united group with respect and consideration for each other, we truly have an opportunity to serve! 
 Also a reminder, our CEB efforts should be to gather and to organize.

 EARTH USA 2015 is coming !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Sean Kaltenbach
President, General Contractor
New Mexico Earth Works, LLC.
Santa Fe and Las Cruces, New Mexico

Earth USA 2015

Dear earthbuilding friends,

Earth USA 2015 is now accepting abstracts for paper presentations. All abstracts for Earth USA 2015 should be submitted using our online abstract submission form. More information and a direct link to the form can be found here:

The online abstract submission form can be accessed directly from this message by clicking here:

Updated information about conference logistics and dates can be found here:

Please keep an eye on our website for more detailed information about conference events and activities (including pre-registration) as the conference gets closer.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the abstract submission process or other concerns.

The Earth USA 2015 Organizing Team

Earth USA 2015

About Earth USA 2015

Earth USA 2015 is the Eighth International Conference on Architecture and Construction with Earthen Materials initiated by Earth USA. The conference organizer is Adobe in Action.

The formal conference will take place from Friday, October 2 to Sunday, October 4, 2015 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. The conference will be held at the New Mexico Museum of Art in the St. Francis Auditorium (107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501). Earth USA 2015 indicates a wider field of interest than previous conferences and will include adobe, rammed earth, compressed earth block (CEB) and monolithic adobe (cob). Any material or method that uses clay as a binder will be considered.

Earth USA 2015 Activities
Three days of podium presentations and poster sessions on topics related to the current state of architecture and construction with earthen materials.
Tours to local earthbuilding sites of interest in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Pre-conference earthbuilding workshops are being planned by Adobe in Actionfor the week leading up to the conference. Additional post-conference workshopswill be held by third-party organizations throughout the month of October.
Earth USA 2015 – Call for Papers

Earth USA 2015 will begin accepting abstract submissions for conference presentations in early 2015. All abstract submissions should be submitted using our online abstract submission form. The form will be available on the Earth USA website starting January 30, 2015. We cannot accept abstract submissions which are e-mailed directly to us. Presenters will have 20 minutes for presentation including time to answer questions. Time limits will be carefully monitored.

Paper Subject Categories:
Historic buildings and cities including their stabilization, preservation and conservation
Social and cultural elements fostered by earthen building practices and traditions
Construction methods
Education and information transfer including codes, norms and regulations
Physical and thermal properties of materials and structures including seismic, flood and storm resistance
Passive solar heating and cooling of earthen buildings
Earthen structures in commerce, industry, agriculture and energy production
New architecture and construction projects including renovation, modernization and re-purposing of existing buildings
Company presentations including architects, designers, contractors and commercial product manufacturers
Please visit our call for papers page for an overview of important call for paper dates and deadlines.

We look forward to seeing you in 2015!

The Earth USA 2015 Organizing Team –