Are Adobe Houses Sustainable? — 2 Comments

  1. I know that organic fibers are used in making adobe bricks. I wonder if long bamboo fibers would work well? Has anyone tried it?

    • I am sure someone, somewhere, at some time has tried it. My thought is that the longer the fiber, the better. Nripal Adhikary of Nepal has done lots of work to incorporate bamboo into earthen structures but more on the order of a replacement for reinforcing bars. I will email him to see.

      Mel Medina at the Adobe Factory in Alcalde, NM did discover that barley straw makes adobe bricks stronger. His discovery came after running over some rejects left in the field by the truck hauling out the good ones.
      Quentin Wilson

      Nripal’s reply:
      People started trusting us after the 2015 earthquake, when our earthen buildings built at the epicenter gracefully survived. We built many schools after that, probably rare example in the world when the government approved earth and bamboo for public buildings. We are now building monasteries, university, community centers and a hotel.

      We do not use bamboo as fibers in adobe but as a reinforcement from the outside to bound them together.

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