Adobe buildings are built with soil and organic matter. The word “adobe” comes from the Spanish name which means “mud brick”. Adobe is one of the first building materials in human history and has been applied worldwide. Adobe has been used for thousands of years among the indigenous Americans of the southwestern United States. The construction of Adobe was popular due to its simplicity and low cost as its basic components, earth, water and straw fibers were readily available.
History of Adobe Construction
The construction of brick buildings can be traced back to the dawn of human civilization. The ancient Egyptians used this simple technology to build a brick house whose remains date back to 3800 BC. Several historians and archaeologists refer to Mesopotamia as the cradle of the use of adobe bricks that subsequently spread to Egypt, where the mud of the Nile river mixed with straw was used to build simple houses. People have started using Adobe technology for their housing after making it last compared to existing alternatives (curtains and leather).
Adobe building bricks are made of a mixture of earth and water. An organic fiber was added to the mixture to act as a binder and chopped straw was the most popular material. The earth that had been used had a high clay content and low sand to have water retention properties. The mixture was then shaped to form small bricks and left to dry in the sun. When ready, the seasoned bricks were then placed on multiple courses that were held together by applying damp mud between the adjacent bricks. Modern buildings, on the other hand, use refractory bricks that are more stable and less prone to cracking. These bricks can also hold more weights allowing the construction of multi-storey buildings.
Modern Adobe construction
In modern day there is a variation of adobe construction, with several improvements and changes made during construction. In modern brick construction, cement is added in brick making, which is a better bonding agent than chopped straw. The bricks are then treated by fire increasing their stability. Another improvement is made during the masonry where steel is used to strengthen the strength of the walls.