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Sustainable Adobe Construction

An intensive introduction to adobe block and construction with Adobeisnotsoftware in charming Pioneertown, California. 

Sustainable Adobe Construction

An intensive introduction to adobe block and construction with Adobeisnotsoftware in charming Pioneertown, California. 

Event Details

Guided by

Ben Loescher


12:00pm - 04:00pm


September 7, 2024

Spots Left



4 hrs

Ticket Price:



About Ben Loescher

Ben Loescher is a Principal at Loescher Meachem Architects where his work focuses on the reuse of existing buildings, high-performance workplace design for the film, television, and media industries, and innovation in earthen construction. Loescher is the former Chair of the Earthbuilders’ Guild, the U.S. trade association for earthen construction, and a board member for Adobe in Action, a New Mexico-based non-profit focused on assisting individuals in creating affordable earthen housing.


Curious about how to turn the dirt in your backyard into a legal dwelling? Want to learn how to build with the world’s oldest high-performance building material? Join Adobeisnotsoftware for a fun afternoon of block making and construction, with step-by-step instruction taking you through everything from sourcing the right dirt, mixing and drying, to bricklaying techniques. Adobeisnotsoftware was founded in 2009 to inform, enable, and advance adobe construction in California. Adobe is a sustainable, affordable, and pervasive building material, offering components that promise to make housing more accessible, our neighborhoods more resilient, and construction more poetic. This class is suitable for all levels, from beginners to building professionals, DIYers, natural building enthusiasts, adobe homeowners, aspiring owner builders, and the adobe curious.

Learning Objectives:

  • Safety in earthen construction.
  • How earth has been used as a building material worldwide and in CA.
  • The environmental and health benefits of earth as a building material.
  • Which building codes apply to earthen construction.
  • How to locate, identify and test suitable soils for use in adobe construction.
  • Clay minerals and aggregates and their role in the adobe mix.
  • Proportions of a good adobe mix for your area and how to amend your soil if a suitable mix is not naturally present.
  • The use of stabilizers for improved water resistance, including asphalt emulsion, portland cement, and lime.
  • How to mix mud in a wheelbarrow.
  • Hhow to make adobe blocks.
  • Adobe block drying and storing sequence.
  • Different methods of field testing your adobe blocks for strength.
  • Gravel garden wall foundation.
  • Techniques for laying adobe blocks to build a wall.
  • Techniques for properly applying mortar and tooling mortar joints.

  • What's included

    • Soil Selection & Testing
    • Water Resistance and Stabilization
    • Adobe Forms
    • Making Adobe Blocks
    • Gravel Garden Wall Foundations
    • Adobe Brick Laying Techniques

    What to bring

    • Personal water bottle
    • Clothing you don't mind getting dirty
    • Close toed shoes or boots
    • Sun Protection (hat, sunglasses, sun shirt, sunscreen, etc.)
    • Work Gloves (optional)
    • Curious about your soil? If you'd like to test soil from your property, bring some along. Anything between a gallon freezer bag to a 5 gallon bucket is great.