Adobe's conventional Adobe is a classic construction material in the Southwest and other hot areas. The strong walls are built of adobe bricks, which were originally cured in the hot summer heat from a combination of clay, sand, straw, and water. In modern buildings, insulation is used between the outer walls and the interior floors/ceilings.
There are three main types of adobe houses: the simple mud house, the brick house, and the stone house. Simple mud houses consist of a flat roof covered with earth or gravel, with no walls except for an occasional fence to mark where the property begins and ends. Mud is the only material used to build these homes, which can be simple or complex. Complex mud houses often have more than one room, with multiple doorways leading out to small patios or gardens. They may also have special features such as arched entrances, decorative friezes, and mosaic tiles.
Brick houses are similar to simple mud houses in that they also have a flat roof but instead of using earth or gravel for covering the home, this area is enclosed by a wall made of stacked bricks. Like mud houses, there are variations on how long it takes someone to build a brick house. Some are built in a single day, while others take several months or even years to complete. Like mud houses, brick houses can be simple or complex.
The thick walls act as a thermal mass, gently absorbing heat during the day and radiating it at night. Corner fireplaces provide heat to rooms throughout the cold. Winter rains melt some of the wall surface, feeding small creeks that run along street edges.
Adobe is a durable material that can withstand harsh conditions. When mixed with soil and sand, it makes for an excellent building material because it's easy to work with and very functional. There are many areas around the world where people still use this method to build homes because it's affordable and fast enough for most needs.
It's estimated that there are still more than 10,000 one-room houses in New Mexico alone. These simple dwellings rely on solar energy and wind power for their heating and cooling. They also use kiva fireplaces, which are natural holes in the ground used for cooking and heating objects such as rocks or wood over flames. You can see several examples of these types of houses in Santa Fe County.
People started using stone instead because it was available nearby and didn't need much maintenance. Also, using stone made these houses seem like other people's castles which must have impressed everyone who saw them. Today, many desert houses use concrete and metal instead because they're easier to maintain and cheaper over time.
A residence built in the Southwest's desert environment must be designed to resist heat and endure the dry atmosphere all year. This all begins with picking the finest building materials for the location since, while hot and dry air may appear to be easy to cope with, these circumstances may stress a home over time. The following are some recommendations for choosing appropriate materials for your project.
The first thing to understand is that you can't just pick anything up at your local home improvement store and call it good enough. All buildings require certain elements to work properly: they need to be stable, strong, and safe. Any good builder will help you determine what type of material is best for the location where you plan to build so you can select that instead. For example, if you plan to live in your house for several years then you'll want to choose a material that will last even after being exposed to the sun, wind, rain, and snow often found in the Southwest.
There are three main types of building materials: insulating, non-insulating, and reflective. Insulating materials keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Non-insulating materials such as wood or concrete do not provide much insulation but they are very stable and durable. Reflective materials, such as aluminum or copper, reflect sunlight and can make your home more energy efficient during the summer months.
Modern structures in dry settings. These examples of modern desert architecture demonstrate how design and materials may be used to resist the harsh environmental conditions of dry locations and severe temperatures. Buildings, like cacti and camels, must adapt to survive. When building in a desert, it is important to consider the impact that your design will have on the local ecology and climate.
Deserts cover about 10% of the Earth's surface and contain five of the world's seven terrestrial ecosystems. Deserts are divided up into three general types: hot deserts, cold deserts, and tropical deserts. Hot deserts get their name because they have high temperatures throughout the year, with very little precipitation or evaporation. Cold deserts have low temperatures throughout the year, with much more precipitation than hot deserts. Tropical deserts are located in tropical climates and contain all four seasonality types: warm, humid, dry, and cold.
Hot deserts include the Sahara, Australian Outback, and American Southwest. Cold deserts include Antarctica, Arctic regions, and some parts of Canada and Russia. Tropical deserts include areas around the Mediterranean Sea, most of Africa, and parts of South America.
Climate change is having an increasing effect on desertification. Climate-related events such as droughts, floods, and heat waves can cause land to become barren when irrigated crops are lost forever.