Houses Made From
Papercrete and Fibrous Adobe
Here are some houses and other
shelters made from papercrete and fibrous adobe. All
of them are near Columbus, New Mexico.
The freeform dome above,
made from fibrous adobe, uses bottles to let light through the
walls of the entrance corridor (no door), and the skylight is
half bottles. The other side of the dome reveals windows near
As the dome is build partly
below ground, those windows appear higher when seen
And the skylight from inside
shows off the beauty of bottles...
Another construction which was
in progress when I visited Mike McCain was a home, also made
frfom fibrous adobe.
The box at right is actually a
large shipping container plastered with the same mix as the
house, but adjusting the brightness and contrast for the house
left it looking a bit bleached out.
A barn-shaped shelter at
Mike's place, made from papercrete blocks (walls) and pallets
filled with papercrete (roof).
Mike's newest building, a laundry room in
front with two restrooms behind. The slab is concrete, the rest
is papercrete block walls plastered with papercrete. Mike shows
off the incredible thermal qualities of papercrete. The sun had
heated the south-facing side (entrance) until it felt hot, but
the inside never even became warm. Papercrete has so much dead
air space that it is a great insulator. Below, another vintage
fibrous adobe shelter.
Mike explains what happened to
the walls of the entrance corridor. Many bottles and not enough
fibrous adobe - the walls were too thin to support the roof, so
they bowed inwards, and the arches have too little support
Still standing after decades, in spite of
design flaws. The main room, reached by this long corridor, is
well made, with thick walls...
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