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.

Fibrous Adobe dome

 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 ground level...

Fibrous adobe dome front

As the dome is build partly below ground, those windows appear higher when seen inside...

Inside fibrous adobe dome

And the skylight from inside shows off the beauty of bottles...

Fibrous adobe dome skylight

Another construction which was in progress when I visited Mike McCain was a home, also made frfom fibrous adobe.

New fibrous adobe home approaching

New fibrous adobe home entrance

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.

Papercrete barn

A barn-shaped shelter at Mike's place, made from papercrete blocks (walls) and pallets filled with papercrete (roof).

Pink building, a laundry room with bathrooms

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 at entrance to 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 below...

Fibrous adobe house entrance

Still standing after decades, in spite of design flaws. The main room, reached by this long corridor, is well made, with thick walls...

Fibrous adobe main room

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