Windcatcher House

The Begay home is Design Build Bluff’s first project since opening the door to more universities. The students of architecture of the University of Colorado Denver designed a home that responds to a sustainable ethos by using local clay and soils for rammed earth walls and compressed brick for a wind catching chimney which cools the temperature inside during the high summer temperatures. The Windcatcher House, which is totally off-grid and harvests all its water, features an innovative wind tower designed to capture the wind to cool the house.

The Windcatcher House includes local clay for its hand-built compressed brick, as well as the south- and east-facing wall facades. Thermal mass cools the home during the hot, dry summers, and soaks up heat during the very frigid winters. Rainwater is collected from the adjacent carport’s roof and gets reused for the garden.

As with all Navajo Nation homes, this house is nowhere near a power grid, which makes relying on the surrounding earth even more useful and important. The Begays don’t have a car, so they plan to use the carport for an animal barn.

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EarthUSA 2011

EarthUSA 2011 will be Sep 30, Oct 1 and 2. Location will be at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

This is the Sixth International Earthbuillding Conference sponsored by the Adobe Association of the Southwest and Northern New Mexico College. The National Hispanic Cultural Center and Adobe in Action will also be sponsors. The Adobe Association of the Southwest is expected to turn itself into Adobe USA.

EarthUSA 2011 indicates a wider field of interest than previous conferences and will include adobe, rammed earth, compressed earth block: CEB, and monolithic adobe: cob. Any material or method that uses clay to bind it together is considered.

May 3: Abstracts due
Jun 3: Acceptance notifications
Aug 5: Full Papers due
Sep 9: Proceedings go to press
Sep 30, Oct 1: Conference and Trade Fair
Oct 2: Tour
Oct 3 -7: Classes, Workshops
Oct 1 – 9: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

1. Contemporary earthen architecture, construction and engineering
2. Historical buildings, farms, villages and cities including cultural connotations
3. Conservation, Preservation, Replication, Remodeling, Modernizing, Re-purposing
4. The role of earthen materials in heating, cooling, sustainable, ecological, renewable and green design
5. Codes, norms, building methods, material science, seismic considerations
6. Earthbuilding education and technology transfer
7. Marketing strategies for earthen materials in the modern world

Conference Languages:
Spanish and English
Papers will be printed in the Conference Proceedings in the language received. Papers received with translations will be printed in both languages PowerPoint presentations are encouraged to be labeled in both languages

The Conference Registration will cost $185 USD with reduction for students. Authors and presenters also pay the registration fee. EarthUSA 2011 is a small conference with few financial resources. A one-day tour will be available Sunday for local earthbuilding sites the cost to be determined. Four and five-day courses and workshops October 3 through 7 are being planned and will include basic adobe construction; rammed earth construction; and arch,vault and dome construction.

Submit your abstract as an e-mail attachment in .DOC format no later than May 3, 2011. Please address your e-mail to: Quentin Wilson, Speakers Committee:

For more information and to download the abstract template visit:

LEHM 2012

Every four years the Dachverband Lehm e.V., the German Association for Building with Earth, organises an international conference and trade fair on building with earth in a different earth building region in Germany together with an excursion in the region.

We are pleased to announce that the LEHM 2012, the 6th International Conference on Building with Earth, organised by the Dachverband Lehm e.V. will take place from 5 – 7 October 2012 in Weimar, the birthplace of the Bauhaus and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The LEHM 2012 will encompass the conference with presentations and poster session on 5 – 6 October 2012 and an excursion on 7 October 2012. The conference programme will cover the following topics:

-Earth building norms and regulations
-Current research in earth building
-Training and education in earth building
-Sustainability in earth building
-Contemporary earth building
-Earth building in renovation

The presentations, papers and poster session contributions will be published in the conference proceedings to accompany the conference. The ‘Call for Papers’ opens in April 2011.