Modern Structures with Ancient Heritages in the Desert Southwest
By: By Barbara Faulwetter, RA, CCS, LEED AP
There are at least two building material systems which are indigenous to the Desert Southwest and which are still in use today, even in commercial work. The period of time well look at is up until the end of the Civil War, at which time the products of renewed industrialism were brought to the area by railroad. The systems in question are rammed earth and adobe block.
The use of an indigenous building material in a locale owes its popularity to its abundance of raw material, its ease of production, its structural properties, and its ability to effect a comfortable habitable space.