We’ve been building at Ampersand for the past 19 years.
At first our goals were just to create comfortable shelter, as we had none! So we designed our living structures to be passive solar. By just designing our buildings correctly, we could heat with the sun as the main fuel source and cool with carefully placed shading and insulation. This set of design skills is essential to live comfortably while staying in good relationship with our resources! Amanda will share the key points for passive solar design and point to where you can look for further study. Every structure we built at Ampersand has passive design components.
Our next priority was to use natural and locally sourced materials. So we got pretty dang good at earthbag building, strawbale, adobe and cob. Earthen building is really fun and anyone can get creative with sculptural components and natural pigments.
We also learned to incorporate what we could salvage, like shipping pallets, car hoods, steel cans, and previously used building materials.This workshop is a chance to come see what we’ve done and hear about the process of creation. Amanda Bramble will share her experience with each technique, when and where they are best used, and why they were chosen.
We will also get hands- on with making cob, earthen plaster, and straw-clay building samples.
It simply makes sense to include passive solar design into any building plans, especially here in the sunny southwest where it has been used for centuries! It can work with conventional building materials as well. While New Mexico has codes for adobe and strawbale building, you will have to do your own homework to discover the legalities of using natural and salvage materials in various applications.