Estremadura, Riba Tejo, Alto Alentejo, Baixo Alentejo, Algarve
clayey earth (earth lining riverbeds), sometimes addition of small stones, gravel, etc.
technique for constructing outer and inner walls, with bricks (adobe) made by sun-dried earth
lime mortar and sand render
whitewashed using the traditional method that entails the utilisation of an insulating additive, such as sebum
Adobe bricks are fabricated using river bed earth pressed in wooden moulds. The dimensions are not fixed and can vary according to specific needs. The typical blocks are about 0,08 x 0,16 x 0,35 m.
The minimum amount of time for the bricks to dry is 15 days, however, the resistance and quality of the blocks increases with more drying time.
For the construction with adobe blocks, the technique remains unchanged and still requires traditional, manual labor. The technique is quite similar and uses similar products as does the construction with clay bricks (tijolos), the advantages of adobe lie in the reduced cost and the good thermal and acoustic insulation.
Currently there is research conducted regarding stability of the bricks, with potential addition of cement or bitumen, or alternatives such as chalk hydrated with oil.
In the North of Mondego, the adobe tradition has been kept alive until recently and has even reached an operational character: earth and clay suppliers and contractors have included the production of adobe blocks on site.
This text was translated by us from the Portuguese book Dialogos de edificaçao,
The images are taken from Arquitectura Popular em Portugal, published 1988.