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Az Superadobe Hyperadobe county codes

 
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Hello All,  

 Is anyone aware of any codes within Az that allow Superadobe or Hyperadobe construction in alignment with building codes?  Any structures built?  Specifically looking for Navajo County.  I live in Holbrook, Az in Navajo County and would like to begin building these structures.  I feel the native reservations would greatly benefit from more education on this style of building.  I have 80 acres and would like to build a village and research facility for sustainable living research.  It is a long term project.  Let me know if you are nearby or willing to come out here, walk the land and brainstorm for the next step in the project. thanks:)
 
pollinator
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I can only comment on one aspect of the codes: AFAIK, all U.S. codes I have looked at (plumbing, electrical, building, fire) have a clause in the first chapter that basically says "the opinion of the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) governs". That translates to "the inspector's word is law". The written codes are a guide and convenience to allow people to start on the same page, understand each other, get on with it, get past the easy stuff and cut to the real fighting points quickly.

That worked well for me and most people I knew as a plumber in San Francisco for 25 years, and in various renovation projects in Chicago. Most inspectors are decent people with a job to do. They can rewrite the rules for you but only IF they see that you know what you're talking about and you provide them justification which they can use to cover their ass. Courtesy, respect and civil discourse are prerequisites, regardless of anything/everything. Building authorities can be very helpful - or the bane of anybody they decide is trying to flim-flam them.

But maybe the inspectors are not the ones you need to think about "selling" to. What you describe appears to encompass way more than a traditional building or two - those would just be fall out from building a community. Does a few traditional buildings really define your vision? Doesn't it need _active_ participation from the community? Isn't that very participation what actually embodies success? The community may be who you actually want to start with. After that, dealing with bureaucracy  becomes just another part of the restorative group activities.


Regards,
Rufus
 
Josh McDermott
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Well Said Rufus, I completely agree.  I live in the town of Holbrook and plan to attempt a superadobe building here in town to model and share the idea within the community, then branch out later to the 80 acres.  I feel the town will be receptive and the area will come together to support the idea and learn within the first project.  I am researching first to see if anyone has attempted in the county to get signed off and how they may have did it - plans, adjustments and such.

Great advice and thanks for responding Rufus!  Great piece of wisdom - "The community may be who you actually want to start with. After that, dealing with bureaucracy  becomes just another part of the restorative group activities"
 
Rufus Laggren
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Josh

Sounds like you need to assemble some good teaching materials to introduce people to that great building type and it's history and benefits! <g> Have to reach some point of mutual understand what the heck "SuperAdobe" means before the administrative concerns have anything to work on.


Cheers,
Rufus
 
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Heck,  you're too far west.
Apache county is where it's happening.

At this time I'm not interested in building adobe.
My place will be where the back wall is in-ground and the front wall not.
I will stay under 200 square feet.

Please post your work, maybe tomorrow i will work with adobe.
 
Josh McDermott
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Indeed Rufus,

I will be sure to compile a clear description of the benefits and the realities of the superadobe construction method.  I have been studying it for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to stay in a few and tour many over the length of my experience with them.  This plan for the long term. It has taken many years and will take many more;)  I plan to have a solid reference of engineering perspectives and support as well.  Again, thanks you for taking the time to share your perspectives:)  Are you into keeping bees?  I figured because of the Pollinator...unless you have many children;)

Hello Kevin,
 I hear Apache county has some loose building codes as well.  Had to come here for the job teaching elementary school, but staying because I like it;)  You are talking about the earthship style where the front is south facing greenhouse style and the back is buried like a cave for thermal retention?  200 sq feet is tiny...easier to heat and keep clean:)  you going off grid?

thanks for saying hello

Josh
 
 
Rufus Laggren
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Shucks, Josh, you're way out ahead. <g> Whose your constituency? Guess you're thinking maybe if there's some need of housing maybe they put up with some wonky idealist (?) that built them something usable. Put on their land, give it to them. You know, pusher-man stuff - free sample! Bring your friends! Look at "Joe" living warm/happy. <g> If 1st Nation, I think they make their own rules viz building codes. I guess that's kinda where you came in, top o' th' thread: "Build it and they will come."

Maybe try touching Habitat for Humanity for support - of any kind, even political.

I think "pollinator" is something like a brown belt (actually, what color do they hand to students that the master hasn't yet determined to be hopeless?) in Judo. But Paul wanted something more hopeful sounding. <g>

Best luck.

Rufus
 
Josh McDermott
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Well Rufus,  
 I was a teacher on the Navajo Rez for a couple years and I think the traditional building style is wonderful but there doesn't seem to be enough cedar trees to house the tribe these days.  I have seen many living in thin walled trailers and don't really understand why with all the wonderful clay and sand around.  I figured anyone who wants to live in the area could benefit from some better, code passing building styles.  The Navajo have a housing department that helps to build houses for those who qualify, but the Superadobe is built with mainly semi skilled labor so families/clans can help each other.  The corruption level in the past has been pretty high with the housing department so if people can put together a couple grand and labor, they may be able to have a more traditional earth home instead of a home depot home where the closest supplies to repair things are hours away.  I don't want to be a savior...gotta save myself, but at least share some ideas and maybe it will help somebody build their own place.

Personally, I want to dig cave systems using wallipini style greenhouses but as long as I am hustling in town to pay the bills, I might as well try to introduce ideas I have learned about that can help people live cheaper and more comfortable.  I am thinking to start a non profit so that grant applications can be written..money..gotta have at least some to start the projects.  Really just trying anything and everything and see what works.  I left teaching to renovate my house into a bed and breakfast, so working on that.  I figure that reaching out to find folks who are interested in these types of things is a start.

I don't care if people put up with the wonky idealist...I'm doing what I want to do...ultimately it is my adventure and if people don't want it for themselves, okay by me.

Regards,
Josh
 
Rufus Laggren
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> thin walled trailers.... why

Well, I'm afraid I got opinions...  Advertising. And just foolishness. And hard times where you step off the straight/narrow, you're not just in the ditch, you're sliding over the edge. As the Bible says (to paraphrase) "the way to hell is wide and smooth".  Takes a lot of something or other to stay straight and narrow all you life. And that's what it takes when there's no backup for a guy or girl.

IMHO, the best gift ever, biggest push for a better world, is hope. Not something most of us can just hand out so well. It's kinda DIY, work w/what we got. No "Quick Start Guide". But it's not impossible either.

And a little fun, now and again.


Best luck,
Rufus
 
Rufus Laggren
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Oh, and luck with the BnB. A good friend finally got his walls up, windows in and paint dried and he's doing OK that way. So good chance there.

Rufus
 
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