I chose to be a part of the UNM Sustainability program because I realized that our Earth is deteriorating before our very eyes due to the industrialization of our modern world; and because of this choice I’ve had the great opportunity of working at The Hive. The day I most enjoyed was the day of a Saturday workshop. It sticks out to me because of the sense of community that came with working on the site that day. We began by introducing ourselves and explaining why we were there. There were people from the sustainability program, people whom are interested in the Old School program, friends of the site managers, and even a young boy had come with his grandma out of interest in the site; there were people from all walks of life.
This, I think, is one of the most important foundations of building a sustainable world; the community. The people who come together to do good are not only the best people to be around, but are also the best at creating and maintaining a positive attitude and hope. Seeing a young boy giving his time and opening his mind to this knowledge is what really motivates me because the sense of togetherness and community it builds.
I think the Super Adobe building method is important in creating a sustainable world also because of how energy inexpensive it is to build. The wall requires so many less gas miles that are usually used to ship materials for construction from creation site to building site because it is used from the earth in your own backyard! The most energy used is to dig the earth, and your muscle input doesn’t affect your carbon footprint whatsoever! The wall also doesn’t require nearly as much cement as a conventional wall. So much energy is put into creating cement when it is possible to acquire the same sort of structural integrity a concrete wall gives you just from your surrounding area.
The Super Adobe wall actually has high structural integrity just like cement because it is possible for it to withstand natural disasters such as fires and earthquakes, due to its low flammable materials content and it’s malleability to the earth beneath it. The best part of the Super Adobe wall, which can appeal to anyone, no matter their environmental consciousness, is that it is cheap! The most important and abundant material used, earth, you don’t even have to pay for.
I’ve really learned a lot from my experience working with Super Adobe at The Hive. It’s a great feeling to get hands on in a project and be able to say you were a part of it. That and getting to meet all the different people that are interested in the same thing creates such a wonderful feeling of community that is hard to find. As a college student, being a part of large lecture classes all day can get tiring. The Hive is a great escape for some fresh air, new skills, and great conversation. It was one of the highlights of my semester and I hope everyone enjoyed it like I did and will enjoy the finished product just as much!