adobe wall under construction

Current Courses & Registration

View our SPRING 2023 Course Offerings →

Please note: You must apply to SFCC and complete an admission form before registering for classes. More information about the registration process can be found here. For questions about upcoming courses and the registration process, please contact the School of Trades, Advanced Technology, and Sustainability at 505-428-1388 or e-mail lead instructor Kurt Gardella at

About the Program

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This program provides you with the knowledge and skills you’ll need to gain employment in the growing natural building fields of adobe construction, rammed earth, CEB construction and natural plastering. The program also functions as a stepping stone for entrepreneurs who wish to start a business in the natural building industry (e.g. adobe/compressed earth block production, bagged earthen plasters, natural insulation materials). We also welcome non-professional owner-builders who wish to obtain the skills needed to design and build their own adobe home.

Topics of Instruction

We teach you to build an adobe structure from foundation to roof using traditional New Mexican adobe construction principles combined with an emphasis on modern green building practices that incorporate sustainable building materials. We offer courses in:

  • Passive Solar Adobe Design (site planning, building layout, natural heating and cooling)
  • Adobe Construction Basics (soil selection and testing, adobe block production)
  • Adobe Wall Construction (earthen mortars, block coursing, lintels, bond beams)
  • Floor Design and Construction (poured earth, earth block & rammed earth floors)
  • Finish Practices (interior and exterior earthen & lime plasters, natural paints)
  • Roof Design and Construction (flat roofs, shed roofs, gable roofs for adobe structures)
  • Preservation Practices (common examples of deterioration in adobe structures and their solutions)
  • Adobe Building Practicum (hands-on field work with local companies & organizations)
  • Rammed Earth Construction
  • Compressed Earth Block Construction


Kurt Gardella (Lead Adjunct Instructor): Adobe Mason & DVL Earthbuilding Specialist
Ernest Aragon (Adjunct Instructor): Adobe Mason & Contractor
Issac Logsdon (Adjunct Instructor): Natural Plaster & Adobe Preservation Specialist
John Jordan (Adjunct Instructor): CEB Specialist

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Our Partners

Career Opportunities

  • Entry Level Adobe Construction Worker
  • Entry Level Project Planner/Sustainability Coordinator
  • Natural Building Product Entrepreneur