• Use indigenous materials, such as rammed

earth, or agricultural products, such as

straw bales for exterior walls.

• Use wind and solar power, which are viable in

this region and fit within this cultural setting.

• “Harvest” rainwater for irrigation.

• Use drought-tolerant and wind resistant


• Plant wind breaks.

• Berm buildings and incorporate sod roofs

to save on heating and cooling costs.

• Place buildings on an east-west orientation

to maximize southern solar gains.

• Minimize the intense western exposure.

• Plant deciduous shade trees on the south

and west sides.

• Include basements and berms to take

advantage of the Earth’s thermal mass

for cooling and insulation.

• See the “Common

Principles” section in

the introduction to this

chapter for more

recommendations on





Chapter 4.5 Table of Contents

Reader’s Guide