• 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