Solar design can give a powerful advantage to homes located in the high desert. Cool nights offset overheating and large mass can offset large temperature swings.
The Firm recently completed the design of a modestly sized solar residence in Eldorado, just outside of Santa Fe. The home uses adobe for mass and concrete trombe walls to gather and store direct solar gain for nighttime distribution.
A low-tech yet quite green material, Adobe bricks are typically made from a mixture of local clay and crushed rock. It is sun dried as opposed to fired in a high temperature kiln.