Buckeye, AZ – One of Arizona's only adobe companies is preparing to start mass-producing the earthen bricks after having moved to Buckeye.
Greg Hartman and Casey Fromm, owners of FHP Builders, bought Old Pueblo Adobe this year and moved it from Tucson to the southwest Valley, the Arizona Business Gazette reported.
FHP Builders has been using adobe materials from Old Pueblo to build luxury-masonry homes for more than four years. When Old Pueblo's owners lost some of their land in Tucson to freeway expansion, they decided to retire, and the business passed to Hartman and Fromm. So far, the company has made only small batches of bricks as the owners look for the blend of clay and water that is strongest and has the best aesthetics.
“We're still playing with our mix,” Hartman told the Gazette.
Producing the best bricks while exceeding building-code requirements is the company's goal, Fromm added. Once the materials are mixed, the bricks are put into forms, where they rest for two days. During the summer, the bricks take about 10 days to dry; in the winter it can take up to a month.
The finished blocks weigh 50 pounds each and will be made into walls 16 inches thick. They require less energy to produce and help make buildings more energy-efficient. Part of adobe's appeal to buyers is that it's green, Hartman said.
Hartman said Old Pueblo's goal is to make about half a million bricks per year.
“There is very little adobe product out there,” Hartman said. “That is really our advantage.”