I have a spanish style home CA 1929 with an addition in the 1970s.  The external appearance is very consistent, indicating involvement by an architect or design professional of some type.  The appearance is adobe construction with red tile.  On the one place I could look into the outside of the wall it appears to be stucco, but I did not see the metal screen, that I associate with stucco.  This is a large house 6000+ sf.  The Home owners are not interested in the house details, he thought they had 3 furnaces, when they actually have 8 heat pumps.


Does anyone have some input on modeling this type of wall construction?

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There are numerous ways to install stucco & if it is adobe it might be adhered directly to it, over foam, etc... Ifyou can use a snake camera, you should be able to view the diffrent layers to see how it was done.


As for the R values, etc... you may want to review this site: http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/QandA/adobe/mass.htm

Adobe is my favorite building material, which is why I choose to live in a 120 year old adobe house. The thermal characteristics are hard to define, so I have included a couple of links to the best research available. Most of what you read is highly subjective, so these 2 resources are invaluable.

Adobe as a building material has a distinctive thermal characteristic which differentiates it from other conventional building materials such as cement, clay and insulation materials. Adobe is found to be a thermal regulating and not a conducting or an insulating building material.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0741983X9090025W. 

Long out of print, SWSA is making the New Mexico Passive Solar Home Temperature Survey available again, as interest in all types of solar returns. This work documents the performance of 30 actual passive solar homes that had been built (by 1987) throughout a variety of New Mexico climate zones from Taos to Las Cruces and from Carlsbad to Farmington. They range in size from 750 sq. ft. to 3600 sq. ft. of heated area. Shown is the performance of each structure, a simple floor plan, elevation, specifications, house section, owner's comments, etc. Wall types include Adobe, wood frame, and concrete block. Passive solar applications include Direct Gain, Trombe Wall and Sunspace (greenhouse). The dwellers participating in the survey measured the temperature swings within their homes, following a schedule and using max./min. thermometers provided by NM State. The reader can pick and choose effective solar methods (and avoid mistakes) by learning from the experiences of those who did the building and living. 151 8 ½" x 11" B&W pages with charts, house sections, photos, floor plans, etc.http://www.adobebuilder.com/passive-solar-home-book.html

Stucco does not need lath when applied directly over adobe, but most of the houses I have looked at have metal lath reinforcing the corners. Remember to use a lime based plaster to patch this, since modern stuccos are cement based and way too hard to expand and contract with the rest of the building. It is difficult to tell from the photos, but I think all those cracks could be from a cement-based over plaster. This is bad news for moisture migrating through the mud to the exterior and could cause extensive damage anywhere water enters the wall.


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