Antonio Bel works in the field of traditional building, more specifically in the manufacture of adobes and in the manufacture of walls made of adobe.
The earths he sometimes uses are local, as he knows where to find them in the area. Some time ago he always looked for them himself. However, nowadays, he only does it for small commissions, as today it is usually worthwhile going to a quarry and using the material they have available. After analysing the earths, he carries out the optimal mixtures, dosing them depending on their nature. The other materials intervening in the process are water and straw.
Once the mixture is kneaded and the blocks are made, they are left to dry for a couple of days, a week at the most. After the drying process they are ready to be placed on site, using mud mortars (generally of the same type) and, sometimes, limestone mortars.
Once the wall is finished it may be rendered or not, depending on the type of work: if it is a building for agricultural use, usually, it is not rendered, or maybe only the western façade is, since it is the most exposed to adverse climate conditions. Nevertheless, it degrades slowly, progressively, even though its durability is greater than what is commonly believed: if it is carried out correctly, over a period of 100 years it loses around 3 cm of thickness.
Antonio learnt the craft by working with other builders belonging to his father’s family.
Dwellings with adobe walls, both new constructions and restorations in Zaragoza, in Barboles and in San Mateo de Gállego.