Building with adobe — a material created by mixing soil with straw, sand, and other organic materials — is an ancient construction method, with its earliest uses dating back to 8300 BC. It became very popular in arid and semiarid communities where wood was, and still is, scarce. “Adobe” derives from the Arabic “al ṭūb” meaning “the bricks.” The adobe-building process uses compressed earth to build low energy, fireproof, biodegradable buildings that last many years if constructed correctly. Just under a third of the global population still uses earthen structures today, especially in developing countries. The building process and resulting houses are both sustainable because the materials are locally abundant and can create very energy-efficient buildings.