Domes are among us and have been a part of agriculture for ages. Just take a look around; you’ll see them from capitol buildings to older church buildings. But what are some reasons why people are choosing to build one?
First, some background on the dome. The dome as stated, has been around for centuries. Just look at the Eskimos, they made igloos. It’s an example of a dome made of ice. But the history of the dome started in the 20th century where it marginally began to get popular. Now you can find them near the outskirts where building codes and zoning aren’t so stringent.
Two Types of Domes
The first is called a Monolithic dome. These are made of concrete and polyurethane foam sprayed over round forms.
This creates a smooth sphere shape. Monolithic domes are more likely to be used for a home than a Geodesic.
The second is called a Geodesic dome, which consist of triangular shaped panels to help create the structures integrity.
The triangles are usually very visible in the structure. As stated above, Geodesic structures are less likely to be used for a home.
The geodesic method is used more for larger structures such as:
- Sports stadiums
- Exhibition halls
- Children’s playgrounds
- Emergency Shelters
Some famous structures that use the geodesic dome structure are:
- The American exhibit as Expo 67 in Montreal
- The largest geodesic dome at 216m in Fukuoka in Japan
- Epcot Centre’s Spaceship Earth center
- The Aviary at Queen’s Zoo in America
- EcoCamp Patagonia hotel
- The biomes at the Eden Project in Cornwall in the UK
In fact there are roughly 300,000 geodesic domes around the world today.
Reviews on Dome Homes
So as anyone can see, the structure has been around for a while and for good reasons. Let's look at some reviews as a reference to why some people have chosen to use the dome as a home.
Beth the author of “Geodesic Dome Homes: The Good, The Bad, The Awesome” wrote, “They’re roomy and efficient. Spheres enclose more volume under less surface area than any other shape. This means fewer building materials and less surface area to affect internal air temperature. Plus, they’re strong. The dome shape is resistant to wind and can withstand heavy snows and trees falling on it.”
Beth also goes on to express “Dome homes are energy efficient, disaster resistant, and generally awesome inside and out. After living in a geodesic dome for a year, it’s a mystery to Chris and me that anyone would want to live in a rectangular house.”
Beth goes on to say “...there’s natural light, energy efficiency, and a weirdly wonderful flow…from the moment we walked into the “round house,” as the neighbors call it, we were hooked. We’re dome people.”
Beth goes on to share 3 reasons why she considers a dome home a positive experience for her and her family.
Three Reasons Why a Dome Home is a Positive Experience
“Being round makes dome homes strong against wind, including tornado and hurricane gusts. Depending on your building materials, windows, and doors, a dome home can also be fire resistant (helpful if your area is wildfire prone like ours)”.
If weight is applied to the dome, like snow or a tree, it won’t cave in because the outer shell of a dome home distributes load evenly. It supports itself (which means the sky’s the limit on how you design your interior, since bearing walls aren’t necessary to support the shell).
If you’re a person who regularly fears everything, like being squashed in your bedroom by a falling tree during a nighttime storm, a dome is a good choice for you.
Responsible living: Energy efficiency and ephemeralization.
Spheres enclose more volume with less surface area, meaning slower loss of indoor temps (as long as insulation, doors and windows are well installed).
Geodesic domes are designed to be highly insulated and use 30% fewer building materials. All of this translates to lower energy consumption
Just plain good energy.
Light multiplies on the internal angles of a dome. Plants love it. Musicians say the acoustics are divine.
Combine that with elements like natural wood, stone, creative use of rescued building materials, and the fact that no two rooms look alike, and you have magical energy.
In Dome Sweet Dome: Would You Live in a Dome Home? It’s expressed that the sphere “As an architectural form, the dome is one of the strongest built by man,” said Glenda Carlin-Busick, Vice President and Plans Coordinator for American Ingenuity. The partial sphere (that is a dome) is an aerodynamic shape that is very stable in high winds and can withstand heavy snow loads. Domes greatly exceed the structural requirements of the major building codes in the United States.
“It will be a super dome home,” said Vince, who is searching for a large parcel of land to build a community of dome homes in North Brevard.
With a price tag of around $160,000, Vince’s dome home is affordable, secure and efficient that won’t cost much to maintain. “He wants to build the dome to be as close to off the grid as possible,”
In Are Dome Homes The Next Big Thing? It’s said, “The dome's shape and inherent structural integrity make it both stronger and more energy-efficient than a typical family home. Domes can withstand powerful winds and strong earthquakes. Concrete domes have been known to survive flying debris as big as cars and direct hits from bombs.
"They are practically indestructible," said Johnny Delirious, spokesman for Monolithic Dome Institute in Texas, a company that has been building the domes for nearly 50 years. "Anyone who wants one wants it for the protection first."
They go on to share “The buildings are economical, costing about $120 to $150 per square foot, which is in line with the cost to build an average house, though their builders say they would cost less if they were mass-produced like the average home.”
So it looks like many people agree that dome homes are to their liking. They offer a lot of protection, they’re energy efficient and they are cost efficient too. They’ve been around for a long time, so why not jump on board and see all the benefits this structure has to offer?