Geodesic dome homes

When we think about a home normally a rectangular shape comes into mind. Domehouse is the modern eco-friendly construction style, which originated from Japan. A dome home is peculiar due to its shape of a sphere or rounded ellipsoid united in a shell framework. Japan is a leading country in developing sustainable housing solutions and dome houses have proven to be a successful idea for energy efficiency and severe weather resistance applied globally.

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A dome home is peculiar due to its shape of a sphere or rounded ellipsoid united in a shell framework. This way of construction is becoming a global trend and new approaches to its building constantly appear.

Two types of domehouses are geodesic and monolithic

Geodesic dome homes became popular in the United States thanks to the architect Buckminster Fuller, although the first construction of this kind was German planetarium built after World War I. The geodesic dome structure is a modular system of interconnected triangles or other shapes of blocks. The system appears to be very steady but there is a risk of the joints being disconnected. Geodesic dome homes have become available in a kit, which allows assembling a house without construction experience. 

Monolithic dome homes are built with a single thick layer of the material for the shell. In comparison to geodesic homes, they are more durable. 

The advantages of the domehouses:

  • Energy-efficiency. The reasons for that are the shape protecting it from the wind and the reduced area of the walls and roof, which does not need extra heating. As an example, a 50-foot dome house in Virginia showed $2,500 in utility savings for 5 years in comparison to a similar home in the area.
  • Resistant to severe weather conditions. Rounded shape protects from different extreme weather events. In particular, a monolithic dome home is known to have weathered tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
  • Healthy microclimate. Intensive air circulation is achieved due to the dome shape and such houses will definitely have more fresh air.
  • Futuristic design. The dome houses are for creative people who like to do things differently. Not only will they look extraordinary from the outside, but it will also require an innovative approach to create their interior design. The house distinctiveness may also be a negative characteristic, for example, when a homeowner association denies its construction in a certain area.
  • Low-cost construction. A dome house requires at least 25% less building materials than a standard home. Dome houses are compact and can be installed on a small piece of land but because of the absence of internal support feel very spacious.

Where are the domehouses used?

Spherical buildings won recognition among the supporters of eco lifestyle and innovative design. Domehouses are normally built using environmentally friendly materials and are utilized in:

  • country houses
  • eco-villages
  • creative office spaces
  • recreational areas and eco-resorts
  • high-tech development projects

World’s most famous dome buildings

  • Hemp dome house in North Africa.  A German architect Monika Brümmer has created a house made from hemp and powered by solar panels. Only locally produced materials were used for the construction, among which are hemp fiber composites, vegetable bio-resins, hemp concrete.
  • Mandala dome houses. The custom-built homes in British Columbia, Canada, are made of wood. Mandala is a spacious and fancy house built in harmony with the surrounding nature. Such buildings may have panoramic windows and double-height living.
  • The NASA Mars exploration project. ‘Mars Ice Home’ is a project with NASA Langley Research Center to develop the best building to stay on Mars. The best option turned out to be a domehouse made of ice. Such a type of home would be a perfect shelter for the explorers to be protected in a severe Martian environment and provide a safe place.
  • Whitepod Hotel in Switzerland. A luxury eco-hotel with private chalets offers an environmentally-friendly experience to its demanding guests. High-tech suites with full amenities create a new concept in tourism between glamping and standard hotels.

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