The Geodesic domes are homes that date back decades but were part of the future. WOW, does that even make sense?
The spherical structure is slowly becoming the future home when considering climate change, wildfires, floods, sustainability, and energy efficiency.
Still, what are these dome homes available in DIY kits for you to put in place yourself or have placed? Well, you will find out soon as we step back in time and move forward a bit until today.
What is a Geodesic Dome Structure?
The dome homes are not a new concept and were invented by Buckminster Fuller, an architect, system theorist, and futurist who designed affordable housing in World War II.
The reason was a serious housing shortage after the war ended. Since the first Geodesic dome homes were prototype single-family dwellings developed for serious housing shortages, many have become available as geodesic dome kits.
In the kit, you find all the needed materials like PVC pipes, screws, ball connections, and more to help you with your construction. Another surprising thing is that the sphere shape uses fewer building materials, is resilient to earthquakes, and can withstand high winds.
Hence, homeowners can use fewer materials and save on costs, including energy, as these domes provide unparalleled strength and are energy efficient with minimal exposed surface area and elements.
The reason is that the interior space has no walls or blockages, and air energy can circulate without obstruction, making it more efficient for cooling and heating.
Geodesic Dome Spherical Structure DIY Kits
When wanting to invest in your own dome homes, you can find different structural strengths for specialized uses like living comfortably.
Ekodome Terra Dome – Most Versatile
The Ekodome Terra has a spherical shape ideal for different building purposes. The diameter is 22 square footage with a height of 13.55 feet. It can become a tiny house or glamping pod with enough overhead space to include a loft.
You receive all the building materials that comprise the hub connectors, rubber seals, strut caps, and door frames. Furthermore, you can choose a polycarbonate frame or marine plywood, which can affect the wind to snow loads.
Why choose the plywood version? The spherical form can withstand wind loads up to 200 miles per hour. Next up, we have?
Pacific Domes – Best Luxury
With Pacific Domes, you can customize the entire structure as it can hold snow, rain, and wind. Still, it is not your typical geodesic dome greenhouse. No, you can choose your levels of:
Features like a wood stove and more.
It is a popular choice with many homeowners in Arizona through to Michigan, offering versatility to 36 square feet at a competitive price. With a crew of three to four people, assembling takes up to 16 hours.
These home domes have a galvanized steel frame with a fabric cover, a huge bay window with a watertight door, and ten round removable windows. So, if you want luxury in a home, this eco-house is what you need.
The best part is that you can expand the living area by connecting it with two more domes.
Easy Domes – Best Energy-Efficiency
The Easy Domes do not use a glazed surface area and are primarily precision-cut timber mounted on CE-certified plywood with pre-drilled holes for iron bolts. You find the lightweight construction available in three sizes to choose from.
All the material for the structures is non-toxic spruce boards with a grass turf roof, while the interior space is covered with birch-plywood or gypsum. The insulation comprises 350 mm of wood wool and 50 mm of flax on the inner sections.
Neither do their structures have any humidity concerns with heating and cooling, as it does not have a membrane to allow the structure to breathe. You get a spacious living area with a kitchen, staircase, two bedrooms with a bath and toilet, and a solar hot water storage tank.
Natural Space Domes – Tough Homes
Natural Space Domes have years of experience in creating natural disaster geodesic domes. You can find an extensive library of plans to develop your own dome homes with them.
Furthermore, they offer you elements to add to the traditional structures.
A standout with them is the structural strength the down-wall ventilation system provides to provide natural air to circulate without obstruction over the fiberglass insulation.
Ai Domes – Best Concrete
With American Ingenuity, you can find geodesic dome kits for owners, builders, and contractors who can withstand hurricanes, enjoy a concrete vacation, or even set up a commercial business.
AI Domes uses prefab-reinforced steel concrete in the construction with insulated panels and drywalls on the interior. Instead of a spherical form, the aerodynamic shape with concrete exterior is durable and fire-resistant.
When selecting your floor plan, you can choose the number of entryways, door dormers, windows, and more in the kit.
Pros and Cons of Building Dome Homes
As with any building, the geodesic dome homes have benefits and advantages, and we will explore them both.
Pros of Dome Homes
Here are some advantages of building a home with stagnant corners in a geodesic dome shape.
Enjoy Fantastic Echoes to Natural Acoustics
Byzantine churches have used half-domes for centuries to help project clergy chants and are found in many opera halls around the world. With a dome home, you can connect with nature and listen to the rain, birds, and wind lying in your bed.
Geodesic domes are efficient structures with a sphere shape allowing air to circulate freely for outstanding ventilation. The durable design is aerodynamic, helping to withstand anything nature throws at it.
In terms of constructed buildings, it presents you with the largest volume to get the most out of your living to the surface area.
Energy Efficient Design
Geodesic dome homes occupy less than 30% of surface area and use less than 30% of energy for heating and cooling.
With continuous airflow, the AC unit will not need to work hard to keep you cool. It also depends on the material used to construct the dome as well.
But if it does get too hot, you can always open your skylights to enjoy natural ventilation. Hence, you have economical greenhouses to build to save on heat and cooling costs.
Geodesic Domes Use Fewer Materials
Whether you use PVC pipe, concrete, or timer when constructed, you use fewer materials and can complete your house faster than in a traditional house. You have no additional difficulty setting it up as there are no load-bearing walls or internal columns but a spatial facility with eight times the volume compared to a small brick home to arrange as you need.
Cons Geodesic Dome House
As you can see, the dome home has many advantages but also comes with disadvantages:
The main concern is living in an area with distinctive codes and restrictions regarding building, and getting a permit for a geodesic dome can be difficult.
While the completed geodesic dome uses fewer materials, you can end up with a lot of waste as it forms triangles cut out of rectangular sheets.
When rigging the lighting and appliances to remain within the building codes, it becomes a challenge.
The geodesic dome house is relaxing for living in nature but can become noisy in an urban environment.
Compared to traditional homes selling a geodesic dome is not as easy.
Depending on the geodesic domes you invest in, you may have problems with condensation to mold living in a warm and humid climate.
Wrapping It Up
Living in a sphere like the geodesic domes has advantages, but you must also consider the disadvantages.
The cost to set it up is less as the construction material is less, and has a small surface area with loads of living space, making it energy efficient.
Still, the design leaves you with potential concerns like code violations, moisture, and leaks. Thus we recommend buying a geodesic dome home kit instead of constructing one yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can expect to pay from $85 to $250 per square foot, but on average, the price is $175.
Yes, you need planning permissions, but when you invest in a geodesic dome home kit, the provider typically has everything required for the installation process.
The recommended foundation is concrete or wood to match your dome’s diameter, providing flooring support and a watertight seal.
Most of the time, a metal frame is used, but you find them with PVC as well and it is economical and lightweight to cost-effective.
Yes, you can use Oxford cotton as a lining as it is multi-foil insulation with thermal insulation and is breathable.
Most geodesic dome homes can support more than 200 lbs in weight and depending on the structure used.