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Why Choose to Build Dome Homes? What Are the Benefits?

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Introduction

Around 1960 to 1970, constructing a dome home was seen as a way to express individuality and a commitment to environmentalism. However, as the trend gained popularity, so did the criticism against it. Despite the increasing skepticism, dome homes didn't lose all their appeal. If you're unsure about whether to build one, this article will address concerns and help you make a rational decision about dome homes.

About Domes Homes

Although dome homes are believed to have originated in prehistoric times, the wigwams of Native American tribes and the igloos of the Inuit in modern times are the earliest and most accurate records of personal dome dwellings we know of. This suggests that the advantages of dome as dwellings were discovered by our ancestors long ago. With the emergence of new building materials in the 19th century and a better understanding of structural mechanics in the 20th century, the popularity of dome homes gained momentum.

Historic Dome Homes
During the 1960s and 1970s, the rise and prevalence of modernist architectural styles emphasized simplicity, functionality, and innovation. At the same time, there was a growing concern for environmental conservation and sustainable development. Dome homes were promoted as perfectly aligned with these two principles, attracting a large following of enthusiasts.
Dome Home In 1970

However, as the cheers grew louder, so did the dissenting voices. Some people began openly criticizing dome homes, pointing out potential issues. Even some former dome home enthusiasts joined the ranks of critics, expressing the inconveniences they experienced living in dome homes.

Dome Houses: Top Fears from People

Many folks only scratch the surface when it comes to understanding dome homes. Here are the top three mainstream drawbacks often associated with them.

Leakage

The mainstream dome homes today are divided into monolithic dome homes and geodesic dome homes. Monolithic dome homes have a solid structure with superior sealing compared to traditional homes, so they rarely leak unless the construction techniques are outdated. Therefore, concerns about dome homes leaking mainly focus on geodome homes.

Geodesic Dome Frames

Geodesic dome homes consist of frames made of multiple triangular structures. Traditional geodesic dome homes indeed tend to leak between the frames. However, various geodesic dome kit suppliers have been working on improving this issue. Nowadays, different solutions for preventing leaks in geodesic domes have been developed, including updates and iterations on sealing methods and materials, as well as innovative approaches to waterproofing layers.

Shelter Dome has almost perfected its waterproofing method for geodome homes. Effective leak prevention measures have been implemented at the skirt edge and panel joints of the geodesic dome. The skirt edge is sealed with pressure bars, and a PVC waterproof mat is placed at the bottom layer of the dome to prevent liquid seepage. Velcro is used at panel joints to increase waterproofing coverage. Unless intentionally sprayed with high-pressure water, leaks and seepage are unlikely to occur.

Poor Ventilation

The airtight and waterproof nature of closed dome structures makes them a popular choice for industrial material storage. However, in residential settings, this feature can pose some problems, affecting comfort and health. Living in a poorly ventilated dome home, especially with smokers or gas usage, can lead to various issues. Prolonged lack of ventilation can trap moisture, leading to mold growth, impacting living conditions and even posing safety hazards.

In the early days of dome home construction, ventilation issues were often overlooked, leaving many homeowners struggling with poor airflow. However, many dome builders and kit suppliers now recognize this problem and offer solutions by designing ventilation and exhaust systems. Unless you're considering purchasing a historic dome home, ventilation issues typically won't be a concern.

Challenging Space Utilization

When discussing the drawbacks of dome homes, one of the most common issues is how to maximize the indoor space. While doubling the diameter of a dome home may quadruple the floor area and increase the interior space eightfold, effectively utilizing the interior remains a challenging task.

Most furniture and appliances are designed for rectangular homes. However, the walls inside domes extend vertically with varying angles and heights. Consequently, rearranging furniture and appliances and making full use of the vertical space pose challenges for many homeowners or interior designers. Some homeowners even resort to customizing furniture and appliances to adapt to the unique structure of dome homes.

Fortunately, many dome home builders and kit suppliers now offer modular space solutions, including modular kitchens and bathrooms. This means that when you decide to build a dome home, you don't have to worry about arranging existing furniture or concern yourself with space utilization issues. Your builder will take care of everything.

outdoor dome living, geodesic dome kit

Why Choose to Build Dome Homes?

In the past few decades, the construction techniques and technology for dome homes have greatly improved. At the same time, rumors and misconceptions about the drawbacks of dome homes have been debunked. Therefore, now people have plenty of reasons to choose to build their dream dome homes. Here are the reasons why you should consider building a dome home.

Striking Appearance

The appearance of a dome home is its most notable feature. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people find domes charming and might be drawn to them at first sight. Others may think they're not aesthetically pleasing and can't accept their unique appearance. But no one can deny that domes are eye-catching.

There are mainly two common types of dome homes: the monolithic/concrete dome home and the geodesic dome home. Monolithic domes are typically made of concrete, with a smooth and even surface that gives a sense of solidity and strength. On the other hand, geodesic domes are constructed from multiple triangular frameworks, offering an artistic and surreal appearance.

Besides residential buildings, geodesic domes are often used in tourist spots and accommodations like luxury camping domes. If you're unsure whether this type of home appeals to you, you can visit a luxury camping site with domes and experience it firsthand.

Amazing Dome Home

Enhanced Structure

Regular houses have their structural load points concentrated at specific support points or structural parts, which can lead to pressure points and potential damage when facing external forces like hurricanes or earthquakes.

On the other hand, dome-shaped houses don't have sharp edges or corners. This means that pressure gets distributed evenly across the entire surface of the dome, reducing the risk of pressure points. Plus, dome houses have a seamless structure. According to FEMA, dome houses are officially recognized as safe spaces during natural disasters like tornadoes and Category 5 hurricanes. That's why in areas prone to hurricanes or earthquakes, people prefer dome houses for better safety.

Alternatively, geodesic dome roofs can also provide strong construction when using special materials and design. However, it depends on the design plan from the builder or kit supplier. Before choosing a geodesic dome roof to withstand natural disasters, make sure to discuss your needs clearly with your builder or supplier, and ensure it meets the required safety standards.

Low Costs & Energy Consumption

In terms of upfront costs, building a dome house with the same materials theoretically costs less compared to traditional houses. This is because dome structures are simpler in design and don't require the same level of precision as traditional houses. So, dome houses use purer materials and are built more efficiently, which can effectively save on material use, construction steps, and labor.

As for long-term costs, the interior of a dome house is easier to maintain a stable temperature, reducing energy consumption and energy costs. This is because dome house structures are simpler, without any sharp corners or edges, reducing the formation of thermal bridges, allowing residents to enjoy a more comfortable and energy-efficient living environment.

However, there are some exceptions to consider. If you try to build a geodesic dome home on your own, you might find that materials could be wasted. This is because making the frame requires cutting from the overall materials, and the leftover materials inevitably become construction waste. This isn't environmentally friendly or energy-efficient. Therefore, the best way to build a geodesic dome house is to seek help from a builder or dome kit supplier. They have specialized equipment to mass-produce geodesic dome frames, minimizing construction costs and energy consumption as much as possible.

geo dome tent

Geodesic Dome Homes? Let Shelter Dome Help You

Shelter Dome is a brand under Shelter Structure, specializing in manufacturing geodesic dome products. Established in 2017, Shelter Dome has extensive experience in geodesic dome construction and has successfully completed projects in various countries and regions including Japan, New Zealand, Jordan, the Philippines, and Israel. We offer customers the best value-for-money design solutions to create durable geodesic dome residences. Whether you're looking for a classic geodesic dome house structure or a design with special features, feel free to consult Shelter Dome. We'll plan the perfect geodesic house solution for you.

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