Ten amazing facts about domes.
Domes are amazing structures and just in case your not aware of exactly
how fantastic domes are then here’s a few amazing facts:
1. Domes are the most efficient structures known to man, they use less material,
are lighter and stronger than any other type of building bar none.
2. Domes use much less material than conventional buildings but are miles stronger.
For example my dome is made from 16-gauge aluminium there are no support beams across the 24-foot diameter,
only the skin is used for support. To enclose the same volume you would need 30% more material and loads more structural
metal/wood in a square building. If you built any other structure using only the skin as support it would simply fall down!
3. Because domes have at least 30% less surface area than other shaped buildings it takes at least 30% less energy to heat or
cool them. Yes the same size building with the same volume and the same thickness insulation takes at least 30% more energy
to heat or cool just because it’s not dome shaped. Long thin building and building with extensions perform worst of all.
4. Domes are naturally hurricane resistant. Tract style buildings generate huge amounts of turbulence when high winds pass
over them, causing massive low-pressure witch sucks the roof off. High winds can pass smoothly over a dome because it has no
corners and flat surfaces to cause turbulence high pressure air presses the dome down towards the ground.
5. Domes are not a new invention. The Pantheon, one of the most impressive buildings in Rome, was built in A.D. 117-125
it’s made from an early type of concrete. Igloos may have been around far longer but it’s impossible to tell as the Inuit
community was isolated from the rest of the world, and believed themselves the only people in the world until the beginning
of the 19th century.
6. Domes only become super strong when they are fixed to the ground. Try this simple experiment: Cut a ping-pong ball in half
to form a dome, you will notice that each half is floppy and distorts easily. Now glue one half to a flat peace of cardboard
and see how much stronger it becomes.
7. Domes have acoustic qualities like no other building. If you lay on the floor in the centre of a dome when you talk it
sounds like you have your head in a large metal pipe, if you stand at on side of a dome a person standing opposite can hear
you whisper from the other side of the room.
8. Buckminster fuller, the inventor of the geodesic dome designed geodesic spheres that when filled with warm air could float
around the earth housing hundreds of people. They would be half a mile in diameter and a rise of just a few degrees in
temperature could make them float like huge airships.
9. Some of the largest buildings in the world are domes; London’s millennium dome and the Eden domes were record breakers when
they were built. The Miyazaki Ocean Dome in Japan is known as the world”s largest indoor water park (300m-100m-38m).
The Georgia Dome is the largest cable-supported domed stadium in the world it covers 8.9 acres and covers 1.6 million square
feet on seven levels. The 290-foot high roof is composed of 130 Teflon-coated fibreglass panels – covering 8.6 acres.
10. I’ve got one… And it’s great!
* [[Choice of materials]]
* [[LINKS]] Dome related
* [[finite element analysis FEA]]
* effectively excludes
** rain, dampness, wind, cold, and sun
** noise, cold and heat
** UV stability
** corrosion resistance
* A minority of Americans (who Earth Quarterly is designed for) have a more penetrating insight into the whole “shelter question,”
and we ask ourselves questions like,
“Why should houses be so large?
Why should they be so expensive?
Why should they waste so many resources?
Why should we have to enslave ourselves for the rest of our lives just to have a decent house?
Why do contractors, bankers, realtors and escrow agents drive big fancy cars?”
After we answer these questions to our satisfaction, we get to the biggest question of them all: “What can we do about all this?”
[[ notes ]]
[[ design ]]
[[ construction ]]
[[papercrete fibrous cement]] Other forms of papercrete include padobe, fidobe, fibercrete, and fibercement.
-Will support molds if it remains warm and moist for too long.
-Will wick moisture from the ground into the wall if it buried in dirt.
-Becomes soft and will deteriorate if kept damp (especially underground) for too long.
-Dimensionally very stable both in moisture, drying out, and temp ranges
– It will hold fasteners to some extent, especially screws, without cracking.
-Highly insulating (about R-2 1/2 per inch).
-Does not support flames, but will smolder for days if it does catch fire. (cement makes it fire-proof)
It resists rodent and insect infestation.
Ideally for dry climates, but can be used in wet climates as well.
Used for walls/roofing.
Less dense than concrete. Multi-level structures possible.
Good insulation properties