What is Geodesic Dome Construction?
Geodesic dome construction as a residential building looks like a hemisphere that is standing on the ground on its flat base.
Geodesic dome construction was invented and patented by the American architect Fuller after the World War II. After the war, people especially needed quick and low-cost housing options, and Fuller tried solving that issue.
We cannot say that he succeeded in addressing the issue, because the final result – a geodesic dome construction – if used specifically as a residential house, turned out to be not that inexpensive. However, thanks to the Fuller’s invention, geodesic dome constructions started to be frequently used in constructing exhibition facilities, industrial facilities, research stations, and so on. Well, and of course, as residential housing.
Geodesic dome construction is usually a construction that is as close to the spherical shape as possible, and consists of straight line wooden or metal rods that are connected into triangles using special connectors or screws and bolts. A kind of a hemisphere that is comprised of cells.
The price of such a construction for the end user is very much dependent on the number of the triangles selected for the surface of the dome.
To put it simply, the more triangles you end up using, the smaller they will be in size, the more you will pay for connecting elements and the more work the construction will take to assemble – therefore, the more expensive the final geodesic dome construction will be. However, for the same reasons it will be more beautiful – closer to a perfect spherical shape.
In real life house-building a small number of triangles for residential domes is used, and a bigger number – for large industrial domes.
Construction advantages of the geodesic dome construction:
– It doesn’t require an expensive foundation, because the structure of the house is lightweight
– You can build it fairly quickly without using heavy construction equipment
– Universal, pre-made elements are used in construction, which means that if you like to do everything yourself, you can buy in different stores the pieces that in the end will come together
– The construction is very durable and resistant to external effects. That means that you can walk on the dome surface during the installation process, and that the end product will be resistant to earthquakes and hurricanes ( Click to read my post Hurricane resistant homes). That is if you didn’t muddle during the construction process.
Aesthetic advantages of the geodesic dome construction:
– You can structure the plan of the interior any way you like, because inside there are no load-bearing walls, which we are constricted by in typical houses.
– The look of a geodesic dome. It is very unique and inspiring
Economic advantages of the geodesic dome construction:
– Heating and air conditioning is cheaper for a geodesic dome than a classic house
– The final cost of building a geodesic dome construction will be lower than the cost of building a classic rectangular house, given the same useful space.
Well, some negatives:
– If you decide to design, calculate and build a geodesic dome construction on your own, instead of ordering a finished product, you will have to face the complexity of the calculations for strength and environmental stability (hurricanes, earthquakes, snow, etc.)
– The selection of the coating materials is very limited (usually canvas cover). In warmer climates it’s not critical, but imagine that you live in a tent in Alaska…
– When used for residential house construction you need special non-standard windows – triangular in shape
– And, well, no matter how hard you try, the end result will never be a perfect sphere
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