Imagine if you bought a dome home to live in becuase you thought it would be the most efficient way for you to afford a home that would last a long time and use the least amount of energy. Now imagine what the neighbors would say in this republican country of ours. Even more practical in thought would you be able to have a resale value if you needed to sell it? Once you start changing the design to fit the more traditional look you have just defeated your purpose of low cost. So is the dome home only for 3rd world countries or is it also for us? Of course you will have your own aesthetic preferences but a practical person rests on longevity. As the world population increases and resources get more scarce efficiency in design becomes more important. What are your thoughts of living in a sustainable home?

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Comment by Earther on November 8, 2010 at 3:23pm
Thanks John, I have been looking online at Monolithic Domes. I was recently thinking an egg shape would give me two floors and still the wind resistancy and structural support would be just as good as a dome. I have an interest in what people think of the aesthetics of the dome shape specifically though. I do not think the shape looks bad but some people do so I wonder why it is not desirable.
Comment by John B Hodges on November 7, 2010 at 2:58am
There are many possible designs of an energy-efficient home. There are many possible designs for low-cost homes. There are many "kit" homes designed to be assembled (relatively) quickly and easily on-site.

Back in the 1970's I looked into Dome homes, and found in the Denver Public Library a book called "Shelter", which included as an appendix "Domebook 3", written by the authors of Domebooks 1 and 2. They had concluded after much experience that their earlier passion for domes had been "smart but not wise". Domes have an advantage for buildings where you want a large clear floor area and good accoustics. For example, they'd be good for a meeting hall, concert hall, theatre, gymnasium/multipurpose room. For a house, they don't have any particular advantage over rectangular designs.

For energy efficiency you want (1) a compact shape (2) good construction standards, so the house is not "leaky"; the wind does not push air in or out of the house through cracks or seams (3) a good standard of insulation.

A surprising amount can be done with just a few points: a simple rectangular shape no more than twice as long as it is deep, oriented with a long side facing south (or slightly east of south), 80% of the total window area should be on the south side, evergreen trees on the north side, deciduous trees to the east and west, no trees on the south. Just that will cut your heating and cooling bills in half.

I should give you links and/or books to find, but all my knowledge of this is dated, I haven't looked into it since the 1980's.
Comment by Earther on November 4, 2010 at 5:38pm
What is awful? The dome idea? If so why do you think so?



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