Photo courtesy of Timberline Geodesics.
If you've been thinking of building your own home, why not build an energy-efficient, weather resistant, affordable, and totally unique one? Geodesic domes are available in manufactured kits that allow you (yes, you personally!) to build a home with only minimal construction knowledge and a handful of common tools. The structures are eye-catching and have many advantages over conventional homes.
A geodesic dome is one of the strongest building designs because it is comprised of triangular panels that form a sphere. By its very nature, a sphere has 1/3 less surface area than a comparable box-style structure, which allows air to pass over the dome with less resistance. The spherical design also distributes stress more evenly, reducing the effect of strong winds, tectonic shifting, and large amounts of snow.
Because a geodesic dome has less exposed surface area than a conventional home, outside weather has less impact on indoor temperatures, making the dome an extremely efficient structure to heat and cool. Additionally, the curve of the sphere causes internal air to circulate much more efficiently. There's a reason why radar towers in Antarctica incorporate the geodesic design!
Though costs vary, you can expect to pay less than $40,000 for a 40-foot-diameter dome, which provides about 2,000 square feet of interior space. Seems like a fantastic price, right? Well, it is. But don't forget the cost of finishing the interior, wiring for electricity, installing plumbing, and all the other work that goes into making a house habitable. In the end, the cost is about the same as other homes.
Geodesic dome houses are totally customizable—you can add windows, skylights, and additional rooms off the center sphere with little effort. In fact, most manufacturers offer to build custom designs at minimal added cost. Because there is no need for load-bearing walls to hold up the roof, the interior of your dome is open to accommodate any design or layout you can envision.
For more information on geodesic homes, visit Timberline Geodesics.
Until next time,
The Home Know-It-All