A Geodesic Dome…what is that?
Geodesic: [definition] Denoting the shortest possible line between two points on a sphere. A geodesic sphere is a convex polyhedron made from triangles.
A geodesic dome is a building based on the geometry of a geodesic sphere. It is a hemispherical thin-shell structure and its triangular elements are rigid and distribute the stress throughout the structure. Thus the domes give the strongest, most robust and largest volume of space, for the least surface area compared to any other accommodation structure.
The triangular elements are made of galvanised steel and held together by aluminium bolts. The way the triangular elements are connected together causes them to create a beautiful dome shape with huge height and room. With its heat resistant thick PVC skin pulled tight across the triangular skeleton, a geodesic dome looks almost space.
A little history for the techies (Wiki)
The first dome that could be called “geodesic” in every respect was designed after World War 1 by Walther Bakersfield, chief engineer of the Carl Zeiss optical company, for the purpose of housing his planetarium projector. A first, small dome was patented, constructed by the firm of Dykerhoff and Wydmann on the roof of the Zeiss plant in Jena, Germany. A larger dome, called “The Wonder of Jena”, opened to the public in July 1926. Some 20 years later, R. Buckminster Fuller named the dome “geodesic” and went on to develop ideas for its use. Although Fuller was not the original inventor, he is credited with the U.S. popularization of the idea, for which he received a U.S. patent in 1954.
Constructing and preparing a Geodesic Dome
Our time lapse video shows how we construct a geodesic dome, step by step:
It’s an extremely quick process when you have a few strong hands to assist you and even quicker if you have a handy crane. In a short four hours your dome is erect and secured. Each dome sits on a deep bed of chalk covered by a layer of fresh soil, allowing all water to drain away quickly. Each of these chalk beds is surrounded by Patmian rock, hand cut and laid. All of our domes are pinned with 14 x 1 metre steel rods driven into the earth and welded to foot plates, and the aprons of the PVC skins are buried into the chalk stands; even in the fiercest of winds the interior remains an oasis of utter stillness.
Preparing the interiors
There is a multitude of choices when it comes to furnishing the interiors, from bare earth to steel floors, electricity to wood burning stoves, full en-suite bathrooms to a bucket and basin. At eCALA Life we use two dome sizes, one for sleeping and one for learning, and each is treated differently.
Our 6m diametre, 30m2, 3.6m high bedroom domes each have individually constructed wooden floors and interior walls offering warmth, comfort and luxury. The bathrooms have Iroko hardwood flooring, allowing water to run off or evaporate. We have full electricity and plumbing providing wonderful showers. We have innovated a cutting-edge solution with the most advanced chemical toilet in Europe which is 100% eco-friendly and does not require old-fashioned waste and sewerage systems.
Our 9m diametre learning domes provide an enormous 65m2 of interior space and stand 4.6m high with a huge bay window facing the sea. Cushioned eco flooring in the form of coco-mat provides a state-of-the-art surface for teaching and learning everything from leadership to Pilates. – are you definitely running Pilates courses? If not, change this to Yoga
Building a village of Geodesic Domes
The amazingly huge space within each bedroom dome belies a tiny footprint of 6m diametre on the outside. This allows us to cluster a village full of domes into a relatively small area whilst maintaining privacy.
Repairs and maintenance
A properly constructed dome from a reliable manufacturer – eCALA Life uses the best in Europe: www.domeseurope.com – will last 15 years. Galvanised steel posts, aluminium bolts and the best welded skins in the world ensure your dome will require simply ‘washing’ occasionally. This is another beautiful thing about the geodesic dome, it requires very low maintenance.
Uses of a Geodesic Dome
eCALA Life uses the best, most reliable dome manufacturer in Europe: www.domeseurope.com When properly constructed these domes will last for 15 years. The use galvanised steel, aluminium and best welded skins in the world ensure the domes simply require ‘washing’ occasionally. This is another beautiful thing about the geodesic domes, they require very low maintenance. These domes are so versatile they can also be used as conference or event venues, classrooms, garden rooms, playrooms, therapy studios.
If you like this blog and want more information about geodesic domes please contact us or our friends Joost and Jan at www.domeseurope.com who will be delighted to help you.
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