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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
What is a Geodesic Dome?
Conceived by R. Buckminster Fuller ("Bucky"), a geodesic dome is a sphere-like structure composed of a complex network of triangles. The triangles create a self-bracing framework which gives structural strength while using a minimum of material. The term geodesic is from Latin, meaning earth dividing. A geodesic line is the shortest distance between any two points on a sphere.
Who invented Geodesic Domes?
Richard "Bucky" Fuller invented the Geodesic Dome in the late 1940s to demonstrate some ideas about housing and "energetic-synergetic geometry" which he had developed during WWII. This invention built on his two decade old quest to improve the housing of humanity. It represents a brilliant demonstration of his synergetics principles; and in the right circumstances it could solve some of the pressing housing problems of today (a housing crisis which Fuller predicted back in 1927).
Although Fuller predicted that a million domes would be built by the mid-1980's, the number is closer to 50,000. Domes are nonetheless still going up in surprising places. A 265-foot-wide geodesic dome is part of a new pavilion at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center in Florida. A bright blue 360-foot-high dome houses a shopping center in downtown Ankara, Turkey. Stockholm, Sweden, boasts a 280-foot-high dome enclosing a new civic center.
How do geodesic domes behave under severe snow and wind loads?
The domes are used for past 50 yeasr in the most demanding conditions. Scott Amundsen Polar Station in Antarctica has been subjected to the immence snow loads, and strongest winds on the Planet.
The dome, compared to the regular (rectangular) house, is aerodynamic, thus creates no wind drag, and almost no resistance.
The snow loads are reaching 200lb per sq. ft. because of the domes ability to distribute loads equally to all of its' members.
What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of Dome Life?
1. Heating and cooling the home become more efficient due to the fact that there are fewer (even no) corners where heat may be trapped. The overall air flow in a dome is substantially better than in a conventionally constructed home (straight walls and such), and there is less surface area per square foot of living space = less
2. Many dome home designs allow the option of using larger lumber for the dome. 2x6's or 2x8's instead of the usual 2x4's, although this is an option in ANY home, it seems to be more commonly done in dome home construction.
3. For those solar minded people, the placement of the solar collectors on the "roof" is less critical due to the curved nature of the top of the structure.
4. The inherent strength of the dome makes it suitable for either earth-bermed or even earth covered construction techniques. In the case of more common construction techniques, the structural members' dimensions usually need to be completely reworked in order to carry the extra weight.
5. Hell, they LOOK pretty neat! This might be a problem in certain areas which one of those laws which say that all homes in an area _MUST_ conform to certain guidelines concerning their architecture.
6. Mass producing domes is easy, greatly reduces the cost and could solve many of the housing shortage problems worldwide (especially emergency housing needs).
Geodesic Domes, promulgated by Richard Buckminster ("Bucky") Fuller came very handy when we had to design the ultimate universal shelter. Alloy pipes with connectors allow for quick (few hours) and easy (few wrenches) assembly of any size dome. As quick and as easy it could be deinstalled. While the protective properties of the dome depend solely on the shells' material.
It could be canvas, fabric, or even a mesh, that will protect from sun, wind, and mosquitoes. Using vinyl, polyester, cellophane or tarpaulin "covers" you also obtain shelter from the high wind and the rain. These domes come handy in any conditions, especially during wilderness exploration or in your own backyard, or in the urban conditions as a summer cafe or commercial pavilions. Many of our clients use our awnings for the shelter of automobiles and boats.
The larger tents are extremely convenient for corporate events, exhibitions, fairs and celebrations. In the places with the warm climate such tents are irreplaceable as bungalo or tent for the shelter from the sun. "Dome Chilling Effect" will replace AC, providing 15% lower temperature than on the outside.
Because of the light weight and small volume these constructions are extremely transportable and convenient for the storage. The maximum length of the element is under 2000mm.
Price from €1.000 (yes, one euro! ($1.618US)) per 1 millimeter of diameter of any dome. All elements of the dome are supplied with the color or alphanumeric coding, and by detailed step-by-step installation and dismantling manual. All you need - these are the pair of hands, a wrench and the ability to distinguish colors or letters.
The commercial domes, exhibitions, stations, airports, hangars, stadiums and circuses... Gigantic area requires gigantic roof. According to all calculations, geodetic cupola is suitable for such purposes better than anything. The USA pavilions, for example, in Sokolniki in 1959, and Montreal 1967. This were 3/4 spheres with a diameter of about 90 meter! We can build a similar dome for any application. This can be a commercial pavilion, restaurant, summer cafe, storage, rollerdrome, university auditoriums, gymnasium, stadium, botanical garden, zoo, and so on.
Inventor (US Patent for Geodesic Method) himself planned to cover the business blocks of Manhattan island in New York by two gigantic geodesic domes, to save some city's funds on snow removal and heating during winter. In this case SIZE DOES NOT MATTER!