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Have You Considered Monolythic Domes?

Andrew Michaels


Joined: Sep 05, 2008
Posts: 73
I'm considering the purchase of about 5 acres of land in Florida to build a fruit forest, and I want to live on the property full time.

I don't have a ton of money, but want a good house to live in that will resistant to hurricanes.

I've been thinking about buying one of these Monolythic Domes for the property and plopping it down. If needed, it could later me moved and sold separately from the property.

Anyone have any thoughts on these in terms of green credentials: http://www.forcedgreen.com/2010/05/green-dome-sweet-home/#more-2366, energy efficiency?

Would you be able to collect rainwater from a dome cabin?

Could you work a composting toilet into one?

What objections and concerns would you have about them?

Are they too expensive?


Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
I don't know a tonne bout florida, but I'm going ecoshell in jamaica, one rocket stove will be enough to cook us to pieces for those time's when it drops below 25c. I've had my head set on em for the last year or so, I can't find anything else comparable pound for pound. I don't think i could afford the monolithic dome though, if I wanted a mortgage sure, but ever since I learned to pay cash for things life has been freedom for me.  I'm still working on the rain collection, I've seen that lip people put around the dome but to me it just looks like a slow road to damaging the structural integrity. I am still working out the cost of synthetic thatching and trying to understand how water is directed, because if the thatch is connected to trelis all around the building I may be able to either guide it for collection or put it underground for irrigation water.

One of the things that really start to put the cost out of reach is everything else that's done on top of the dome. I remember the picture in your link being my original inspiration, but then found out most of what I was looking up was a dome chopped to piece's to make it into a rental attraction. They really blew the economy of the dome by cutting away 35 percent of it, i think in the end they sold it. Take a look at these two links both arn't my cup of tea, the one with thatch looks ugly but the dome they chose is more of an earth nipple than a dome.

http://www.monolithic.com/stories/xanadu-a-dome-in-paradise

And let's just throw in a hobbit looking dome for good measure
http://www.monolithic.com/stories/a-monolithic-dome-hobbit-house

Other than shipping container's to connect dome's together, id really rather stick with the unmovable object dome's for all my structure's as I am also moving away from the mild pacific north west, to the zinc roof chops man in half, hurricanes for lunch tropics.

The one mod to the dome I forgot to ask about last time I talked with the monolithic dome people, was the solar chimney.  The building's have a +100 year lifespan, but would they if I put a whole in the roof and ran an air circulation tube out of it.

Jonathan Byron


Joined: Apr 16, 2011
Posts: 225
Would you be able to collect rainwater from a dome cabin?


Sure, no reason why a system of gutters could not be put up to funnel water into storage. In general, a cement collector would be better than a shingle roof, although most concrete would be waterproofed somehow (polymer additive or spray).

Could you work a composting toilet into one?

Again, why not? A composting toilet might need a vent or drain, but these can be planned for or improvised.
Andrew Michaels


Joined: Sep 05, 2008
Posts: 73
SaybianTv wrote:
I don't know a tonne bout florida, but I'm going ecoshell in jamaica, one rocket stove will be enough to cook us to pieces for those time's when it drops below 25c.




What's a ecoshell, Saybian, and how does it differ from a monolithic dome? Got a link?
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
The energy efficiency of monolithic domes is incredible and they are definitely hurricane proof.  I looked into to building a monolithic dome 15 years ago or so.  My take on the "greenness" of a concrete dome from the materials standpoint is that the manufacture of cement is not green in any way.  Much of hurricane resistance of a dome has to do with it's aerodynamics.  There are greener ways to build a dome than concrete.  Unless you are an experienced gunite pool builder they are not as easy as many companies suggest.  I have been salvaging lumber for years to have the framework for "Hempcrete" dome.  Hempcrete is extremely green but it is not in the same league with concrete structurally.  Keep in mind that Florida is way over populated without dwindling water resources.  It is much like California water wise.
You can easily collect rain water from a dome but will it be enough to sustain your life?  Florida is a state filled with industrial monoculture farming.  Are you really considering moving to a state full of chemical toxins?  Just asking........
Peace.


"When there is no life in the soil it is just dirt."
"MagicDave"
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
http://www.monolithic.com/stories/eco-vs-mono

It's an unisulated monolithic dome, and also the building process is different, you apply the concrete on the outside rather than inside. That's why I said I dont know enough about florida's climate to say, you can live in one of these without freezing at night. There two different beast, you can't subvert the quality of a monolithic dome with an ecoshell but with a little bit of basalt rebar you can come out with the same strength of a structure, just not as warm of one.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
What part of Florida?  There are areas of Florida that see frost sometimes.  My friends that live down there complain of it    being col when it is 50 degrees.  If it is uninsulated it will be an over in the summer.  I wasn't kidding about Florida being a strange choice as a destination to live.  You will have to insulate it no matter where you chose to live. 
 
 
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