How to make a geodesic dome or dome in the home garden - Green Ecologist

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How to build a geodesic dome or dome house

The architecture with domes It is at its peak with new initiatives that contribute to a truly exciting world. There are people who are dedicated to researching the latest technology and others who are dedicated to helping us build a geodesic dome in the garden of our house in a few hours and in a very simple way.

Tastes for everyone and researchers for anything, but this proposal that we present in the article, in addition to other aspects, to have our mini geodesic dome that we can assemble in a few hours making it the favorite cabin of our children or our new greenhouse, for example, we like it, a lot!

What is a geodesic dome

They are structures that form a hemisphere (Half of a geodesic sphere). The skin or face can have the shape of hexagons, triangles or any other polygon with different sizes, we have small sizes up to many meters on its edges. The pieces that make up the geodesic dome it is assembled and joins correlatively until obtaining the "shell" whose vertices must coincide with the surface of the sphere.

Usually due to the type of material used in the structure; wood, aluminum … etc. It has little weight in relation to everyday structural elements. Its shape fulfills Euler's polyhedron theorem (Defines the relationship between the number of edges, faces and vertices of a convex polyhedron)

Remembering that there are different types of geodesic domes and they can be very complex. An unusual example using bamboo in its structure….

What is the geodesic dome?

The domes They are hemispherical bodies based on Sacred Geometry destined mainly for houses. It is the same previous structure but only assembled with triangles, which is the geometry with the most stability and strength for the manufacture of structures, with the peculiarity that the larger they are and the more number of elements they comprise, the more resistant they become.

The inner surface that surrounds a dome, it does not have pillars, nor does it need ties on the outside to hold the geodesic structure that forms the house.

A good explanation of the dome house concept we can extract from the following video …

How to build a geodesic dome the easy way

There are geodesic domes for all and easy to assemble!… This is the motto and concept that the Hubs architecture and design studio had (Later we will see how to buy it and alternatives). To be able to make life easier for people who dare in it assembly of a geodesic structure for the pleasure of practicing the architecture of the complex.

Practice the exciting world of construction of domes and the domes impossible as if it were a kind of LEGO, it's a pleasure!

The main idea is that they provide us with a complete Kit of the design of a dome. And we, with the instructions, wood and unique that facilitate us, to be able to build a geodesic dome in a short time and in the home garden.

These joints allow the rods - edges to join in a more resistant way, also allowing a small oscillating movement. So now mounting a small dome step by step becomes something as simple as …

They have structured a simple self-construction kit - assembly that will provide guaranteed fun for the whole family. Remembering that we can also join and connect different domes.

All the Kit that we have named to assemble and how to build a dome We can buy it from the official Hubs website, which seems to me at a very reasonable price. Also as an alternative, we can go to Amazon to see prices of geodesic domes that they sell, but they are, or toys with plastic or for gardens with wood or metal (mini greenhouses style), which are more expensive.

Homemade Geodesic Dome Construction

We have many ways to go, from packages like the aforementioned to the «home kit» style that are prefabricated domes whose sale prices are already more expensive, but we will have all the elements; from the plans in PDF to the complete material that we must use, or from the patience and the art of our hands little by little to put it together, and if we take it seriously there is a wide variety of practical learning courses on the subject.

Going a little further, and wanting to enter this exciting world, there are tools that can make it easier for us to want to build a dome on our own.

1.- Geodesic dome calculation

One of the main difficulties lies in determining the length of the edges and the number of triangles, which results in what is called frequency math-based.

We can find the frequency v3, v4, v5, v6 … It is the measurement that indicates the number of subdivisions that is practiced in the triangle of the icosahedron that will form the dome. If we increase the frequency, the divisions will be greater, so we will have more triangles raising their resistance, as well as the complexity in their realization.

How to calculate the frequency?… From HERE we can calculate the lengths - frequencies in a simple way for the geodesic dome plans. The calculations are made on an application and a v3 diagram like the one we attach.

A video about it where it is explained step by step how it is calculated from the referred page would be the following. Keep in mind that making a small model on paper or wood is of great help.

2.- Unions

This issue is a bit tricky as strong joints are required. We can buy them at relatively cheap prices to make them ourselves, here it will depend on the handyman in us. Some examples of unions would be …

There is also the possibility of not using joints of different materials, that is to say, fitting the pieces that normally and for convenience, are made of wood.

And we can see how it's done from this book on a geodesic dome construction manual PDF with free access HERE (There are examples of angles, unions, etc.) and from HERE.

3.- Videos

From here, we have a thousand and one videos with extensive explanations and step-by-step instructions to build our dome, but among so many tangle of information we liked one YouTube channel in particular since the explanations are simple, clear, from the Start of work until the end and they are in Spanish from HERE.

We must not forget that these structures, when we are already talking about important dimensions, in the style of dome housesThey must have an adequate concrete foundation or screed.

4.- Energy behavior and advantages

The energy saving and optimization of a geodesic dome is worth studying with palpable advantages compared to traditional construction, even some experts predict energy savings of 50%. They are sustainability and efficiency from geometry!

We have some advantages in geodesic domes initials that other geometries in modern architecture do not provide us with. If counting that:

  • They have an attractive and contemporary design.
  • An open-plan interior where the absence of corners and columns makes it possible to take advantage of the space, transmitting the feeling of spaciousness and versatility options.
  • Optimization of materials compared to other forms of traditional architecture that represents less material expenditure to build it.
  • It provides a safe, light and resistant structure working in a coordinated way.
  • A watertight cover and although it may not seem like it, they are easy to maintain.
  • Quick construction and assembly either in a traditional way or with prefabricated systems.
  • Adaptable to the environment and easy to mimic.
  • Economically viable with prices that range 500 and 1000 euros per square meter (We are talking about professional projects, apart from the land).

Remembering that we should review the basic concepts of bioclimatic architecture.

Create a paper cutout dome step by step

With many users they have asked us to provide an outline and plans of a paper cutout dome what can be done for school or at home, easily and practicing crafts (In short, we are creating a polyhedron icosahedron that can be cut out of paper in half). Well, we start step by step with the instructions:

1.- First we will need to create all the triangles: In this case it will be an equilateral triangle (Designated with A-A-A that we will need 10 Units), and an isosceles triangle (Designated with B-A-B that we will need 30 Units):

The two types of triangles can be downloaded from HERE. Be careful when printing to send proportionality. We should first print one and check the sheet lengths "A" and "B" (See previous image). In the case that they are of the wrong size, when printing the PDF we should assign "Adjust actual size" or "Page scale - None".

2.- Print all the necessary units and cut out. 5 triangles (Type B-A-B) we will join them with their tabs only on their faces designated with the «B» as indicated in the following image. We will continue with the process several times until we obtain 6 elements that will each contain 5 triangles (Make sure that the "A" sides of the triangles form the exterior of the pentagon)

3.- Create the base. Preferably we should use something harder than simple paper, for example cardboard. We create a circular base of a circle of 75 cm in diameter (We will mark a circle of 50 cm in diameter, it will be the line where the structure rests). Subsequently, we will make a cut in the inner part of 25 cm in diameter that will allow us access to the inner part of the dome we can better work on the assembly.

If we want to highlight the edges. They will have a length of "A" which will be 15.45 cm (Image left)

4.- Now we only have to join the pieces on their faces A-A-A as indicated in the following images:

These instructions are extracted from HERE.

The perfect example

A good example of a dome house, speaking from a professional perspective and with relevant finishes in a geodesic house that surprises with its perfectionist design. It is the single-family home executed by two sustainable architecture firms, Ecoproyecta + Moho arquitectos from Spain. The next geodesic house

Although this house is built from scratch, in the market there are prefab dome houses although they are usually smaller in size and with lower prices in their construction as they are industrialized.

Another example, in this case from Norway. A glass dome enchants a beautiful house near the Arctic Circle.

The 7.5 meter high dome is made up of 360 glass panels that protect the entire house with a diameter of 15 meters, allowing the family to grow their own fruits and vegetables indoors.

Not only houses are projected, more and more large architecture studios want to incorporate the concept of a dome in their large buildings. One example is the Al-Rajhi Mosque design project which is inspired by the iconic Crescent symbol and will incorporate a massive geodesic dome - imagination to power!

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