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Monolithic Dome Construction Anyone?

Dome House Construction  

88 members have voted

  1. 1. How likely would you be to build a home like this?

    • I will definitely go with this type of construction.
    • I like this and will most likely build a dome home.
    • I'm interested in looking into this a bit further.
    • I would consider this, but not sure at this time.
    • It is doubtful that I would build a dome home.
    • I would not consider this type of construction.

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I like the sandbag idea....simple and easy, finding the materials to make the ballon and hope the power doesnt go out is another...lol....


I think the besh way is like some one else said...hard packed sand.....


I would build a rough shaped box to take up most of the shape...then instead of sand...I would use this clay like stuff that comes from the coral here on mactan...that would pack pretty tightly....and build your dome like that...


or maybe even a halpipe shape, like the old military buildings....you can make a form wich is half of a 27 foot diameter circle and pour your concrete...then make a mould 2 feet wide 6 inches deep and the spae between the arches....with a slight curve to match the arches....rebar reinforce and pour...when it dries...use a couple of pulleys to lift in place....chip away some conrete to expose the rebar and weld each peice togeather and to the arches....fill in the holes with concrete...buy styrofoam sheets and glue them to the interior of the arch then frame off the interior so that at the edges you have a knee high wall for electric and such....then hardiflex the whole inside....you can get 2 floors inside a 27 foot diameter halfpipe.



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Interesting although the domes look pretty small to me. Another concern is lack of insulation. Concrete absorbs and releases heat real fast. I have a feeling it could get as hot as an old brick piz

I did quite a bit of research on these dome homes.............they are almost INDESTRUCTIBLE, meaning they are very strong, fire-resistant, termite resistant...........LOW maintenance. Actually, if de

I would think that it would stand up reasonably well in an earthquake , possibly better than a conventional type structure ,   Being dome shaped would give it equal force/pressure around the structu

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I am one for alternative building methods and have built several different kinds in my days.




Usually you look at some of these alternatives as a labor saving issue, because of the cost of labor in the States is usually 40-60 percent the cost of the house. The dome method would be a large asset in a high labor area.


I looked at this several years back and really doesn't appeal to me, but that's only my opinion, which isn't worth much.


Concrete spraying is one area I know a lot about. I own several concrete pumps. Be really careful here this could get you in the mud, Pun intended. Concrete spraying, AKA Shotcrete or gunite! different process same outcome. Can be very difficult especially in high heat and high humidity areas. Your working time is very limited and need to be on the ball with a well trained crew, the correct concrete mix, and a lot off luck with mother nature. This is just a short explanation, there's way more to it, and exponentially increased because of the availability of materials and trained personnel in the Philippines.


"Gunite" is a trade name for "dry gunned" concrete, invented and patented by a North Carolina man. The term "gunite" has been used so much that, to most people, it means spray applied concrete. People often talk about a gunite pool -- meaning a concrete pool where the concrete is pneumatically applied or sprayed in place using air pressure. Many of us in the concrete spraying business have started using the term "dry gun" to delineate this process.


"Shotcrete" "Wet gun" means the wet (already mixed) concrete is pumped to the nozzle. Air is added at the nozzle to carry the concrete mix to the target -- again pneumatically applied. We call the system "wet gunning." Here too operator training is important, but not quite as technical for wet gunners. Mistakes in application are usually far less critical than with dry gunning in Monolithic Dome construction. Rebound, or the waste created by sprayed concrete falling to the floor, is usually half as much for shotcrete as compared to gunite.


I think in the Philippine with the labor not being an issue there is better options than the dome. Unless you really like the look.



Edited by JLG
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That dome-thing is so genious - it made me laugh in relief!


The interior enviroment seems much nicer than the usual square boxes that we tend to live in...



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  • 9 months later...

A dome house would be a curiosity here. I am just trying to blend in and I would not want to draw any more attention to myself than is necessary. I would consider building a dome house in a cold climate in rural America, but not here in Cebu. My modest ranch style house in Cebu (still under construction) is one story, three bedroom, one bath, 112 sqm with a simple design. The roof overhang is 1.5 meters. My front porch is 3 meters by 14 meters and goes entirely across the front of the house. I think a house that provides lots of shade is better suited to the tropics.


Tor in Cebu

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In the early 1980's I did some research on Geodesics. There was a company called MONTEREY DOMES out of California that sold Home Kits. At the time for as low as $6,000.00 you could order a kit complete with everything to build the shell. These kits were easy, color coded components. All wood materials pre-cut and ready to assemble. I have tried to find this company, but they may have disappeared like a lot of companies during the bad years in the 80's.


They had many packages available from simple to multi-level and multi-dome models. Today you can find built models on the market from previous owners. They had an interesting roof system made of foam filled, shingle look panels. You could roof the house yourself. The company boasted high energy efficiency and also offer Solar Panel modules as an option. There are alot of these homes in Arizona as they are very energy efficient. I've seen a few in New England as well. The system used 2" X 6" framing studs and steel hub joint hardware. Everything color coded so it was literally impossible to screw it up! With about four people the basic dome shell coud be completed in a few days. They had various window and door modules so you could customize your home. It was a really neat package. MY OPINION: Because the kits used lumber, they may not be the best solution in the Philippines due to Termites and Rot.


There was a huge article in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine in the 1980's. They showed you how to build your domes from concrete. First they built a rebar mesh skeleton. Then they inflated a ballon inside the mesh structure. Using Gunite (Concrete sprayed from a pressure hose) over the structure in layers. The concrete was part concrete and foam insulating material. This gave them a decent R value insulation and made the domes lighter, yet still maintaining strength. MY OPINION: This may be the way to go in the Philippines.


Dome homes are interesting and very efficient in design.

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  • 3 months later...

I think you would need to live in an area with an extremely nice municipal engineer.


They do not seem to like unusual designs when they are giving out building permits.

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ever seen EarthShips?


made out of recycled car tyres... they are made with dirt packed inside.. perfect insulation... incredible idea..


dont know how you would go about getting a couple of thousand stuffed tyres... go to 100 local vulcanizing shops and hit the blokes up for all the tyres that cant be retreaded... surely cheaper then buying bricks though if you had to... bit more man hours in it too... but youll never pay for air conditioning again..

have a good read up on this... many variations out there...


this is obviously going to be a big one... construction phase


another construction picture


somthing that looks like it belongs in starwars


still a bit star warsy for me


the beuty of the earthship is you can make it look as rediculous or "normal" looking as you want


inside they recycle ALL their water and grow vegetable gardens in it.. its not straight shit on your inside garden.. it goes through a proper recycling tank


another plain nice earthship


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two problems with that here... first to get a permit because its different you will have to apply lots of grease to the wheel.. and second all the tires that are too mess up to use for rethread get made into planters NOTHING Is free here nothing.... oh and the property per square foot compared to the us is most likley higher

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what sort of price would you be looking at for a tyre that would otherwise be turned into a planter??


yeh i can see the permits being an issue...


its made out of tyres with dirt packed into them and a thick layer of Stucco on the inside and out.. these homes are owned by eco-freaks so they usually make it 100% self sufficient with solar panels and wind generators and with as much cheap/free (not in the philippines no doubt ;) )recycled stuff...


i dont believe it would be all that expensive when you think how much effort goes into building a modern style house with the inner walls and fancy dangle fittings. read into it as there is alot of info on the benefits of it from water recycling, insulation and the fact you could shoot at it and it wouldnt pierce your wall... they are very solid


there is no Slab on concrete layed down like your normal house as the first step... once the walls are up.. the poor in a concrete floor a couple of inches thick over the ground as its not a foundation like a house..the width and strength of the tyres holds it all together.. im no expert and have never seen one in the flesh so i cant tell you alot about them.. and their prices..

i believe they are cheaper then a conventional house per square foot though


look at those pictures... he has the majority of his walls up and its cost him nothing but a bit of cement, some dirt, and the tyres...

if the no good tyres were bought at say 20p (throwin out a number, i have no idea)each and you bought 3000 to build your house which would be more then enough... you have all your walls up ..solid as a rock and its cost you 60000p...


anywho.. just an idea i thought id throw at yas...



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That's very interesting - dome construction.


I recall a book I read a while ago, entitled "Black Elk Speaks". He was a famous medicine man/Shaman in the mid/late 1800's.


Somewhere in it, Black Elk discusses how white man's square built structures have taken away spiritual and other energies that we would otherwise

have in a domed house or structure.


That's another reason why North American Indian tepee's are shaped (with the base & walls) as a circle.


Many other indigenous tribes have or still use circular construction, see Mongolian Yurts for another great example.

Edited by rico
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I had a relative with a semi-circle earth covered home at one time. It was in Iowa and was built thus to protect against tornados, but it had all sorts of benefits in terms of cooler/warmer during the summer and winter. I always admired the place and I have wondered why it isn't seen more often. If I built a place here, I might include part of the house as an earth covered dome so it would be very resistant to the occasional typhoon. Plus it would be less expensive to cool and quieter from your neighbor's dogs and chickens.

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My friend has a dome home in North Florida, it is pretty neat but very hard to maintain. Warm in winter once heated and cool in summer once cooled down. Do not have worry about typhoons either, since they have nothing to grab onto.


Oh well picture will not load here. sorry.

Edited by Mr. Lee
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Lee, I will change the settings regarding uploading a photo. But, you can upload the image to your gallery as well, and direct link it in any post too.

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  • 1 month later...

These Dome houses may sound like a good idea, but remember where your living ... As most of you already know, it can be very difficult to sell a "regular" house here in the Philippines. Build something as unusual as a dome house, and you may never find a buyer.


Just my opinion ...

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Big problem for a dome building for me is the lack of ability to expand without damaging the shape. I think they are a good idea for something such as small houses on a fixed land area (no room to expand). But Im going to be building up if i cant build out..lol

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