Egg-shaped homes (not FG but strong) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-21-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
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Egg-shaped homes (not FG but strong)

Frederick's recent post about the termite treatment of his home (by covering it with a tent) got me to thinking about a type of home that is termite proof. Also wind and tornado proof (with the right doors and window shutters), earthquake proof, and can't be burned down from an outside wildifire. They are the right shape for us egg towing people, too. They are called Monolithic Domes.
The McWilliams
This is a link to a particular dome home in California that was built in the aftermath of a wildfire. A foundation ring is poured with concrete, an airform (like a round vinyl bubble tent) is attached and inflated, a worker goes inside thru an airlock and sprays polyurethane insulation, rebar is placed, then concrete (called shotcrete) is sprayed around the rebar to form a strong, durable building. An alternative calls for building a circular wall (called a stemwall) and then forming the roof with the dome... this method produces a somewhat more conventional appearance, and is a little less strong but still very good.

I would like to have one of these built someday for us to live in, here in Tornado Alley. Cost is supposed to be about 10-15% more than a box shaped home. Biggest problem is that, in the aftermath of the mortgage crisis, it's almost impossible to get lenders to give a building loan for an unconventional house like this. In contrast, the monolithic domes are recognized by FEMA as excellent storm shelters, so school districts can (and do) get government grants to build them.

Wouldn't a Scamp or a Casita look great sitting next to one of these dome homes? I think the trailer would seem "right at home".
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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Registry
Click image for larger version

Name:	medium_odell1.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	97.9 KB
ID:	40736 Very cool
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:13 PM   #3
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Dome Homes

Back in my rock and roll days when I was a partner in a company that built Electronic Music Instruments, we built and lived in a 50 foot diameter 25 foot high Geodesic dome.

It had a spiderweb like 2x6 frame work covered with 1/2 ' plywood. The triangular plywood pieces were precoated with fiberglass, the triangles were nailed to the 2x6's and the seams fiberglassed. The whole surface was than painted white. It looked like a giant igloo. There was a half 2nd floor with a spiral staircase on the inside. Interestingly from the circular foundation up it took us 3 days to assemble and seal the entire dome, enclosing some 2000 square feet.

I remember one night we projected a laser light show on the side of the dome as part of a little concert..

On the property we had 2 additional domes, another 50 footer and a smaller 32 footer. As well we made a dome of clear plastic used for trade shows.

They are a lot of fun to build and inexpensive per square foot. We bought the kits for $1500, delivery was another $1000. Yes this was 1970 or so.....

a life of many crazy moments.. and now the white Scamp for 11 months..
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:51 PM   #4
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Exclamation Domes

after seeing the aftermath of the Joplin tornado (about 100 miles away)....an egg shaped house may be the thing for tornado alley and would match my little ole scamp.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:16 PM   #5
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I will say it was very strong once together. Half rounds of wheel casing on their side that were sunk into the circular reinforced slab via rebar held the dome in place on the radius at about 10 foot intervals. Any force applied to the structure gets transmitted across the surface.

One Labor Day we made a dome for fun out of 1/2 inch dowels. It was 24 feet in diameter and looked like a domed kids jungle jim. It was a hot day so we close pinned sheets to it to make shade. We were off playing some yard game when a wind gust came up. The Dome took off traveling a 100 feet or so before clipping a neighbors fence and landing... Definitely a UFO to the normal folks.... did I suggest we were not normal....
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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Norm
I am sure Bucky would have been proud.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:29 PM   #7
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I heard Buckminster speak once and was overwhelmed.
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin K View Post
There used to be a single dome much like these just off I-10, to the west, 5 miles or so into Texas, past the NM state line.....going to El Paso.

A friend told me, it was created (built) by shaping the dome from the earth, poring concreted over the dome shape, then excavating the soil from inside the done. Not sure if anyone ever actually finished it or lived in it. But on second though, my friend, at the time was working for a heating & cooling firm in El Paso, he had gone out to do some work on the heating & cooling. So they must have been living in it then.

I believe it is gone now. I believe it was out there in the early '70 when we moved to New Mexico.

The area is in a sand dune area, up from the river valley. It could have been a dune which they shaped to be more dome-like.

Neither of these are Geodesic domes, but are true 'smooth' surfaced domes. Attachment 40736

The old one in Texas was more low level (not as tall outer 'walls' & longer curve of the dome) or lower to the ground in elevation. than the one shown in the pics. If one was built using the dome for the roof as well as being bermed, it would really be weather resistant.

I'd agree they would be great in Tornado as well as Hurricane areas.

Other alternative housing methods:
http://earthship.com/school

http://earthship.com/guatemala

http://www.southernnewmexico.com/Art...nDatilNew.html

http://www.adobe-home.com/

http://www.jkhomes.com/rammed%20earth.htm

http://www.makingthishome.com/2009/0...re-house-tour/
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:01 PM   #9
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Whole Earth Catalog

I think it all started for me with the Whole Earth Catalog, sort of a book form of the Internet. I think that's where I saw my first hard dome.

We had to get special permission from the state to build the domes, local building inspectors just scratched their heads. If I could live longer it would be fun to build one of each but...next life.

There are many interesting forms of non-traditional homes and I still live in one, a fiberglass trailer.....
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:15 PM   #10
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Then there is the Brute Force method.
This guy is also in range of Joplin for inspiration I guess?

Tornado Proof Mega-Mansion Under Construction in Missouri Ozarks - St. Louis News - Daily RFT

Interesting too

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/torna...ry?id=13668794

And a Missouri Success Story

http://www.monolithic.com/stories/mo...ssouri-tornado
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:46 PM   #11
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The Pensmore mansion's walls probably will be tornado-proof, but it remains to be seen what they do with the windows, doors, and roof. If a big tornado breaks in a door or window, it can create enough pressure to lift the roof off unless that roof is extraordinarily well attached.

The beauty of the monolithic dome is that when finished the structure is all one piece. No way to separate roof from walls, because they are all one. With a good steel door and some roll-down steel window shutters, it would be a fortress. Strong enough to park an army tank on top of it.

Other ways of making concrete walls, like using ICFs, can work. The best way to use them would be to have a lot of load-bearing inner walls, and lay down structural steel at ceiling level and pour 3" of concrete over that. Then build a conventional roof overtop that could be 'sacrificed' in a strong tornado... but the rest of the house would survive intact.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
The Pensmore mansion's walls probably will be tornado-proof, but it remains to be seen what they do with the windows, doors, and roof. If a big tornado breaks in a door or window, it can create enough pressure to lift the roof off unless that roof is extraordinarily well attached.

.
It was interesting in Joplin to me that any house left standing had the Garage ripped off anyway, Evidently the Garage Door is the weak spot in any of the construction there and is responsible for many houses destruction.

Like you say it starts at the biggest most vulnerable point and once let inside it is all over.

Just looking at the carnage for a while this was obvious.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #13
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I know a guy in Texas that lives in a Dome house and I know another guy in Texas that builds Dome houses. As for tornado proof, the only way to be totally tornado proof is to be underground.
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