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Archive for the ‘Domes’ Category

Earthbag Lodge with Domes (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge with Domes (click to enlarge)


Earthbag Lodge with Domes (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge with Domes (click to enlarge)


Specifications: Lodge = 800 sq. ft. interior, 19’ interior DIA master bedroom dome plus loft = 452 sq. ft., two 16’ interior DIA bedrooms plus lofts = 600 sq. ft., one 16’ interior DIA bath/mechanical dome = 201 sq. ft., two baths, total = 2,053 sq. ft., Footprint: 62′ x 66′

Description: A first of its kind earthbag home that captures the timeless and magical appeal of earth sheltering in the round. Based on ancient Native American designs, this modern earth lodge with living roof will keep you cozy and warm even in the harshest climates, because it is compact, earth-sheltered and superinsulated. Heating options include wood heating and/or radiant floor heat. The lodge ceiling is exposed wood poles. South and east-facing windows and skylight over the kitchen ensure ample daylighting in the lodge. Mechanical and bedroom domes are attached with earthbag vaults.

Earthbag Lodge with Domes floorplan (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge with Domes floorplan (click to enlarge)

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Disaster Resistant Catenary Dome (click to enlarge)

Disaster Resistant Catenary Dome (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 314 sq. ft. interior, 181 sq. ft. interior loft, total = 495 sq. ft. interior, Footprint: 23’ diameter

Description: Catenary arches and domes are among the strongest forms in nature. This catenary dome is designed to withstand repeat hurricanes and other natural disasters. It is similar in construction to the Hemispheric Dome, but the Catenary Dome has a sleeping loft. Tilt-down stairs are shown, although you could make a single bathroom door and add a ladder to one side. This would give you more space in the loft.

Disaster Resistant Catenary Dome (click to enlarge)

Disaster Resistant Catenary Dome (click to enlarge)


More information is on our Earthbag Building Blog.

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Earthbag Dome Fort (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Dome Fort (click to enlarge)


The Dome Fort is my latest castle design. At 100’ x 112’, the 10’ high by 3’ thick (at the base) fortified walls enclose 9,964 square feet.

The Dome Fort showcases individual designs and combines them into a self sustaining, fortified homestead, where a group of 5-20 people could weather economic and social upheaval. This is a concept drawing that does not show every possible type of defense. Custom designs can be created to meet your needs.

Structures include:
Roundhouse/Dome Cluster 1,330 sq. ft. interior
2 Fortress Towers 1,717 sq. ft. interior each
Castle Tower House above Survival Shelter 880 sq. ft. interior
Carriage House with second story garage apartment 806 sq. ft. interior
2 Round Guard Towers 227 sq. ft. interior each, plus roof deck
Observation Tower 313 sq. ft. interior, plus roof deck

I’ll be glad to discuss all details, including the below grade structures (not shown), with serious clients who hire me at my hourly consulting fee. All plans can be modified for a modest fee. Send inquires to: strawhouses [at] yahoo.com.

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Disaster-resistant hemispheric dome made with double ferrocement shells with insulating fill (click to enlarge)

Disaster-resistant hemispheric dome made with double ferrocement shells with insulating fill (click to enlarge)


This 20′ interior diameter, 314 sq. ft. design is my proposed solution for houses that need to withstand repeat hurricanes. See How to Build the Strongest Buildings That Can Last Centuries for more details. Features include: lexan windows with removable window and door shutters, monolithic geopolymer slab floor that’s integrated with the walls, build on high ground, plastic mesh that won’t rust, geopolymer plaster both sides, geopolymer pumicecrete or geopolymer perlite fill. Integrating the slab and dome and building on a rubble trench is ideal for seismic zones. In an earthquake, the building would slide back and forth somewhat like an upside down cereal bowl on a kitchen table (meaning the whole house remains intact as one shell).

The design will have to be tweaked for individual homeowner needs, and some details worked out with the engineer. Note how a woodstove is shown to reach a wider audience, even though it’s probably not needed in Florida. The woodstove could be replaced with an emergency water storage and filtration system, etc. A fold-out bed saves space. Please email me and we’ll work out the details to fit your needs.

Disaster-resistant hemispheric dome made with double ferrocement shells with insulating fill (click to enlarge)

Disaster-resistant hemispheric dome made with double ferrocement shells with insulating fill (click to enlarge)

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Mindfulness Project site plan -- aerial view of dome cluster and gazebo (click to enlarge)

Mindfulness Project site plan -- aerial view of dome cluster and gazebo (click to enlarge)


Houses in the Mindfulness Project, a planned sustainable community in Thailand, are grouped in clusters of five with a bamboo gazebo in the center and two Solar Vaults (1. mechanical room, shop; 2. toilets, showers, laundry) in the nearest clearing. This cluster shows Insulated Earthbag Domes. Some clusters will have Domed Roundhouses (an exciting new design coming soon). All houses are joined by paths covered with wood chips.
Mindfulness Project site plan -- dome cluster and gazebo (click to enlarge)

Mindfulness Project site plan -- dome cluster and gazebo (click to enlarge)


Actual tile work, which is inspired by the work of Gaudi, will be much more beautiful than shown.

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Triple Dome Survival Shelter (click to enlarge)

Triple Dome Survival Shelter (click to enlarge)


Specifications: Three 16′ interior diameter domes with 603 sq. ft. interior, 3 sleeping lofts with 312 sq. ft., total 915 sq. ft. interior, one bedroom, one bath, Footprint: 38′ x 38′

Description: This Triple Dome Survival Shelter provides much more space than my first earthbag survival shelter. This design is for long term survival for a family. It is earthquake and fire resistant, bullet and nuclear fallout resistant. It is built above grade to reduce risk of flooding. Features include buried cistern between the domes, plenty of storage space, vaulted entry with bullet resistant cellar door. Let’s hope for the best, but it’s also prudent to be prepared for the worst.

Triple Dome Survival Shelter (click to enlarge)

Triple Dome Survival Shelter (click to enlarge)

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Earthbag/Geodesic Dome (click to enlarge)

Earthbag/Geodesic Dome (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 24′-6″ diameter with 471 sq. ft. interior, one bedroom, one bath, Footprint: 28′-6″ x 28′-6″

Description: Many readers prefer rounded domes. However, rounded domes cannot be built by earthbags alone. This solution — inspired by Richard Laurens — uses a 24′ diameter geodesic frame set on 42″ high earthbag walls. Metal and wood geodesic frames are available as kits through various suppliers, or you could build your own. Lightweight bags of insulation cover the entire dome. A key feature is the expansive window wall that provides a sunny, pleasant home. Most dome homes, in contrast, have insufficient or poorly protected windows.

Earthbag/Geodesic Dome (click to enlarge)

Earthbag/Geodesic Dome (click to enlarge)

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Spiral Dome Magic 2 (click to enlarge)

Spiral Dome Magic 2 (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 452 sq. ft. interior dome with loft, 740 sq. ft. interior spiral, plus pantry, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 42′ x 57′ plus buttresses

Description: This highly unique home combines the Peace Dome and Spiral Houses, which are also available separately. But by combining them it really creates a truly exciting design.

Spiral Dome Magic 2 (click to enlarge)

Spiral Dome Magic 2 (click to enlarge)


Spiral Dome Magic 1 (click to enlarge)

Spiral Dome Magic 1 (click to enlarge)

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Roundhouse/Dome Cluster (click to enlarge)

Roundhouse/Dome Cluster (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 1,330 sq. ft. interior including lofts in the roundhouse and both large domes, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, Footprint: 31′ x 70′

Description: Readers have shown a strong interest in my domes and roundhouses, so I decided to cluster them to create a new unique design for larger families. There is a 2-story roundhouse in the center with domes on the east and west. There are a lot of things to like about this design: possible third bedroom, game room or home office in the roundhouse loft, 2 baths, separated bedrooms, large walk-in closets, dining area next to the windows, and lots of south-facing doors and windows. Note the larger master bath with laundry.

Update: A new easier to build version is available with vertical walls and shed roofs on the walk-in closets and master bath.

Roundhouse/Dome Cluster (click to enlarge)

Roundhouse/Dome Cluster (click to enlarge)

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Enviro Earthbag Dome 2 (click to enlarge)

Enviro Earthbag Dome 2 (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 20’ interior DIA main dome = 314 sq. ft., 16’ interior DIA bedroom = 201 sq. ft., 44 sq. ft. bath, plus 223 sq. ft. loft space, plus second dome and loft and closet for total = 1,164 sq. ft., Footprint: 23′ x 42′ plus buttresses

Description: This plan is the two bedroom version of Enviro Dome. It is the same plan except there is a second bedroom dome and closet added on the right.

Compact, but highly livable, the Enviro Dome 2 has everything you need. Three lofts add 371 sq. ft. extra space for sleeping, home office, living or storage. Additional storage options include space inside benches, a cedar chest at the foot of the bed, and an armoire north of the bed. A larger optional dome behind the master bedroom could include a walk-in closet, larger bath and laundry. Both Enviro Domes are perfect for the beginner do-it-yourselfer who wants to build their eco-friendly home at the lowest possible cost.

Enviro Earthbag Dome 2 (click to enlarge)

Enviro Earthbag Dome 2 (click to enlarge)

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