Although they have been patented since 1954, geodesic domes have mostly remained a niche form of architecture, relegated to greenhouses, eco-conscious communities and dazzling public works like the UK's Eden Project. But as the traditional, rectangular home struggles to keep up with modern design and energy demands, this unconventional structure is worth a second look. These five advantages of geodesic homes show why they may soon experience a resurgence in popularity.
Providing More Space With Fewer Materials
Bubbles form into a sphere because it is the most efficient shape, covering the most volume with the least amount of surface area. Geodesic domes work along the same principle; they require fewer materials to cover the same amount of floor space as a traditional home. This makes them a very cost-effective option, but it also carries a few extra benefits when it comes to thermal efficiency.
Designing Homes For Thermal Efficiency
Heat transfer to and from a building is determined in part by its surface area. The more walls, roofing and windows are exposed to cold air outdoors, the more heat can flow out and dissipate into the atmosphere. Similarly, this design prevents too much heat from creeping into the dome in summer. The rounded interior of the dome also promotes air circulation indoors, meaning ventilation demands are minimal. Their shape means that domes can cut heating and cooling costs by as much as 50 percent when compared to a regular home. As architects and homeowners both seek new ways to improve their energy footprint, geodesic domes may be the ideal solution.
Building New Domes Quickly
Most geodesic domes follow an easily established pattern of triangular panels and use fewer resources than a standard home of the same square footage. Because of this, they are also relatively cheap and easy to construct and can even be purchased as DIY kits. Of course, if you are looking for a customized home, you will need to consult with a residential architect, but the standard design of a dome still makes it one of the fastest homes to build.
Integrating Alternative Energy
If the thermal properties of geodesic domes are not enough to impress environmentally minded homeowners, they are also intriguingly compatible with alternative energy systems, particularly solar. Specially designed solar panels can be swapped out with the regular triangular panels of a dome, where they receive plenty of light exposure and can easily be wired into the existing electrical system.
Customizing Domes For Any Aesthetic
Most homeowners are not only interested in efficiency, however. The appearance of a home is just as important, and geodesic domes certainly deliver. Their high, arched ceilings, dramatic skylights and modular construction mean that domes can be combined, customized and re-imagined to suit any taste. If you are looking to build a new home and are curious about exploring the unconventional, call up your local residential architect to begin drawing up plans, assessing building sites and coming up with a cost estimate today.