It is currently Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:55 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 8:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:14 am
Posts: 22
Location: Lone Oak,TEXAS
The best green home I have seen so far is a Monolithic Dome (http://www.monolithic.com).

It is the most energy effiecient, disaster resistant (hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, fire, wind, 30.06, things running into it such as dump trucks, and others), easy to build (with the right equipment, of course) home I have seen. It exceeds FEMA's checklist for a disaster resistant home and requires virtually no maintenance. It exceeds the energy star program's recommendations. It's life span is measured in centuries rather than years because that is how long it will last. And, best of all, it costs about the same as a standard home of the same size.

All of that in one house! Coupled with solar, wind and other green energy items, you could live off grid and totally off the land without much of a problem.

That is why I did the workshop to learn to build my own. :) Right here in Texas.

The only drawback for the status quo (not free thinkers) is you have to get over it being a round domed house.

Dean


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:07 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Dallas,TX
Dome construction is very efficient in terms of thermal envelope performance and efficiency of construction materials.

Buyers and or do-it-yourselfers do need to keep a few critical issues in mind. The first is structural integrity - be sure to engage a competant structural engineer to design the wall section profile. The appropriate reinforcing steel size and pattern is as important as the thickness and strength of the concrete.

Next the foundation. The same issues apply. Geotechical analysis should be done to determine the bearing capacity as well as the expansive capacity of the soil. A reputable foundation engineer should then be consulted to design the foundation.

Insulation and water proofing are next in importance. Poorly insulated and domes are difficult to heat and cool and can become unbearable in any season. A curved roof surface limits the available affordable roofing systems. Typically, they are liquid applied or foamed on. Single ply rubber membranes are also difficult to fit and seal on these surfaces.

A common concern with domes is natural daylighting. Often many of those that I have visited are dark or the windows introduce a lot of glare. Be sure to orient most of your glass to the south with little or none on the west and a resonable amount distributed on the north and east. The south facing glass needs to be shaded with awnings or decidous trees or the interior space will overheat in the summer.

Domes are not typically neigbor friendly. Personally, I like the aesthetic, but the majority of home owners do not, and, find them offensive. Dome houses and mobile homes are prohibited in virtually all single family neighborhoods I'm aware of.

Domes are also extremely difficult to finance. Most lenders shy away from them for the reasons stated above.

I have also witnessed difficult resale prospects. Many owners I've talked too soon discover the acoustical qualities and the dynamics of the dome interior to be disconcerting.

I've seen some wonderful, very well designed, beautifully lit and just pleasant organic dome type homes that are highly energy efficient. They are not everyone's cup of tea, but beauty is in the eye of the Owner
:D

If this type of home appeals to you and you are fully aware of the challenges build it and enjoy.

Gary Gene Olp, AIA
GGOArchitects. Corp.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:14 am
Posts: 22
Location: Lone Oak,TEXAS
Most of what you say has been true in the past. These days, however, people are waking up to domes more - especially Monolithic domes.

Here in TX, we have the best opportunities for building alternative houses because if you live outside the city limits, there are virtually no rules other than health code to worry about. Of course, there is that new law that states you can build whatever you want in the county as long as it meets code when you go to sell it.

The other advantage I like with Monolithic domes is that you don't have to kill or cut down your trees if you have one. The domes are so strong that a tree falling on it won't hurt it, so there is no danger of damaging the home. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:38 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Dallas,TX
Point made. Meeting code when the home is sold. Unless you have engineering drawings and some sort of record its difficult to substantiate the method or integrety of construction.

I have trees fall on several of our SIP and ICF homes without damage also. Something well built usually can take the impact of a falling tree. But generally, a good arborist can tell you if the trees near your home are sound or if a problem is noticed to remove them.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:35 am
Posts: 78
Location: Bartonville,TX
therealdgh wrote:
Here in TX, we have the best opportunities for building alternative houses because if you live outside the city limits, there are virtually no rules other than health code to worry about. Of course, there is that new law that states you can build whatever you want in the county as long as it meets code when you go to sell it.


I'll agree with you on that once I get permits to build my house in Copper Canyon. I'm not concerned with getting approval of ICF construction, but the use of harvested rainwater for all of household water needs will certainly be difficult.

Slightly off topic, yet related to "best opportunities for building alternative houses" is the fact that here in Texas there are no tax incentives to using renewable energy sources. The one exception oddly enough, is the same rainwater haveresting equipment I anticipate difficulty in getting approved IS sales tax exempt!

Oh well, guess we can thank our Oil dependant economy for that. Hurry up and use up all the fossil fuels folks, only then will our politicians and PAC's take renewable energy seriously!

By the way, hope to see some Ground Crew members at the 6th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair in Fredericksburg Sept 25-27th. (Disclaimer - I have no financial stake in this event, just interest in seeing it well attended!)

_________________
I don't know about you, but I hold my breath when I walk anywhere near the pesticide asile at Home Depot!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by eWeblife