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Posts Tagged ‘eco-dome’

Liens’ Tatooine Residence

Liens’ Tatooine Residence


Hello — we built a “double ecodome” here in Lucerne Valley, California, a rural area in the high Mojave desert. Though it took some time to get the plans approved, they were indeed approved. This was with the help of the architect, Cal Earth Institute of Hesperia, CA. We are in rural San Bernardino county. In general, the county was very supportive of our efforts and we got final over a year ago. My feeling is, it depends where you go, on what the code folks will approve. Ultimately, it is the county’s best interest to promote safe “green” construction methods. There are, as I speak, at least two other ecodome projects going up in our general area, both coded by the county.
Bob

Source: http://www.lienecodome.blogspot.com/

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Louis Burns, a writer and former real estate agent, toured a newly completed Eco-dome in Austin and wrote an eye-opening assessment. Here are a few quotes from the article.

“The plans from Cal-Earth that they’re working from are designed for the desert climate. There, you have a significant temperature drop in the evenings which allow the day’s heat gain to be dissipated out. Here in Texas, it only drops 10-20 degrees in the evenings during the summer so once the house gets hot, it will stay hot. So those plans weren’t designed to be used in Texas.

Cal-Earth didn’t mention that fact nor that the plans they bought would have to be stamped again by a licensed architect/engineer in Texas. Turns out that not only were they not supposed to use those plans but those plans were for educational purposes, not actual building.

I don’t see how the bubble alcoves are going to work for bedrooms though. Maybe that’s why they’re labeled bedroom-niche on the eco-dome floor plan. To walk inside one, you feel there is a lot more space above your head than around you. I’m not sure even a twin bed would fit in one. They’ll definitely fit a half bath though.

I took a picture of one of the bubble alcoves but I couldn’t really get a good angle on it. It’s kind of like walking into an elevator with enough room to move to the side and then turn around and wait to get out.

Low arched doorway rebuilt to meet code

Low arched doorway rebuilt to meet code


Another planning issue was the doorways. To meet code here in Austin, they need 6’8″ rectangular passageways. The arches weren’t tall enough so he went back, knocked the top of them out and set concrete in them. He couldn’t build arches that tall because then you get into doors that don’t fit the slope.”

You can read the entire article at Austin Tiny House.
Earthbag House website

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Not to detract from this excellent video, but Henna Khalili states in the YouTube comments section “the plastering I learned during the course is not durable.” What course? At Cal-earth? Anyone know more about this?

This video shows the dome under construction.

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In my opinion, this project ranks as one of the top in the world not just for its sheer size (over 40 earthbag domes) but also for its leading role in demonstrating how earthbag building can provide affordable housing to those in need (in this case homeless children in Nepal).

The Pegasus Children's Project in Nepal

The Pegasus Children's Project in Nepal

The Pegasus Children’s Project includes an orphanage and school for 80 children in the Himalaya Mountains near Kathmandu. Perhaps the most striking feature is the seamless blending of domes of various sizes and shapes. The final result is artistic, practical, safe and affordable. This is a must-see project for all those studying earthbag building.

To learn more, visit our Projects page.

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We have a new Project page featuring a double eco-dome in Joshua Tree, California. It will be the residence of Mark Reppert.

joshuatreeJeff Bousquet, who helped build the house, reports “It took us three months to complete the bag work of the project. The house blends into the desert. Most of the houses around where we built looked odd and out of place. Earthbag structures tend to blend in with the surroundings. It must be all the wonderful curves.”

I agree with Jeff’s assessment of good site design.  He emphasizes “Every extra unnecessary step that I take adds on to the time it will take to build the structure. A good site has the bags or tubes near by, but not in the way. The barbed wire also needs to be close by. Your piles of earth ought to be close to the house, but with an adequate path to move around the structure. Think about paths and flows on site, and plan for the highest efficiency possible.”

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