A friend of mine recently purchased a 20-foot Pacific Dome to be used as a meditation and yoga space for her and her husband’s spiritual group. I was surprised at how light and airy it looked, yet it’s sturdy enough to withstand our winter winds. I thought it might make a great tiny house.
Their Pacific Dome is attached to a temporary insulated foundation and the entire structure took about four days to erect. Currently the dome does not have insulation, but they plan to order a special cover to be used in the winter. A solar fan is attached to the outside to provide air circulation during the summer. So far the structure has been very sturdy…even in our area’s notorious winds and heavy snows. Unfortunately, a few neighbors reported the dome to the local building department and the department now wants a set of structural calculations about the dome which will be supplied by the engineer at Pacific Domes.
Pacific Domes, located in Ashland, Oregon has been designing and building domes since 1980. They use the sacred geometry of R. Buckminster Fuller to create spacious, yet structurally sound domes of all sizes. Pacific Domes have been used for special events, weddings, meditation, yoga and healing spaces, schools, emergency shelters, eco-living, camping, and a large dome without the cover is even used for the infamous “Thunderdome” at Burning Man. Pacific Domes have also been used in Haiti and after Hurricane Katrina for temporary shelters and hospitals.
Many Pacific Dome customers purchase their domes to live in. The company offers different cover materials to allow for use in any climate. They have insulation packages available that, in conjunction with a wood stove or other heating system, make the dome a comfortable space in cold weather. They also recommend radiant heat in the dome floor. Larger domes can accommodate lofts, walls, and other partitions to create separate rooms. All interior construction should be free standing and self supported.
The dome frames are made from galvanized steel. The steel, in conjunction with the geodesic design, creates an amazingly strong structure using a minimal amount of material. Geodesic domes are world-renowned for their strength and integrity. Depending on your situation and needs, they offer “heavy duty” 1.31”, through “extreme” 1.9”, frames in addition to the “standard” .92” frame. The dome covers are made of SunLite fabric or Tropical fabric. Insulation can be a liner with Reflectix or a thermoshield painted on the inside of the dome.
Three floor plans are offered and several foundation options. The roof, door, round windows and portions of the sidewalls can be replaced with screens for ventilation if needed. A solar fan is recommended to aid in ventilation, especially in damp areas.
Photos Courtesy of Christina Nellemann and Pacific Domes