The dome is for sale. It's 46'-8" in diameter and 1850 square feet. We're asking $250,000,
which is a lot of money for a house in Fairfield, but our hope is that someone will recognize
its particular advantages as being worth paying for. These include:
- Insulation -- There's ten inches of spray foam insulation. The top
of the dome is all closed-cell foam, for an R-60 "roof." As the dome shell gets closer to vertical,
it's a mix of open-cell and closed-cell, for R-40 "walls." Spray foam stops air infiltration
more effectively than other forms of insulation, for a comfortable, draft-free home.
- Longevity -- The surface is covered in copper-colored
Reinke aluminum shakes. Any house with
asphalt shingles is a house with an expensive roofing job in its future. The Reinke slogan is
"Shingle for the last time!" and with this dome that's already done. Take a look at Reinke's
Hail and Tornado page if you need
- Strength -- What good are shingles that won't blow off if the whole house blows over?
Spheres are stronger than cubes, and triangles are stronger than rectangles. A sphere made of triangles
is a very strong structure, and domes regularly survive tornadoes, hurricanes, and straight-line winds that destroy
- Health -- Iowa has the nation's highest radon levels, but this house has a radon pipe. It
tested below 4 pCi/L with the ventilator turned off for a week. Normally, the Energy Recovery Ventilator would be
delivering fresh air, expelling stale air, and further reducing radon levels. Modern building science recognizes
an airtight building envelope plus tempered mechanical ventilation as superior to the old-fashioned approach of
relying on the inherent draftiness of typical construction.
- Beauty -- This is of course subjective, but we've had many compliments on the dome's
appearance, both inside and out. Personally, I have found it very uplifting to live in a space that resembles
the curve of the sky. Sarah Susanka's best-selling The Not So Big House proposed valuing
detail and delight rather than scale and square footage. Paying a little more for beauty is
nothing to be ashamed of, it means you're operating on a higher level.
Here's a page about the early stages of the building process, some
and more on the solar heat.
The front door and driveway:
The living room's flooring is Marmoleum Click, color African Desert.
The west end of the living room becomes the kitchen:
The loft in art gallery mode:
Marcia hand-glazed tiles and installed them behind the kitchen sink and in the shower:
Steve's studio, which we're calling a bedroom because it has an openable window and a closet (also a half bath):
Marcia's studio, which we're also calling a bedroom:
We talked to a local realtor, and apparently we can call this room a third bedroom after all.
While it has no closet or window, at 9' x 14' there is room to add a closet, and it has two doors for
emergency exit options:
Floor Plan. The shaded area is the loft.
Double-wall construction minimizes thermal breaks:
"Call it the groove factor, call it the hipness quotient... there is a timeless,
future-primitive chic to the geodesic that few houses offer. The dome concept appears to be erected
on the improbable intersection of hippie culture and the space age."
-- Matt Jones, Independent Online