Dome Home Engineering
PSE Consulting Engineers, Inc. offers dome home design with your specifications in mind. Domes are nature’s perfect structure and provide a unique environment for every use. Circular homes have many benefits from traditional homes and come in many different types and styles, from simple DIY kits for temporary or vacation domes, to multi-story luxurious residences. Designing homes in a round shape offers better acoustics and requires less heating and cooling to maintain a comfortable temperature. Circular homes also use less walls, materials and resources to cover the same amount of square feet as a rectangular home.
The American Institute of Architects has claimed that the dome is “the strongest, lightest and most efficient means of enclosing a space, known to man.” Many sizes are available, depending on the application. Two, three or multiple domes can be connected with short or long tunnels.
Dome Home Design
For small, simple, geodesic domes that are temporary or permanent, the process is easy:
- The frames are usually steel
- The outside is a plastic skin
- The foundation is wood or concrete
You can purchase wooden dome kits and install it yourself, or we can design a wooden dome according to your instructions. Geodesic domes can are often portable and easy-to-assemble, and are ideal for uses such as camping, winter retreats, or as shelters in extreme weather. We can also design and engineer circular homes for permanent residence that are just as beautiful as traditional ones, with the added benefit of being unique and energy-efficient.
Round Homes from EconOdome
The EconoDome building frame is comprised of triangles formed with precision cut lumber, and held secure with metal screws, straps, and wires. The EconoDome building is also clad on the exterior with composite cement sheeting. Due to this unique combination of materials and construction methods, the EconoDome building may be reliably sealed using a sealing technique called the “saturated seal”. This proven method of sealing involves brushing an elastomeric sealer under and over stretchy polyester cloth seam tape that is applied over all seams and nail/screw penetrations. Please visit econodome.com. for more in-depth information on their dome home kits, and let PSE know if you are interested in a dome of that type.
Customizing Your Dome Home
Just because a dome home looks different, doesn’t mean the inside isn’t comfortable or inviting. You can design the interior complete with bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living space and loft space, or build a second level to create even more living space. You can design your circular home as simple or as luxurious as you’d like.
Your dome home can be your permanent residence, or it can be used as a vacation home. A vacation dome home would be ideal in a wooded setting, or in the middle of a clearing.
Round/Circular Home Advantages
Round and circular home construction offers a range of advantages from the practical to the profound:
- Spectacular panoramic views.
- Marvelous acoustics.
- Versatility – from a tiny cabin to a multi-level home or commercial building, round construction fits any requirement or individual lifestyle.
- Reduced consumption and energy efficiency with no corners to trap cold air.
- Superior strength – round homes have proven to stand up well against extreme weather conditions, including hurricanes and heavy snowfall.
- High market value and desirability – aesthetics, durability and quality.
In domes, round, or circular homes, loads are distributed in a three dimensional direction, whereas traditional structures utilize only one or two load directions.
In designing domes, round and circular homes, the loads should include:
- Self load/dead load.
- Wind load applied to the surface of the dome. For most lightweight domes, wind load usually takes precedence over seismic loads. Applying wind load perpendicular to the surface of each element of the dome could be time consuming. We use Meca Wind to calculate the wind load according to the International Building Code, IBC, and then apply the wind load as the element load using RISA software.
- Seismic forces.
- Snow or live load.