Dome homes and Haiti

The above video is a remarkable YouTube presentation of the construction of domes that have a geodesic framework on a concrete foundation and are embedded in six to eight inches of polyurethane foam. Finally, they are given an exterior coating resistant to sunlight and especially its ultraviolet radiation. This is a light but strong structure that a small crew ( 3 to 4 people) can erect in a few days. The simplicity of this technology means that the costly time and labor of specialized craftsmen is avoided. So is the size of the investment conventional shelter design and construction typically requires.

The 3-dome Earth Base Station pictured here was completed in late Autumn 2009. But Project Biohome has been promoting and erecting such domes since the mid-1990s along with the partnership of the true home builders of Orange County. The idea of the geodesic dome comes from the genius of the late American inventor, Buckminster Fuller. His domes are found worldwide and include those that housed the DEW Line of frigid northern Canada as well as the giant dome housing the U.S. Exhibit at the 1967 Centennial Canadian Exhibition in Montreal. We are not particularly aware of this technology being elsewhere joined to polyurethane foam technology or the “Bubble” windows pictured here. These have special optical characteristics when filled with water or other clear liquids. They have spcial value in climate controlled growth chamber domes.

However, it now seems evident that these structures would have special value in the rebuilding of Haiti. Accordingly, we invite you to forward this email to anyone you know who is concerned about the plight of the Haitian people. One particular idea along these lines would be to locate a Haitian community in the U.S. today, train their members in methods of erecting these domes and finance their return to Haiti to form construction firms to spread the use of these techniques. The current administration in Washington is thinking in terms of hundreds of millions of dollars for Haitian relief work. Some small part of such an investment seems a reasonable undertaking for the benefit of people needing shelter NOW as well as being a contribution to the Haitian economy.

Domes have remarkable resistance to violent winds, and what would be the likely con- sequences of the next earthquake? The geodesic framework might be bent out of shape. But what would fall on inhabitants of these domes? Pieces of foam but not concrete and masonry. We welcome your comments in response to these ideas. We would especially welcome referrals to agencies and individuals likely to become involved in Haitian relief.

You can email us at

This entry was posted in Blog, Geodesic Domes, Green Homes, Letters, Off the Grid and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply