BIOHOME Technology
Recently, Fight Master J.R. Beardsley of Touché
International ( http://www.toucheinternational.biz ) and
producer of EAKULU (a film and live action musical
about "the last rainforest in existence") interviewed
Edward Dilley about his BIOHOME. In this interview
Edward discusses the history behind the project as well
as how the technology works.
As an active director, writer and producer, J.R. had a
pleasant surprise when he came across Edward B. Dilley,
Sr., on a flight into Reno in 1997 where they connected
on the idea of sustainable living.
At the time, I was in the development phase of the
original production of EAKULU, a story about
discovering the last rainforest in existence and my new-
found friend, who had been a film producer in Lake
Tahoe, introduced me to something he had in
Beardsley on
location at
the first
in the Nevada
desert, 1997.
Ed envisioned a self-sustaining Bio-Geodesic dome
covered with foam that he was preparing to build in a
remote area in the Nevada desert. It seemed like a far out
idea at the time but the connection stuck and we stayed in
touch as we both continued to be intrigued with his
ingenious ideas and his bold pioneering of a novel idea.
Since then I have trekked out to his desolate part of the
world many times. We camped on his site and he told me
his plans, which I thought adventurous (but was also not
sure he just might be a bit crazy). We became better friends
as he followed my creation of EAKULU, which developed
simultaneously as his dream became a reality. I was amazed
as I saw him make his dream work in real life! I had the
honor and great fun to be with Ed during various phases as
the entire process became clear to me .
Ed created a fantastic, almost magical way of living off the
grid, before it became hip, by creating an independent, self-
sustainable design for what is now called green living.
Totally innovative in design and delivery, Ed has
since produced other bio-homes which have been very
More recently I have had the pleasure of connecting with
Willi Paul and Planetshifter. We originally met through
LinkedIn and shortly thereafter he offered to do an
interview on EAKULU.
I have been combining my personal journey and green
living with entertainment. Additionally, I have
reconnected with great friends who are on the cutting-
edge of sustainable living. “EAKULU “ is entering a
new phase of development.
Pioneering days as the dream becomes a reality.
by J.R. Beardsley
temperature control and a technology
called ammonia absorption chilling.
ultraviolet light. In a closed
system with temperature control, plants
grow year-round and scrub the
interior air. They absorb over 95% of
the heat that comes into the window,
unlike a greenhouse that needs
constant heating or cooling which are
expensive to run.
The foam dome could be sealed very
tightly. That was good but the missing
thing was a way to strengthen the
foam dome shell. I knew about
geodesic dome frameworks, so
the next step was to see if I could lock
a light steel dome frame into a foam
dome. That was the beginning of
Project BIOHOME, in 1997.
A foam dome grow room or the
GREEN ROOM as we refer to it, with
bubble water windows in it, does not
have great temperature fluctuations. In
most climates, any heat absorbed
during daylight by the water windows
is dissipated into the lower temperature
night air.
This is a recent interview
with Ed Dilley Sr.
The process has worked wonderfully,
giving me not only a great
superstructure with an R-90 insulation
factor but a tightly sealed structure as
well. Foam domes can be virtually
airtight. With temperature control I
could grow food, recycle air and more.
The water windows admit light but not
heat as the glass roof and walls of
greenhouses do. The hemispherical
shape of the structure means that there
are no flat surfaces for strong winds to
push against and no separate roof for a
hurricane to detach from supporting
walls. It is relatively easy for most
people to construct a BIOHOME or
can find more information at the
website, www.BIOHOME.net
Costs start at $325.00 for a 6-
inch diameter water window with ¼
inch thick wall.
JR: Your design and outlook on
sustainable living is so
unconventional. What inspired your
design and how did you come up with
this process?
JR: You picked an unusual place to test
your first Bio-home. How has
it inspired your design and concept?
Ed: I have been thinking about this
most of my life. As a young person I
always wanted to live on a
mountaintop somewhere. But how do
you get power, water and building
materials to the top of a mountain?
When I was in the construction
industry I saw then how wasteful this
type of construction really was and
how it needed constant upkeep.
The rural location for BIOHOME, in
the high desert of Eastern Nevada, was
chosen for its very harsh climate,
minus 35 F to 116 F in the summer.
The wind blows so hard
at this 5000 ft elevation that it moves
rocks around. It was a perfect place to
test my creation. The other factor is
that there were no building codes.
JR: How does the geodesic dome fit
into sustainable living? The windows
you use are unusual. Can you explain
their use and cost?
As years have gone by, living in this
remote location has spoiled me: no
noise. Quiet is a blessing; it allows one
to hear oneself. No crime in the
neighborhood, the antelope still run
free out here. The never-ending
changes in the sky (great storms and
colorful sunsets) are humbling. The
world goes on around me with little
effect on my lifestyle. This is a
majestic area with 11,000 ft. mountain
peaks, great canyons and upper
valleys. I have always been an
adventurer and there is a lot to explore
around my part of the planet.
From 1984 to 2009 I owned and
operated a video production company
based at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. During
those years I had the opportunity to
work on many projects. One was called
Space Garden, a NASA funded project
headed by my very good friend and
technical adviser to
Project BIOHOME, Mr. John
Martinson. In 1995, he and I
constructed a foam dome on the
campus of University of Nevada Reno
(UNR) inside a greenhouse.
Ed: We believe BIOHOMES ARE
THE FUTURE on this planet as they
are completely self-contained.
The dome shape is fun living space. A
24 ft. diameter dome is 16 feet high
allowing the addition of an upper floor
or deck, giving almost 900 sq. feet of
The best thing is that you can build it
yourself. This construction eliminates
the need for central feeds that supply
water and electricity (and on-
going bills). Each home takes care of
itself. There are no power outages or
water problems.
In this foam dome was environmental
control, allowing algae to grow in the
sunlight admitted through the water
window. l was able to extract 12
gallons of water from the desert air in
24 hours using the dome for
JR: What inspired you to begin
thinking of living off the grid and to
whom do you pay homage to as a
The bubble windows, when filled
with water, admit the visible light
spectrum needed by growing plants but
block almost all of the infrared and
Ed: I was never happy with the
wasteful way I was living and the on-
going bills for the support of my
dwellings. To free myself up from all
that was my quest, I tried sailing. The
boat life was a good way to get rid of
these things. But after a bit I saw it,
too, had a never-ending story to keep
things afloat. So it was back to the
"land yacht" thinking, and, best of all,
it won't sink. I really liked that part.
problem.They are earthquake friendly
and big winds have nowhere to attack
a dome. It may also be a good
structure to use as we explore our
moon and other planets.
JR: You have such an unusual style
compared to other systems. How do
you think your design compares to
other styles of sustainable living and
JR: I understand you encourage people
to build on their own, if possible, with
you providing materials and advice or
that you can provide professionals to
The first homage I would like to pay
would be to my mother. Her
encouragement and never ending
kindness towards others always
impressed me. My mentors have been
many as I have had the opportunity to
work with some innovative people
over the years. One of them is you, JR.
You are a very talented person. I am so
very glad we have stayed friends all
these years. Another is Buckminster
Fuller, creator of the geodesic
dome, whom I never met although I
feel that we must have been cut from
the same cloth. His views have helped
me keep my focus. The bottom line is,
as he said, THE UNIVERSE IS
MADE FROM LOVE. I agree and
would add that all that can be
imagined is possible With this
understanding and a simple grain of
faith, we can change our world and
Ed: The first thing I try to do is to be
passive in all aspects of construction
and use. Power is then reduced
considerably. That leaves a lot of extra
power to run almost 24/7. Our hybrid
systems will function anywhere there
is sunlight or wind. These systems are
inexpensive, easy to assemble and
maintain. BIOHOME construction is
mold and bacteria inhibiting, chew-
proof, self-extinguishing should it
catch fire, R90 for insulation and, most
importantly, BIOHOMES are closed
systems with recycling of water and
air. Even the sewage is dealt with
using BIOHOME technologies.
Ed: That is correct, I WOULD
OUT OF THE BOX. My team and I
work one-on-one with homeowner
builders, hand-holding them through
all phases of their creation from
design, planning, location, systems and
construction. We either make the
products needed or put you in touch
directly with our supplier. All in all,
BIOHOME construction, when guided
through it step by step, is easy and
something just about anyone can do
themselves. With my method of
construction you do not need any prior
knowledge of conventional
JR: The polyurethane spray inside and
out of the dome is fascinating. Tell us
more about its uses and benefits.
Ed: Polyurethane foam has an
insulation rating of R-7 per inch. It is
also great when combined with the
geodesic framework, creating
the superstructure. A common
complaint about geodesic domes is
that they leak and this is true in many
cases. A geodesic dome is a set of
many triangular pieces and both sides
of every triangle piece must be
sealed or covered in a way that
prevents the movement of air, water or
heat through the dome wall. At
BIOHOME this is not a problem since
every bit of BIOHOME's framework is
totally embedded in six to eight inches
of polyurethane foam. Foam outgases
for a few hours after application
and then, with our coatings, it is sealed
to protect the foam from the UV light
in sunlight. It will not outgas again
unless exposed to fire. The application
of this type of foaming and coatings
requires a highly trained team such as
ours. This is the one thing homeowner
builders cannot do themselves.
JR: Can you be specific on the costs
and compare the differences?
JR: Where is the ideal place for a
Ed: That is hard because each
BIOHOME is a prototype and custom
built for the owners’ needs. As a rule
of thumb, BIOHOME
construction materials only are about
1/3 that of conventional construction
per square foot. With this type of
construction you end up with so
much more, like a power system, water
distillery and solar toilet. And you can
feel good about being a friend to our
Ed: A high elevation is always good
for two main reasons, safety
and drainage. The view usually comes
with the altitude. I am always
surprised someone would build in a
flood plain and I have seen some dig
down into it, for thermal reasons, or at
the bottom of a mountain or canyon
where rocks are always on the move.
Safety and drainage are two things to
consider when looking for a building
site. A good road helps.
Say you want around 1000 feet of
living space. You can connect different
size domes together or put two floors
in one large dome. So costs can vary.
Another thing to consider is location.
That is where my team and I come in.
If you decide to build a BIOHOME we
will be there for you from pre-
planning to the completion of your
Good places to build can be found
anywhere from the North Pole to the
South Pole. As each BIOHOME is
tweaked a little for its environment,
they become suitable for very cold to
very hot areas. Wet or humid, no
problem. Snow loads, no
what little water escapes from the
looped recycling system.
JR: Tell us a bit about the heating
I can say that after living in my
BIOHOME since 2004, it has been
great fun. Sometimes I feel like I am
living in a Sci-Fi movie. Throughout
the years all systems have worked even
better than I could have hoped for. The
real question is not the cost as much as
what is the value of what you create. I
would prefer having a home that takes
care of me rather than a home that
owns me.
Ed: Because of BIOHOME'S great
thermal insulation the summer months
that see triple digit temperatures are
not that much of a problem.
BIOHOME stays under 80 F without
doing anything. A small wood stove
heats BIOHOME in the winter months.
When it’s -35 degrees F. outside it's
warm and cozy inside.
A YouTube slideshow presenting the
inside of Project BIOHOME can be
seen on our web site
www.BIOHOME.net along with the
next step in the evolution of
STATION, which was constructed in
2009. It has an electrically heated floor
with no need to burn anything for heat.
This type of floor is now a standard for
all our future constructions.
JR: You seem to live a very alternate
life style. What kind of a person
would enjoy the Bio-home and what
do you see as its benefits
and drawbacks?
Ed: Someday we all will be living
with this type of technology. We do not
have the resources to keep going down
the path we are on. Nor can we control
the ones we have in place. The whole
infrastructure of our cities is failing
fast. A better way to do things is at
hand. People are doing it worldwide.
At this time, in most of the U.S.A., you
have to build outside building code
areas. That restricts a lot of people. I
believe that as time passes more and
more people will have to be more
sustainable in their lifestyle as a matter
of survival. For now, anyone who is
awake to current world affairs is
already looking for a better way to live
for themselves and their families. We
can help them open the door to
that more hopeful lifestyle.
JR: Where do you see the future of
sustainable living?
Ed: Sustainable living is a must for the
survival of the human race. As we go
through earth changes it is the only
way to take us into the future. Some
will change and adapt, while others
will take their time, but we will get
there. The question to ask one's self
is what can I do now to help our world
move into the future.
The next step in biohomes
DRAW BACKS...I don't see any.
JR: What water system is used in the
Ed: A holding tank of 1800 gallons is
recycled with my Airwell technology,
an advanced solar distillery system. So
all water is at its purest form when
entering BIOHOME. A rain catch is
added to the system to supplement
Earth Base Station.