Durable, Energy Efficient Dome Homes

November/December 2008
A version of this article appears in the November/December 2008 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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November 06, 2008
What if thinking outside the box meant literally getting out of the rectangular boxes that most of us call home?
Most people would agree that if you want a truly energy-efficient home, you have to be willing to think outside the box. Whether you explore alternative heating-and-cooling methods or innovative building techniques, it pays to get out of the mainstream and be willing to consider unconventional approaches. But what if thinking outside the box meant literally getting out of the rectangular boxes that most of us call home? In fact, what if it meant living in a round building instead? That’s exactly what a small but growing group of homeowners has been doing for the last several decades. They have been moving into Monolithic Dome houses, and achieving extraordinary energy savings as a result. As their name implies, Monolithic Domes are one-piece, round structures that have no roof, no joints, and no seams. Their surface is smooth and unbroken like that of an egg, with the exception of windows, doors, and vents, which are all carefully sealed to prevent unnecessary air flow. The monolithic nature of the structures is one of the factors that account for their energy efficiency. The materials used in the homes’ construction also help conserve energy. Specifically, Monolithic Domes are made out of ...

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