Are you trying to build a fancy geodesic dome in your garden but don’t know where to start? You can use a Geodesic dome as a greenhouse, living room, or storage room. It takes roughly three hours to assemble one and 15 minutes to disassemble one.
There are a few things you must put into consideration as building a geodesic is not as straightforward as a normal building. However, as a result of this, your material costs are driven down, allowing you to build enormous structures for relatively modest costs when compared to more traditional construction methods. Bare in mind that you can get get a professional builder to do this or you can give the DIY geodesic dome a shot.
Here, we’ve put together a guide to help and get started and complete your own geodesic dome.
When working with power tools, wear safety glasses and protective gear.
Wait until the dome structure is finished before standing or hanging from it.
Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome, designed in the early twentieth century, is one of the most energy-efficient structures ever devised. A basic concrete dome is far less expensive and takes significantly less time to construct than a traditional dwelling.
Materials needed to build a geodesic dome
- Ladder or trestle
- plastic clips
- 5/16 socket driver and pliers
- Plastic sheeting
- Metal saw
- 100 2” x .25” bolts
- Concrete mixer
- 100 .25” nuts
- 200 .25” washers
- 85 .5” x 10’ galvanized steel electrical conduit
- 5/16 socket driver and pliers
- zip ties
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How to build a geodesic dome
For the dome, clear a 314-square-foot area. The ground should ideally be concrete.
The installation of the base cabinet is permanent.
Because the electrical conduit pipe is sold in 10-foot-long segments, cut it to the lengths stated in Things You’ll Need. With the arbor press, flatten all of the ends to a depth of 2 inches. Ensure that the flattened ends are at the same angle.
In the same direction, bend each end to between 9 and 11 degrees. When finished, it should be in the shape of a “C.” Place a centered hole in each flat area of conduit using the drill to fit the 5/16 bolts.
Install bolts without nuts in each connecting hole. Place the ends of the next “layer” of struts on the bolts and work your way around the ring until the second layer is upright. Now that the first ring of struts is complete, it may be secured with washers and nuts. Because the weight will shift until the dome is completed, do not tighten these nuts yet.
After installing the third layer of struts, place nuts on the second layer. Until they are connected to the very top of the dome, these may hang down or travel in unexpected ways. The assembly diagram should be simple to read and follow once the second layer is completed.
Leave the nuts loosened until the dome is finished, then walk around it and double-check your measurements to make sure it’s centered.
For each vertex, tighten all of the nuts. Each point will have four, five, or six struts joined by a bolt that will bear the majority of the structural load, so make sure they’re all tight.
All of the open triangular portions should be covered with wire mesh. Stretch the mesh across each strut with the zip ties and the ladder, then secure it with the ties.
Make sure the mesh does not sag on top of the structure. Doing two layers of strong wire mesh, overlaying them, is an excellent idea. Zip ties should be used generously; you can never have too many. The mesh should “rest” on the dome struts, with the ties holding it in place rather than supporting it. Make sure there’s adequate room for entry!
One bag at a time, mix the cement, and lay it out on the dome. To prevent the concrete from dripping through the mesh, it should be mixed a little thicker.
Spread the concrete uniformly from the bottom up to ensure proper drying. It is desirable to have a thickness of over 1 inch, but spreading it too thickly can cause it to break while curing. Spreading concrete from the bottom up guarantees that each subsequent layer “seals” the previous layer, making it waterproof. The interior can be insulated and floored once it has dried.