Author Topic: Concrete Dome Homes  (Read 12913 times)

Offline Palawan Aussie

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Concrete Dome Homes
« on: February 07, 2013, 08:01:48 PM »
Murph writes,

like a paradise ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay44U8EnT6M&feature=player_embedded
Murph


Appears to me a perfectly splendid place to live happily ever-after, Murph.

For what it's worth, this is what my wife and i are thinking of building in Puerto Princesa City, 

Murph, perhaps this dome-house-construction initiative appeals to you also.  I believe it's by an American not-for-profit company, started by a retired U.S Structural Engineer and based in Texas, but we don't know, and have no conection with the company. We simply found their website on the web. Maybe if we buy one of their surplus balloon formers, you might like to borrow it. If so, walang problema, no worries.

Building Concrete Dome Homes

1 Lay a circular 7 to 40 metre in diameter concrete slab
2 Inflate a re-usable nylon 'dome balloon' on this slab floor
3 Place rebar reinforcement all over the dome-shaped balloon
4 Flick 2-3cm of wet cement over the balloon & reinforcement
5 When the cement dries deflate and remove the dome balloon
6 Flick another 2-3cm layer of cement inside your dome home
7 Install whatever inside non-load-bearing walls etc you desire
8 Move into your earthquake/typhoon/termite proof dome home

Building them: http://www.dftw.org/stories/ecoshell-construction
Finished small dome: http://www.monolithic.com/topics/ecoshells
Dome Info Video:
Small | Large

Surplus Airforms: http://shop.monolithic.com/collections/surplus-airform

Such dome houses can be any size up to about 40 metre in diameter.

They take a week or three to build, and are hurricane, earthquake, tsunami and termite etc proof. The nylon-dome-balloon formers cost less than $5k  each and each one re-used over and over will build a hundred or so new dome homes.

These homes are apparently very low-spend, warm, clean, dry, very comfortable to live in, and with very little to zero maintenance they will last for centuries. We are thinking of building several of them, perhaps joined with hallways, on our land in Puerto Princesa City. Our wedding godfather, who is the City Engineer, says there's no problems at all with permits etc. In many ways,  we think such a home will be ideal. But, whatever, these are simply our plans for the way ahead at this stage. Who knows in future?


Cheers, guys :)
Stephen and Mary
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« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 01:10:36 AM by Gray Wolf »

Offline Metz

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 06:28:41 AM »
You can build it...  But you will never re-sell it if you decide to move...

Offline BingColin

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 07:31:33 AM »
This subject was discussed on this forum in 2008, and nobody was persuaded enough to want to build them.

When I decided to build here I looked at designs that would suit the climate. For me that meant Mediterranean/Spanish plus the Mission styles of Mexico and southern US.  I included an arcade in my design from the mission style. This will make a very good sitting area when I get the front garden sorted  :) The North African style would have been good for a less humid climate. If you want to build in wood, then the early Spanish/Philippine houses are interesting.  The ground floor is mainly storage or for animals with a wide staircase up to an open plan second floor. A lot of these have been modified but originally would have had very open balconies on at least three sides to allow a good air flow.

I can see many disadvantages for domes in a tropical climate, they are only naturally found in the arctic in the form of Igloos :D You donít need anything that is Earthquake or Typhoon proof here on Palawan and any style of concrete house is termite proof.  I am sure a warm house would be good in a cold climate, but you could be creating a large oven here. Insulating the inside surface of a dome would not be easy and you have lost the advantage of an overhanging roof to shelter the walls. The most important part of a house is a well insulated roof to keep the hot sun off the rest of the building. The only practical one that I have seen was a very large two story one with part of the dome cut away to form a balcony and give light and ventilation.

These ideas are interesting to explore, but you have to come back down to earth for practical living. I also think that a lot of basic Philippine concrete houses are not designed well either, but that is another subject.

Offline richardsinger

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 10:37:42 PM »
You donít need anything that is Earthquake or Typhoon proof here on Palawan and any style of concrete house is termite proof.

Colin the termite problems I have seen were in the wooden cabinets, door jambs and parquet tiles. Pre-treatment of these materials is very important in my opinion.

Richard

Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 03:41:19 AM »
Colin,

Tell them the story from the past about your prior bookcase problems.

Louisville, KY USA - Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, PH

Offline BingColin

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 07:40:44 AM »
Colin,

Tell them the story from the past about your prior bookcase problems.


The story and the photos are all here http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/page/Termites

This was in our rented bungalow that had termite problems. Termites had appeared in one corner of the bedroom which we sprayed and covered with duck tape. We had not realised that they had eaten along the inside of the dividing wall and bridged the small gap to the bookcase in the lounge. After that we got a group of nieces and nephews together and covered all the books in plastic. We don't have any problems in our new house but I have now got rid of most of the paperback books because I now use an e-book reader with over 100 books on it from the several thousand I have on my computer.

The builder that completed our house also renovated the bungalow and he said that there was a lot of termite damage that had to be repaired. It was in a built up area with houses all around so it was not possible to know where the termites came from to eradicate them. I am told that they will burrow for more than 50 metres.

We had termites on our lot before we built but they were all destroyed and the ground under and around the foundations poisoned.

Offline Palawan Aussie

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 10:04:06 PM »
Hi Colin and all,

.
These ideas are interesting to explore ... (and) a lot of basic Philippine concrete houses are not designed well  ..



Thanks again for your well-considered opinions and your experiences, Colin, and gentlemen.

And, one would certainly agree that 'ideal' forms and philosophies regarding Philippine housing architecture, materials and certainly housing construction have yet to come of age in this country. Yes, local architecture has yet to reach a genuine conceptual maturity and cultural agreement. This is perhaps unsurprising given this unique Philippines environment, and developing social structure etc, that IS truly unique in almost every way possible. Indeed, one might say, it's this unique 'freshness' and freedom from a rigidityof thought that also enables and may even encourage one to explore and extend any normal boundaries of architecture. So as indeed you say Colin .. these ideas are interesting to explore.

If anyone here on these forums might wish to explore Dome Homes further, (which indeed some claim are in fact ideal for the tropics, and, my Phils wife feels would probably be popular amongst her friends) then, perhaps you'll find the following Dome Building Forums of some interest. Though mind you, please not instead of our own Phils Forums!  :)

 http://bbs.monolithic.com/index.php

Thanks for the termite info guys. Cept for mozzies (and maybe several others) it's hard to think of a more useless insect.

Cheers,
Stephen

Btw: here's a dome community in Indonesia ..

« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 10:39:49 PM by PalawanAussie »

Offline Palawan Aussie

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 01:47:08 PM »
G'day fellas,

The Asawa and I have built 6 dome structures on our farm in Pangasinan. If you would like to discuss dome building in the Philippines PM me.


A kind offer .. am sure your actual experiences will be of interest to any who might consider such dome house designs. These surely still are unusual designs. Colin may very well be right regarding inside temperature issues, As it's always wise to gather as much info and opinion as possible, you can expect to, and already have, heard privately from us. Thank you matey, and to everyone voicing an opinion, and three cheers for the Living In The Philippines Forum for this discussion opportunity.

Cheers, guys :)
Stephen & Mary 

Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 01:13:14 AM »
Hello,

The Asawa and I have built 6 dome structures on our farm in Pangasinan.

If you would like to discuss dome building in the Philippines PM me.


By all means, let's have a public discussion about these interesting homes!  There is nothing off topic about alternative home construction.  Personally, I've built all sorts of structures commercially, both wood and concrete.  But even with those (early) years in the construction business, it's always good to listen to new ideas and learn about modern techniques!

I designed and long-distance supervised construction of a three level home for the family in Novaliches.  But when I attended the house blessing, I saw many things that came out different that what I conceived, ranging from terrible to I-never-thought-of-that! 

So, keep an open mind on this.  Let's discuss things here so all can benefit.  You can still send PM's to each other on sensitive details. 

And as far as links are concerned, I checked this one and see no reason to delete it.  Just think very carefully about what links are posted. 

Thanks!   :)
Louisville, KY USA - Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, PH

Offline John Edwards

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 12:17:52 AM »


Before I say anything I want to make it understood that this is MY OPINION. And you know all about opinions.

I like the dome; it is a good looking structure and can be configured any way you wish. I once saw a home that was cluster of one room domes, all connected. It was sprawling and was surrounded by trees and gardens and each room/dome had windows on three sides.

However, In the Philippines I too agree with Colin. I have looked carefully at the houses built there and almost all have a very wide overhang on the roof. That is so the sun, from about mid-morning to early evening, does not shine on the walls. Block heats up in direct sunlight and holds the heat for a long time so the more it is kept in the shade the cooler it is.

I grew up out in the country and the styles of country houses appeal to me. I have studied a lot of house plans when I was still planning to live here and I found one I really like. It has a porch completely around the house thereby keeping to sun off the walls. Here it is built with wood but I think it can be adapted to be built with block. You guys already there and have experience building houses can pass your opinion on that. In this case Iíll trust it.


I included a link.

http://www.houseplans.com/plan/1789-square-feet-2-bedrooms-2-bathroom-bungalow-house-plans-0-garage-14039

I would flatten out the roof a bit and discard the Dove Cote on the peak. I might also include a comfort room with a small shower in the room titled Study/ bedroom3.   Otherwise I would build it as shown.


Offline Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am

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Besides Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 12:40:27 AM »
Besides dome houses and not to hijack or ignore your topic, I came upon this website on another forum a few years ago concerning the use of building materials made of  panels of light-weight concrete, mixed with insulating polystyrene beads! May cost more than your typical hollow block construction, but seems practical due to the warm weather here in the Philippines!
I believe Colin used some of these types of panels in his home build in Palawan!
If I only knew about it 13 yrs ago and could have afforded it, I would have loved to have had our home built in this way! Maybe the article wasn't around 13 yrs ago and then again, I didn't have a computer way back then either! 

http://www.sibonga.com/philippines_concrete.htm

Our home construction is pretty similar with a steel frame and prefabricate concrete panels with Spanish tile roofing and gypsum board interior walls and ceilings for better insulation aka the Phoenix home building system. Our home is similar to the home styles in Cebu(below link), but without any hollow blocks used except for our 2 car garage.
http://www.manila-construction.com/cement_hollow_blocks_philippines.htm

« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 01:31:12 AM by Art2ro »
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Offline Tally J

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 02:23:12 AM »

I too would be building a house similar to the one that John Edwards describes had my lot been large enough.  These were the types of houses erected in south Florida in the 50's.  Wide, covered porches to block the sun and high peaked central ceilings.  In many of these homes the "dove cote" had windows that could be opened to let out the warmed air, drawing in the cooler air from the porches, creating a natural air circulation pattern.  I recall one house we lived in that had an attic fan located in the center of the house that pulled in the air from porch level and expelled it through the attic.

The concrete domes are an intriguing design and maybe could be modified to have window and door overhangs.

Offline John Edwards

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 05:54:46 AM »

That is something I didnít think of, a huge fan in the Dove Cote circulating air through the house. That would make a cooler house and cut down on the AC cost. Most of the people that will be living in the house are not used to AC so that might also cut down on the flack Iíll take by running it all day.

Maybe instead of windows it can have louvers and put a vent in the roof under each set of louvers so that the air flow from the louvers will move across the vents creating a vacuum within the attic and pulling hot air out of the attic. 

Maybe the bird house on top stays.

Offline BingColin

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 10:01:20 AM »
A complex subject and one that has interested me for many years. I have put my design ideas for my house here http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/page/Design  but everyone has different ideas and priorities. Right at the beginning you need to decide whether you are going for aircon or natural cooling, they have different requirements. I have tried to compromise but it is not easy.

One point that I would like to make is that it is often a mistake to transfer a house designed for the cooler US to the tropics. Your design, as it stands, could be too hot. You need to consider airflow which could be done with the attic fan idea that was used in some of the pre-aircon US days. Personally, I think it better to rely on natural air movement. A bungalow sits close to the ground where there is less air movement. If you build on a small lot in a built up area you are going to get no air movement. Our previously rented bungalow was a good example of that; we had to use a lot of aircon. My original house design had a third floor open Ďcoolí room that was removed because of the cost.

You could build your design with hollow block, the only way most builders here understand, but I would suggest having insulated outer walls if you are considering using some air conditioning.

You need to design the basic structure of the house to suit the climate, then you can finish the exterior any way you like to suit your tastes.

These are just my opinions  ;) :D

Offline Palawan Aussie

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Re: Concrete Dome Homes
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 11:19:33 PM »
John writes,

Quote
I have studied a lot of house plans when I was still planning to live here and I found one I really like. It has a porch completely around the house thereby keeping to sun off the walls. Here it is built with wood but I think it can be adapted to be built with block. http://www.houseplans.com/plan/1789-square-feet-2-bedrooms-2-bathroom-bungalow-house-plans-0-garage-14039  I would flatten out the roof a bit and discard the Dove Cote on the peak. I might also include a comfort room with a small shower in the room titled Study/ bedroom3.   Otherwise I would build it as shown.


Seem to me lovely house, John, and certainly a home anyone would be proud to own and live in.

This is just a suggestion to you and to anyone who is looking to build in the Philippines, and that includes my wife and myself.  I for one, feel I would like to explore the advantages of the freedom from overly strict regulation that building in the Phils offers.

That's why I've been looking at concrete domes. They're interesting, they can be built in one or two weeks and cost very little.

If they're a mistake, ok no worries. Just tear it down and build another design, or make it a guest house or even your garage.

But, Dome houses are not the only such housing design and construction that is unusual, certainly economical and speedy.

Here's another somewhat perhaps radical idea. Please guys don't jump on me, Just suggesting ideas is all. And some friends living in Indonesia have had real success in doing this, and now have a lovely home.

China is a very short boat trip from the Phils. And their prices are still very reasonable, and the quality of their products has improved quite remarkably recently. Now, my point is, perhaps people might consider buying prefabricated and containerized housing that is made in China. These are often remarkably cheap, and when shipped the short distance to the Philippines, one can obtain remarkable value, quality housing. They're often transportable, so you don't need to own land in the Philippines

Have a look here. http://www.alibaba.com/Prefab-Houses_pid3113  for over 100,000 such products and suppliers.

Cheers,
Stephen

And here's a few design examples .. and both of these appear to be under $10,000 US to buy, fully complete and containerized. Each of them ready to put together in a week or so, virtually anywhere a container truck can reach. On your land, or, on land which you have on longer-term lease. And, please note guys, I've no connection with the above website, nor any connection with these two companies below .. simply providing information.



and ..


 
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 11:58:40 PM by PalawanAussie »