Desert Dome Shelter — 7 Comments

  1. This is now one of my favorite earthbag building methods. There are numerous advantages to this method over building a dome entirely with earthbags:
    – less hard labor: no need to move heavy soil high on the wall, less tamping
    – easier construction: top of domes are a little tricky where the bags curve in on the top.
    – more head space (an issue in small domes)
    – more insulating and so more comfortable temperature inside
    – more design freedom: top of dome can be curved to any radius
    – less weight overhead
    – better protects domes in rainy/snowy climates: easy to create a roof overhang with the ferrocement (make a lip that projects beyond the wall).

    This seems important enough for a blog post…

    • Pound the rebar into the earthbags, bend into desired curve and then tie to other half (other piece of rebar on the opposite side) with galvanized wire. Allow 18″ or so overlap where rebar pieces join.

    • This is a shelter for desert regions with very low rainfall. You’re not likely to get 1-2 feet of rain all of a sudden, right?

  2. I designed one of these a long time ago when I found formworks building in Durango Colorado. Hat’s off to you. It comes down to environment. Keep up the good work. If you want to go slightly bigger they are rebar connectors they sell that would help your hoop lengthen. My design was 15′ diameter with 9′ ceilings which would allow a loft.

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