Bucky's Back: Domes Come in From the Cold

intershelter dome photo


An Alaskan company has crossed Bucky Fuller's geodesic dome with walk-in cooler and come up with the Artic Dome [their spelling]. Intershelter's twenty foot diameter dome is built like a boat, with a gelcoat exterior and a core of P2000 insulation, a material that "combines thermal reflective technology with the high insulating properties of a specially formulated EPS foam core."

Each piece is 70 pounds so that it can be shipped easily and assembled quickly. While the materials are not particularly green, they pair it with a Sol-Cool heat pump unit that runs off solar panels and a wind turbine.

intershelter dome in winter photo


It is also not really a Geodesic dome as designed by Buckminster Fuller, which was made of triangular elements. These appear to be built from very clever overlapping pieces that remind me of fish scales more than anything else. But it has many of the attributes of a Geodesic dome, both good and bad.

According to Libby Tucker in the New York Times, The domes can be reused for up to 50 years and can withstand up to 40 feet of snow and 160-mile-an-hour winds.

"Pretty much anywhere you can get a pickup in, you can put up a house," said Shawn Mattoon, the vice president of operations and co-owner of Intershelter. "And it's easier than putting up a canvas hunting-camp tent."

dome plan image

There are a couple of layouts that look quite comfortable, although having had a twenty foot diameter dome, I can attest that they are tough to furnish. These were designed for emergency and commercial uses in extreme temperatures; I hope they introduce a model with a bit more glazing. But at about fifteen thousand bucks for 315 square feet for the insulated version, it is a great start.

Video of assembly of a dome. More information at Intershelter

More Dome Designs
Living Small, Cheap and Simple. Try A Dome House
Dome was Built in a Day
Geodesic Domes Gain Weight and Settle Down
Another One Bites The Dust: Bucky Fuller's Union Tank Car Dome
A Well-Rounded, Dome-estic Wine with Fuller Aspirations

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