Living Small, Cheap and Simple. Try A Dome House

Dome House Pink Polystyrene Japan photo

If I was a teenager that needed some space to myself, I would really like a Dome House out in the backyard. Or as a writer, this could be the solution to all my troubles: who doesn't need privacy! These prefab domes come from International Dome House Co. Ltd. and are approved by the Japanese Ministry of Land and Transport. The material is "expanded polystyrene", that is formaldehyde-free, with measures taken for excellent air circulation. The company also claims that the walls have high thermal insulating properties, meaning air-conditioning or heating could be reduced, and the polystyrene is "free from rot, rust and termites".

What I don't like: plastic. I am a big fan of wood. Here in Japan I currently live in an old-style wooden farm-house, with the traditional tatami mats on the floor. While I could probably use them in a dome home as well, there is a special feeling when walls, ceilings and other parts of the home are made of natural materials. Having said that, I'd love to try a dome home, maybe as a studio or a meditation room.

Dome House Examples photo

Ultra-short assembly time

The Dome House can be built by assembling Dome Pieces. Each Dome Piece weighs only 80kg. Since assembly is quite simple, if performed by 3 or 4 people, it takes approximately 7 days to complete a Dome House.

Dome House Japan photo

Ultra-low cost

The Dome House is simple, since it is a prefabricated building with a small number of parts. Each Dome Piece is light and easy to carry, making the assembly quite easy. Because the construction of the Dome House requires only minimal manpower and a very short period of time, it is possible to reduce the substantial amount of labor costs.

Dome House Interior photo

Environmental measures

Since expanded polystyrene is made only from carbon and hydrogen, casting of expanded polystyrene is extremely clean. Construction of the Dome House does not produce any waste, nor does it involve any deforestation.

Dome House Modelhouse photo

When Treehugger briefly mentioned this company back in March 2007, the comments include tips on how to order them abroad: Dome Was Built In One Day.Do have a look at American Ingenuity Dome Home for details.

Written by Martin Frid at

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