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August 11, 2010

$10,000 Monolithic Dome Ecoshells for Basic Permanent Shelter and Infrastructure

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An EcoShell with a diameter of 6 meters (19.69’) and a living area of 28 square meters or 8 pings or 305 square feet. That 6-meter dome is needed in the developing world by the tens of thousands – really millions. The United Nations, years ago, found that a family of eight needs a home of just 28 square meters.
(H/T to reader Trkiehl)

A few good workers can build an EcoShell in three to five days. For a 6-meter dome, you need: 50 bags of cement, 2500’ roll of basalt reinforcing or fiberglass, about 5 cubic meters of small size concrete aggregate, an Airform that can be used hundreds of times, a small inflator fan and a few workers primarily with hand tools.

The basalt reinforcing (basalt rebar is now produced by several countries) weighs 1/11th as much as steel, but is stronger and – most importantly – will not rust.

Energy required to heat or cool a Monolithic Dome is generally 1/4 to not more than 50% of any conventional building. The Domes will be mostly fire resistant and resistant to hurricanes and Tornadoes.

A little village using 6-meter domes would cost about $10,000 per dome, including the infrastructure to handle the dome. By the infrastructure, we mean the water systems, sewer systems, electric distribution and simple roads. 200,000 domes at $10,000 each equals $2 billion. Double that to include larger houses, government buildings, commercial buildings, we are now at $4 billion. If we throw another billion at infrastructure we are at $5 billion


The basic unit is a concrete floor with a 6-meter diameter. Preferably, the dome should have a sink; a walled-off toilet and a walled-off shower. The balance of the dome is open. At completed projects, EcoShell occupants have amazed us with what they did with that balance of space. They used screens, curtains, mats and furniture to divide it up into individual areas.



Domes for the World has provided domed houses for $1500 each (steel rebar)


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