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Why Geodesic Domes?

...as of the late 1930’s, the so-called building industry was already 2,000 years behind the arts of building ships of the sea and sky
— R. Buckminster Fuller

The Geodesic Dome is an an engineered structure which encloses space more efficiently than any other structure. The maximum amount of space is enclosed with a minimum amount of surface area and materials. This is a geometric fact. When constructing a geodesic dome, we are not buying and installing expensive materials for the purpose of supporting other expensive materials. A dome is completely self-supporting. The geodesic dome has 38% less surface area than a rectilinear structure of the same square footage, and about the same amount in material savings as well.

No other structure can match the qualities of the geodesic dome for strength, efficiency and structural integrity. According to the University of Minnesota’s Underground Space Center, the immense strength of the geodesic dome makes it ideal for earth-sheltering. The obsolete building paradigm held that utilities and materials, labor and land are both abundant and cheap.  You'd have to go back a long time for these assumptions to be factual; that's how worn-out and overdue for change the obsolete paradigm is.  The obsolete paradigm never went so far as to make considerations of sustain-ability or a single home's energy needs/costs over the next century or impact on the environment, much less the overall needs and impact of 10's of millions of same-styled homes.  But old, ingrained ideas are die-hards. This is evidenced, right up until very recently by our country-sides continuing to sprout rectilinear behemoths, (i.e. the so-called "McMansions"); each one of them, by their very structure and design, carry an open-ended energy cost/commitment attached 
to them into the future and for as long as they stand.  

The obsolete paradigm became obsolete for its failure to recognize and implement advances in technology that would allow us more advantage over the conditions that we face.  The consequences are that we are now at an extreme disadvantage to the forces we face for successful living.   The equation of the paradigm over time is that the advantages lessen and the disadvantages increase, eventually forcing something characteristically new and different to emerge.  This is called a "paradigm shift".  With the uncertainty of utility costs, the possibility of no available energy scenarios and the certainty of weather extremes every year, is the implementation of the new construction paradigm not long overdue?

 
 
The fundamental idea behind the geodesic dome is to do more with less; to enclose a large space with a small quantity of materials.
— Mark Ludwig, Dome Designer