Nowadays modern engineering techniques offer us more building options than ever before. One innovative construction model that gives people new opportunities is the glass geodesic dome, hailed by the American Institute of Architects as: “The strongest, lightest and most efficient means of enclosing space known to man”. To find out more we spoke to a cross section of latest-generation dome owners who worked with Hampshire based Solardome Industries to realise their visions. Here’s what we found out…
Building an Arctic Eco-home
Norwegian couple Benjamin and Ingrid Hjertefolger’s eco-home near Bodo in the Arctic Circle, built using traditional materials like wood, sand, clay and straw, required a mighty barrier to protect it from the elements.
To enable this Solardome Industries developed its new PRO system, which enabled them to create a 15 metre wide and 7.5 metre tall geodesic glass shield around the build.
Benjamin said: “In my original plans the internal house was square with a rectangular greenhouse surrounding it. But after a while and some ‘googling’ we found Solardome Industries in the UK. It was then that we began planning for a round house instead.
“We have been blown away by the magnificence of the dome and the life it is helping us to lead. We all worked really hard to create our eco-friendly home, our dream, and our little sustainable bubble that supports our eco values.”
Learning outside the classroom
Like many schools across the country Norman Gate School in Andover, Hampshire, is working hard to provide outstanding outdoor learning opportunities for its students.
In 2014 they commissioned a SOLARDOME Capella to help them achieve their objective of adding a dynamic and inspirational outdoor dimension to both curricular and pastoral activities.
Head Teacher Chris Gayler said: “The dome is a space that is very stimulating because it is so different. The children always feel like they are on a bit of an adventure when they go there.
“It gives us an extra learning space that is very motivating and stimulating because it is so different. Sometimes it is timetabled and at other times it is simply open for the children to make their own. Being able to fit a whole class inside is definitely one of the advantages of this particular design.”
Enjoying the garden
Dr. Fiona Ross commissioned a SOLARDOME Haven for her new garden on a two hundred metre-high exposed hillside near Glasgow, where strong winds and heavy rain were a certainty.
Dr Ross said: “I was at my wit’s end looking for a solution for my conservatory/greenhouse problem. Then I saw an advert for the SOLARDOME Haven.”
“For the space and strength of the structure I thought it was very favourable price-wise. But not only that, I thought it was a wonderful piece of architecture too.”
You can find out more about these projects and others by visiting the Solardome Industries website at www.solardome.co.uk