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Shelter / Little Bubbles
« on: April 26, 2014, 02:39:37 AM »
One thing I did not figure in here in the cost of providing more acreage per unit is the cost of the plumbing and septic system for the community.  You would either have to run lines twice as long or have twice as many systems, either way this would drive up the cost substantially.  Similar with Central Electric.  So you do need to stay as close as possible between units without sacrificing too much in the way of "spaciousness".  In a rural area where each unit had it's own Well and Septic or Humanure collection and Methane Biogen along with Solar PV and Wind Turbines, this would not matter though.

Overall, the MDI community I saw was WAY too close together, plus those rows of grid based housing really smacked of Malvina Reynolds "Little Boxes", just in this case they were "Little Bubbles".


Shelter / Re: Standard dome Models
« on: April 25, 2014, 06:28:59 PM »

Have to agree on the "sterility" of the layouts at the MDI-owned communities - except the hidden garden one, that seemed better laid out.  The landscaper who put in a few IO-20's also did a reasonable layout.

Building close together reduces costs but also aesthetics.

Problem with the Secret Garden was there was no room for Parking.  Only street parking.

Nickle & Diming on the cost of the land is ridiculous.  If you look at the Quadplex for instance, cost of the 2 28' Domes about $30K each and 32' Ecoshell another $40K call it 100K for the buildings.  Say you bought land at $20K/Acre.  You could fit the units on $1/4 Acre for $5000, but it would be nicer on 1/2 Acre for $10K  So it only costs an extra $5K to have nice space.  That is with pretty expensive land too!  If your land comes in at $5K/acre, the cost is insignificant against the building costs.


Shelter / Re: Dome Promotion
« on: April 25, 2014, 02:39:22 PM »
We won't be ready to go looking for clients until the feasibility study and a few other pieces are in place.  I'm being head-hunted for a director of IT position in Dallas, which would put me conveniently close to MDI and Eddie for developing this business.  Convincing the wife to consider Texas, even on the short term, may be difficult.   Eddie and Anne need to come visit to correct her impression of Texans from the MSM veriosn to what we experienced.

Not talking about looking for clients, just building awareness.  Getting more people thinking about it, planting the seeds.

Setting up in TX has good points (Eddie already there), but you're also in direct competition with MDI down there.


Shelter / Re: Standard dome Models
« on: April 25, 2014, 01:40:01 PM »
I'm not as concerned about layout of domes in a community, a lot of that will depend on the lay of the land and fitting the community design into the landscape so that it maximizes natural resources.

I just did it to get an idea of how many units you would get with a simple loop road system.  Mainly because I found the layout of the MDI rental community so sterile.


Shelter / Standard dome Models: Dome Small Tribe
« on: April 25, 2014, 03:58:40 AM »
This design is for the small tribe utilizing shared vehicles with multiple independent living quarters and shared space.

There are 10 total units, 4 half domes and 6 third domes.  One Garage/Greenhouse for all. 2 Car capacity for all with additional parking by the street.

Total capacity for this unit is about 30 or so.

Domes are connected by Concrete Fences to create the communal area for gardens and provide good security for children to play in.  Fences have access points to be able to get in and out for the units that do not have exterior doorways.

Should fit on 1-2 acres.


Shelter / Dome Promotion
« on: April 25, 2014, 12:21:56 AM »

As you can see, I adapted the Famous Photo from the Convocation to reflect DOMES rather than DOOM;D

I also am wondering if we want to start using the large and growing circulation of the Diner to begin promoting the Dome Biz.  I am considering putting up a New Page called Domesteads where we can feature Designs of the Domes we are working on.

At 786K on Alexa, the Diner is now well ahead of websites like The Archdruid Report and approaching the territory of Our Finite World and Clusterfuck Nation.  A new Dome Website will not have such immediate circulation and recognition.

I am pretty sure that by the time Harry mentioned of 6mo-1year for the new Dome Company to get rolling we can get Diner circulation up  to the top of the Doom-o-sphere.  Since the Diner is not Non-Profit, there are no issues with advertising a for-profit company on Diner pages.

We still do need a Name for the company and its own URL.  Suggestions welcome, we had a few over on the Diner a while back but nothing was set on there.  I am partial to Domesteads Inc. but since Harry is lead on this one I think he should pick the name.


Shelter / Standard dome Models-Community Plan
« on: April 24, 2014, 09:59:38 PM »
Utilizing the above designs, I laid out a Community with the 2 standard Domes.

You have the bigger Quadplexes on the Outer Ring, with an additional inner ring for the cars exiting the back side of the Garages.  That doesn't need to be paved necessarily.  Additional free standing Garages are for the residents of the Tri-Apartments in the center.  Additional parking spaces can be provided with Carports.

You could get a lot more dense than this, but this seems nice density to me.  Haven't worked out the total acreage necessary, and you would likely have to adapt for terrain features.  This only works in abstract on dead flat midwest landscape.

Total community size from 200-300 residents or so.


Shelter / Standard Dome Models-Domestead Quadplex
« on: April 24, 2014, 09:01:12 PM »
Latest Design Idea, a Quadplex with Shared Ecoshell Garage and Greenhouse.

In this design, instead of dividing up the Standard 28' Dome with 3 Augments into 3 apartments, it is divided into two, attached to a larger 32-36' Ecoshell Garage/Greenhouse.

This design provides much closer to the standard of living of the Middle Class without driving up the cost very much.  By adding a Concrete Fence between garage and house, you get a nice enclosed Garden for kids to play in, BBQ etc.  Or you can add a prefab Toolshed.  Addition of the outdoor fenced area adds about 50% more private living space.

The garage is shared, with Spiral Staircases to access the Greenhouse on the second story.  Greenhouse is a prefab Geodesic of around 30' which is bolted to the Ecoshell which goes up to around 8'.

The entire complex fits on around a 1/4 Acre plot of land.

Basically just 2 Balloons are necessary for all the designs, the 28' with 3 Augments and the 32-36' with 4 Augments.  All the Augments should have the same dimensions so they all match up for doing Box construction between them by conventional building methods.


Shelter / Re: Semi-Communal Dome Design
« on: April 24, 2014, 04:09:53 PM »
I think a communal area in the centre is a good idea and could work even with a small family. The parents can take the space behind the bathroom so it becomes the master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom while the other bedrooms are on the outer sections. People can congregate to the centre when they want or leave relatively easily (and efficiently) if they desired into their individual spaces. Only thing is how well do these domes insulate? Would people get cold staying near the edge of the dome in colder climates?

The Domes with the polyurethane are about the best insulated buildings on the planet.  Together with the large thermal mass of the concrete, they are very cheap to heat and cool.  there isn't much difference between the area near the surface and the center.

I downloaded SketchUp from Google to start working on some real plans rather than the schematics done with Paint.  I'll see if I can figure out the program over the weekend.  You get 8 hours to work with the full version before you lose some of the functions in the freeware.  Google wants $590 for the Pro version, not buying that for a while.


Everything Under the Sun / New Commenters on SUN Blog
« on: April 24, 2014, 03:57:17 AM »
We are getting some New Commenters on the Blog now, and somebody needs to respond to these folks.

I am overwhelmed with being a Pitchman all over the web and I just don't have time to monitor these comments and respond to them in a timely fashion.

Can one of the Admins who has currently gone Walkabout from the Diner step up to the plate here and Admin this site in a timely fashion?


Community / Re: The Convocation Ends
« on: April 24, 2014, 12:42:52 AM »
Can't wait to read the Blogs and see Wendy's pic choices!


SUN Newz & Current Events / Re: What to call this category?
« on: April 23, 2014, 05:41:09 PM »
What ever happened to "Sunsteaders?"

Biggest problem with "heliopath" is that you'd always have to explain it.

The explanation is not difficult.  Helio is Greek for Sun.  Path is direction.

"Following the Path of the Sun" is what a Heliopath is explicitly.

I'll change it if it is Voted Down, but I still like it.


Wait a second.

We're not talking about the people here, or what the words actually mean; we're talking about a term of art to explain what SUN is about to all those people who "don't read" or who are "functionally ignorant." (As in podcast listeners... Remember?)

OTOH,  I have mistaken the point . . . which is entirely possible.

Bah.  I changed the title to SUN Newz & Current Events.

You guys are so boring.


Shelter / Re: Semi-Communal Dome Design
« on: April 23, 2014, 05:36:44 PM »

I would be very careful about being too "efficient".  Bathing can certainly be scheduled so there is no need for redundancy there, but two toilets would not be wasted.  And I would make sure the bathing facilities and toilet facilities could be used separately.

Also, don't be too sure about the single fridge idea.  The biggest use of energy in a fridge is all the cold air that escapes when you open the door.  3 small fridges whose doors get opened 1/3 as often can use much less energy than a big fridge.

With those caveats, I definitely like the idea.

Definitely you should have more than one toilet in privacy enclosures, and the shower area separate.  I'll need to get a real Home Design CAD program with all the fixtures the right size and so forth to do a good job on the layout.

I don't see why it wouldn't pass muster on Code, long as you have enough toilets for the maximum # of residents, in this case 6 at 2 per unit.  If the smaller individual refrigerators are more efficient, you simply put 3 of them in the kitchen instead of one large one. 

It's definitely the way to go for an Assisted Living facility.  Probably would work well for those Autistic Homes WHD takes care of.

By shrinking the Dome to 26' with 3 units instead of 4, how does this affect the cost per unit?  I'm too lazy to take out the MDI spreadsheet.  ::)



Shelter / Ecoshell Greenhouse/Garage Combo Unit
« on: April 23, 2014, 05:41:01 AM »

For safe car storage and Food Production.  No insulation, basic ecoshell.


SUN Newz & Current Events / Re: What to call this category?
« on: April 23, 2014, 05:09:17 AM »
What ever happened to "Sunsteaders?"

Biggest problem with "heliopath" is that you'd always have to explain it.

The explanation is not difficult.  Helio is Greek for Sun.  Path is direction.

"Following the Path of the Sun" is what a Heliopath is explicitly.

I'll change it if it is Voted Down, but I still like it.


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