Low Cost EcoDome
Advisor: Steve Alexander
Our project is the Low cost eco-dome, which we hope can be a low cost option for any short-term housing needs. We began on the micro scale, crafting a miniature dome to display the overall shape of the dome, and to give us a physical model which would allow us to envision what our final project would look like. We have devised, constructed, and tested multiple hub styles, and have picked the one we feel would best balance cost, simplicity of use, and weight of the dome (a factor which has serious repercussions for the portability of the dome). Additionally, we have constructed many partial domes to test many different strut materials in order to be more aware of the different options with which the dome may be built. These experiments have allowed us to make a dome that is inexpensive, easy to assemble and structurally sound. As we move into the final phases of our projects, we will be constructing all of the necessary pieces to create a dome with a radius of 8 feet and 16 feet in diameter, to convey the large-scale size that the domes may reach. The struts in our dome consist of 65 pieces of 3/4” electrical conduit but the design of our hub allows wooden beams, PVC pipe or bamboo to be easily substituted. We will present our findings in relation to hub design, portability, practical applications, and ease of use. We hope that our dome will pave the way for future inquiries into portable and adaptive emergency structures.