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a descriptive research on history, types and construction method of a Geodesic Dome. Being sustainable, geodesic dome is being used very frequently from the past few decades. Currently, these domes are also used as residential constructions
Al Ghurair University, Dubai Academic City
Methods of construction
Materials to be used in construction
Example in architecture
• A geodesic dome is a thin shelled arrangements made out
of triangles connected together to form a true sphere.
• The triangles are architecturally firm and distribute the
stress throughout the dome, allowing the structure to
bear heavy loads for their size.
• Space frame is the three dimensional framework that
makes the dome stabled.
• The triangles are put as hexagons and pentagons to
eventually form the dome.
History of geodesic dome
• I the year 1919,Walter Bauersfelt who is fromGermany has decided to base a
moveable projectors within a still dome.
• The first model ever made was more that half a sphere butWalter Bauersfeld has fixed
the issue of how to make a really huge sphere by approximating it.
• After 30 years, an American architect R. Buckminster Fuller has invented a similar idea
but the difference is that he designed it to be affordable and efficient that can be
made fast. It was R. Buckminster Fuller who called it a geodesic dome.
• The geodesic dome is the strongest, lightest and most cost-effective building that was
ever made because it’s ability to cover space without any interior supports “such as
columns” that usually cover up space in an interior. Not only is it cost effective but it is
also easy to construct.
In the year 1957, in Honolulu Hawaii, a geodesic dome was built so quickly
it only took them 22 hours after all the parts/materials were delivered.
Nowadays there is over 300,000 domes around the world
• R. Buckminster Fuller’s first world
acceptance by the architectural
community happened in the year
1954 where his cardboard dome was
exhibited for the very first time. His
cardboard dome was presented in
the Milan triennale where they stage
international exhibitions all over the
world to show their most advanced
accomplishments in the field of
Planning the construction:
Designing the dome is the first step to start with. The size and amount of triangles and their calculations to form the dome is
needed. For example, the basic dome has equilateral 20 triangle, which then further divided into smaller triangles to form the
sphere. More triangles results in bigger and more complex domes.
Struts: these are the framework for the dome which are made up of rods. Normal geodesic domes have same length of struts
where as complex ones have struts of different sizes.
Material selection should be made as different materials create different kinds of dome.
Finalizing the structure: several things should be kept in mind while putting all the pieces together, such as, the struts and their
dimensions, their edges flattened so that they fall on the same plane when attached, and to make sure the flattened edges bend
slightly (found by calculation).
The calculation differs by class of the dome, like 2V, 3V, 4V, etc.
1. Cutting the struts as per calculations 2. Flattening the edges
3. Drilling holes for joints 4. Bending the flattened edges 5. Sealing and painting the struts
Dome assembly method
The assembly should be planned according to the class and
complexity of the dome constructed.
It also depend on what arrangement will the triangles be, for
example pentagon, hexagon.
It is better to start the assembly from top pieces and
gradually coming downwards.
Materials used in construction
• There are options when building the geodesic dome, you can
choose to cover the triangular panels with either plastic,
wood, drywall or plastic, you get to decide the material
according to the different categories of geodesic domes. But
the most common material used to build a geodesic dome is
steel as they connect the network of the beams/struts
• Geodesic dome is a stable and easy construction which is very strong. they are ideal for
almost any type of spaces
• The even distribution of weight throughout the structure makes it stable during earthquakes
and similar hazards
• Geodesic domes have an aerodynamic shape which protects them against strong wind or
• Domes being spherical has less surface area per unit of internal volume, reducing the interior
temperature and heat gain and enables uniform air flow.
• This type of domes can be very large in size with less surface area, meaning less materials are
required, hence lowering costs.
• Very quick and easy assembly, making them less labor intensive
• This type of domes are famous for their vast usage in sustainable projects, because the
materials required are all environment friendly and the structure itself is very safe and
creates healthy interior.
• The unusable space inside of a geodesic dome.
• Windows and doors: using a normal door in a geodesic sphere can cause a
problem, you’d have to custom make all doors and windows needed.
• The building’s permit can also be a problem as drainage and fire escapes can be an
issue and they need to meet code requirements.
• The financing and rescale .
• Building a geodesic dome needs very skilled labors.
• Strong wind will cause separation between the materials between the nozzle and
the point of deposit.
• geodesic knowledge is greatly required for such building.
Constructed in 1947 for world expo
Largest geodesic dome in the worlds
Located in Canada, the only museum dedicated toWater
DISNEY’S EPCOT CENTER
Constructed based on Fuller’s plan for
a temperature controlled dome
It is a theme park + greenhouse
containing over 1500 species of plants
Located in Florida
THE EDEN PROJECT
The largest greenhouse
in the world
Completed in 2001
Located in United
TELUSWorld of Science
Science displays and