Concrete dome homes could be widely implemented as the perfect solution to housing dilemmas throughout the world, said Douglas Stanton ‘82, a former Texas A&M environmental design student, at a May 2012 alternative building materials and design expo in California.
Stanton, whose firm has produced residential, commercial and landscape projects, said he’s ready to design these homes to meet a need for sustainable, cost-efficient structures that provide protection from natural disasters.
“Additionally, these homes can have great architectural variation,” said Stanton, who discussed the structures in “Rethinking the Home,” a panel discussion at AltBuild, an expo in Santa Monica that featured professional development sessions, speakers, exhibits and hands-on demonstrations.
Developed in the 1930s by Southern California architect Wallace Neff, the homes are built by spraying concrete on an inflated balloon, or airform.
“After the Joplin, Missouri tornado in May 2011 I recalled Neff’s airform domes, and wondered if they would be tornado resistant,” said Stanton. “Since then I discovered that they are not only tornado resistant, but that they are also fire and earthquake resistant. They can be built at a reasonable cost and they are a very sustainable construction option, requiring approximately 50% of the energy needed for heating and cooling of a conventional wood frame home.”
Stanton also touts dome homes’ shorter building time and their elimination of mold and termite problems.