Skylines Changing in 2016
By Amy Lignor
There was once a man with ideas on how to create a “greener” and healthier world. An inventor, an architect, and even the second president of Mensa once upon a time, this man’s beliefs were many in number; at the core of them all lay the geodesic dome. And now, in 2016, this man’s dreams just happen to be coming to fruition.
Buckminster Fuller was a pioneer; some call him a radical. But what Fuller really was can be summed up in one title: The Father of Sustainability. He wanted the world to work. He wanted humanity to be safer and the world healthier, all at the same time. Fuller is most known for his creation of the geodesic dome – a form of architecture that is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds – and how that dome could make everything work better for mankind while saving the world’s natural resources.
The structure has the ability to look like anything from a cabin to a luxurious modern house, depending on what the homeowner wants to create. When you compare a dome with the same average-size rectangular house, the dome offers up 30% less surface area, which means only 1/3 of the lumber is needed to build the dome as opposed to the “regular” house. Not only is money saved by using less materials, and having a smaller surface area which saves the homeowner even more money on the heating and cooling bills, but the dome also has proven to be five times stronger than the normal house.
The geodesic dome’s strength has been proven. From earthquakes to tornados, the dome has survived while structures all around it have not. Take for example the Loma Prieta earthquake that hit in 1989 in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Registering 7.1 on the Richter scale, 500+ homes in the area were destroyed by the quake, with hundreds of others needing major repairs. The only home to survive without a scratch was a dome. It actually became a shelter for local earthquake survivors. The principal is quite simple when it comes to the dome’s strength. In a regular structure, boards are nailed together to create squares/rectangles in the design of the home; shapes that can be bent, twisted and changed with enough force. There is no such easy way to alter a triangle, which is exactly the architectural shape from which a dome is created.
Being able to have this incredible peace of mind, as well as saving a great deal of money on building materials and household expenses, has seen dome building increase by over 40% across the United States. When it comes to having the added fun of design, the round, open floor plan of the dome is preferred by millions. Walls can be inserted or removed to change the interior of the home without the extra worry of “load bearing” walls that cannot be touched because the entire structure would collapse. And because of the natural openings that occur in the construction of a dome, large windows that let light in and further bring down the heating bill are easily made, and create a stunning design.
For quite some time it was assumed that domes would not be seen as part of a regular city street, yet with the constant proof of lower costs and amazing security that can keep a family safe from the damage Mother Nature can do, these same city streets should be filled with domes sitting side by side in the next decade. Fuller’s dream landscape is most definitely “growing,” and will change those city skylines for the better!
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Source: Baret News