The Dome 2002 1988-2016: 28 years of making "saving energy" a lifestyle

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Here is the dreamer, builder, creator of Eicosahousra - the dome home. I'm buying a digital camera and the sales lady took this pic for a demo.

 

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This is mailbox art done by Joan Davies and is too nice to put down by the street. It's on display in the AV room of the dome. 

 

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New project underway in the backyard. I've been through all the cheap pools and am now building my own right outside my south door. 

I should have rented a small backhoe for the job but kind of forgot that I live right next to a county called Rockland. I think I removed more rocks than dirt although I delivered 23 wheelbarrows of dirt to my new bridge which skirts Ludwig von Pond.

Ludwig von Pond is a small pond housing fish, frogs and aquatic plants. The picture is coming up.

Anywho, the in ground "tub" has evolved from a hot tub with jets to a sitting tub with a waterfall and a serious filtration system. I'm in the process of obtaining a "stock tank". It is a heavy duty plastic tub, not unlike the baby pools in Toys R Us; however, it holds 1000 gallons is 9' in diameter, 28" deep and is very rugged. They use them out west for feeding live stock.

The present problems I'm confronted with is removal of the large rocks and obtaining the stock tank. I'm plowing ahead with an alternate plan of making a concrete sitting pool which will house the stock tank when it arrives. 

In the picture you can see a post with a chain sticking out of a column of dirt. This was used to measure the radius of the pit as I was digging.

 

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New window in the kitchen. For my first 19 years in the dome the kitchen window has been an old sliding glass door nailed on and stuffed around the edges with insulation. Thanks to a neighbor (Rob Dolbaum) I acquired this beautiful 6' by 4' double wooden window, that was never used, and has cranks for opening and closing. The cranks had no handles and there were no screens. Found one in Home Depot and glued it on and for $28 i found a screen building kit and it works and looks great. Should help with heat retention in the winter.

 

 

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New door in mud room. $85 in Home Depot. Dylan (my only begotten son) and I put it in in 4 hours. The window in the previous picture took half the time. This door replaced a door i bought for $25, 19 years ago. It was shot. Again better heat retention, a priority for a solar house. 

 

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Here we see a new tile floor up in the eagle. (the eagle is the section of the dome where all the triangles of the geodesic dome are glazed (glass) for the intake of solar energy in the winter. This floor was done by the queen of the dome Carole Braunstein. 

One of the tiles is a flexible one which I put into show the orientation of this passive solar dome. You can see an arrow in the one white tile. It points south where Mr. Sun always resides, roaming up and down from 25 degrees off the horizon on Dec. 21 and moving upwards thereafter to 75 degrees off the horizon on June 21, the winter and summer solstices respectively. 

 

 

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Here is the drape system which now holds the heat in after the sun has set in the winter. It is about 32' across and 12' high. It is like a movie theatre curtain and had to be designed and built from scratch. I built a stud wall across the span then drew a schematic of pulleys and cables so it would be easy to draw them closed and open in the morning so as not to give me an excuse for not using them. I've been living here for 19 years without anything locking the heat in at night but it has been cold in the dead of winter.

 

 

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Here is another picture attempting to display the curtain system but it is so big it's hard to capture. I guess you'll have to come here and check it out, after all I built it for you.

 

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Here is "trapped space", the multi-functional centerpiece to the gardens. It has a stage in it as well as bird feeders hanging from the inside. It is a 4 frequency, 20' diameter, 5/8 geodesic dome, almost the same as the dome home which is a 4 frequency, 40' diameter, 1/2 geodesic dome.

 

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Here is the dome home (real moniker is EICOSAHOUSRA) with Ludwig von pond in the foreground. I tried to catch the reflection of the dome home off the surface. The aforementioned bridge is to the left.

 

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Here you can see the eagle with a sail draped over it to prevent the intake of the summer sun. It reflects it pretty good and after years of getting my thermometers pinned at 130 in July and August I now sleep very comfortably with a little help from some fans strategically placed.

In the foreground you can see a stone wall and an 18' bluestone bench seat. The rocks in the ground are nature's building blocks, a gift from the glacier gods. Indigenous materials are used whenever possible and are free and beautiful. No mortar was used on the ends. I see blue-tailed skinks have already moved in.

 

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Here is Queen Carole's herb garden with the bench seat and stone wall. Lemon grass, thyme, sage, rosemary, basil, lamb's ear and more adorn the site which now competes with the botanical garden down Bronx way.

 

 

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Here is Queen Carole's crimson corner with all red plants, lilies, begonias, geranium, caladria, impatiens, celosia, coleus and azaleas. 

 

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Bamboo is now surrounding the patio. I had growth spurts of 10"/ day in june of this years growth. Sure is exotic and now I'm collecting different types e.g. black bamboo and dwarf. There are over 1200 bamboo species and believe it or not it is a grass. I just joined the American Bamboo Society.

 

 

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Here is the patio. Todd, my son-in-law brought that huge barbecue stove over for cook-outs. Chiminea and umbrella complete the patio. A circular interlocking series of bricks sets the patio floor.

 

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Cordwood for my winter heat source. There's about 5 cords here. I split and stack in the spring so it will be nice and dry by September when I bring it in to the greenhouse. Every winter I learn more about conserving energy and now that oil is going off the charts I have a little smile on the corner of my mouth for being ahead of the curve. That wood in the picture is worth $4000 to me, so even though I don't have a job (it's 10 years now) I never stop working and the money comes in different ways. 

I started this solar project in 1978 in response to sitting in line at a gas station. Remember! Too bad the government didn't respond to a "Manhattan Project" type approach to energy autonomy back then. And Carter was telling us!

 

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That's me in the pit holding the digging tools.

 

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This is the prototype of the original hot tub made of block. This fabrication would be set down below grade and would seat 5 to 6 people and hold 450 gallons. It was to have jets and a circular bench seat but I'm going now with a 9' diameter to accomodate the stock tank.

 

 

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Here is the sun setting on the summer solstice. It's amazing haw far north of west it is and how far south of west it is on winter solstice.Quite a swing. Important to know if you are trying to capture what it is sending you for free and with no pollution, noise or cost. 

This update has taken 2 years and a month. I will update it every 6 months. The dome home has persevered and developed and will continue.

 

 

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