Inflatable Dome Home in Louisiana embraces energy-efficiency
The monolithic dome home is Louisiana is a manifestation of its ownersâ€™ â€“ Charlie and Margaret Simmons â€“ pursuit for energy-efficiency. The steel-reinforced concrete tension rings support a plasticized, inflated airform (balloon) that further envelopes a steel rebar structure. Dual insulation, on the interior (foam spray) and exterior (concrete base and apex), promises minimum energy costs.
C. Simmons saysâ€¦
The efficiency of the house appeals to me as an engineer, and I like having something that is a little different, too.
And yes, the 3,400 sq. ft. employs a 1Â½ ton A/C unit for air conditioning purposes. Construction on the Dome Home began in April of 2008 and it was completed in November of 2009.
As is mentioned above, dual insulation absorbs the sunâ€™s energy and offers a relatively constant temperature. An air-to-air heat exchanger brings the fresh outdoor air and a HEPA (99.9% efficiency) air filter to takes out any of the contaminants.
Airtight interiors employ air pressurization
No energy leakage is there, which is attributable to a hermetically sealed, solar thermal envelope. Dust stands no chance of leaking into the structure, thanks to the HVAC system that ensures normal distribution.
Tested against winds, earthquakes, fires
The model was tested in a wind tunnel at Texas A&M University and it can withstand 600 mph winds. The aerodynamic shape of the dome makes it brave against powerful winds. So, the windâ€™s energy glides through with no damage caused to the basic structure. Second, the monolithic design evenly distributes the weight and also has a low center of gravity. The fire-retardant GE paint can withstand 550 degrees F.
â€¢ Teak wood flooring, and cabinets and doors made from recycled cypress.
â€¢ Energy efficient LED lighting.
â€¢ Spacious Floor Plan.