The motivation for building my recently completed (June, ’11) dome-home in the Point Loma area of San Diego was three-fold:
The first was to do the very best I could to live with lowered demands on critical environmental systems. To me that meant living in a home that uses less energy and resources, creates less pollution and trash, and especially in Southern California, uses less water. My environmental activism began in 1981 when I started leading wilderness backpacks and hikes for the San Diego chapter of the Sierra Club. My green-building experience began in 2001 with my involvement in the construction of the Friends Center—a straw-bale office building for four non-profits that incorporated light-gauge steel (some "curved") and radiant-floor heating.
The second reason was to create a model for building professionals. Architects and contractors are invited to come and learn about the “green” systems, materials and techniques I’ve discovered over the last ten years of research. This is the volunteer part of this effort—helping them incorporate this philosophy of construction into their building practices.
The third reason for building this home is to use it as a model home. Domiciles For A New America will build this urban dome or yurt for those of like mind who would like to reduce the destructive nature of their environmental foot-print while living in the comfortable, healthy and inspiring space of an open, two-story home. This is a four bedroom (or three bedrooms and an office) two bath home with a total area of 2,235 sq ft. This 42 foot diameter dome can be built on any lot with a width of 50 ft or more. This is a new kind of dome structure—never before done to my knowledge. Unlike the old geodesic dome, this home uses “curved” light-gauge steel studded walls to form the dome. There’s no dimensional lumber used and so no forest ecosystem destruction.
This home has been rated LEED Platinum. LEED (Leadership in Environmental & Engineering Design) is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council. Using a third-party verified system of "green" values, buildings are rated certified, silver, gold or platinum. The total points for this home has been LEED certified at 28% more than necessary for the Platinum rating, making it the greenest home in southern California, second in all of Calif.