The Domes for the Northern Territories.

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Formulation of the problem:

If you look at the map of territories in the North, you can find a lot of places where people live. I mean the real North. The same North: “where winter lasts 12 months, and everything else is summer”. So they said in Norilsk, one of the largest cities in the world, located above the 69th parallel. I lived in this city for 13 years.

As elsewhere, in the North there is a need for new and comfortable housing, as well as public or commercial buildings of a small area. Understandable need, if it is – you need to build. True, one “BUT”. Building on the North is expensive, no, not like that. Building in the North is not just expensive, but VERY expensive. The fact that it costs 100 in warmer regions is three or four times more expensive in the North!

Three reasons for the high cost:

  1. Expensive logistics. Bringing building materials to the North on a mass basis is possible only by sea or river transport. You can also drive on winter roads, thousands of kilometers long.
  2. Expensive construction services. The construction season in the North is short. Local builders are trying to earn the maximum, while there is an opportunity. Even if builders are brought from warmer places, the cost of services will still be high compared with warmer regions.
  3. Increased requirements for the design and functionality of the house. The North requires efficient thermal solutions. Such decisions add to the cost of a house up to 20-30% compared to houses designed for a warmer climate.

When the builders faced a similar challenge in the North, they proposed a frame house building technology. This technology was used to build many individual dwellings. But, time and technology do not stand still, and today we will tell you about our development in the field of frame housing construction.


What is the difference between spherical houses and traditional rectangular houses?

The structure of the domed house for the northern territories. The project "TAMGA".
The structure of the domed house for the northern territories. The project “TAMGA”.

1. Reducingthe cost of logistics: For a spherical house you need 30-35% less building materials than for a rectangular house of the same area. Thus, the cost of both transportation and labor for a spherical house is less by 30% than arectangular one. But this is not all, the details of our house are made of flatmaterial on CNC machines. This ensures high accuracy of assembly of structuresand saves on logistics from 5 to 8%. That is the cost of construction waste. After all, trim and remnants were once what you brought to the North. Plate material allows you to tightly pack a set of parts. In our project, you only bring home. No waste.

2. Thermal performance. The cost of energy in the North can be very high. You can warm your rectangular house very well, but it will still lose heat. The fact is thatif a strong wind blows into one wall of a rectangular house (and the wind blows frequently in the North), a zone of reduced pressure forms near the oppositewall, causing cold air to penetrate the room through microcracks. And the higher the pressure on one wall, the more cold air is drawn in by the oppositewall. This is a feature of all rectangular houses. But spherical houses have almost no such effect. The wind simply flows around the house from both sides,without creating zones of reduced pressure. Thus, a spherical house loses lessheat. But not only the form provides our home with outstanding heatpreservation performance. The thickness of the insulation layer in our house isan impressive 500 mm! We use eco-wool as a heater (cellulose heater). The useof eco-wool provides dense, seamless thermal insulation, and special solutions insidethe wall – the ability of eco-wool for a long time (up to 25 years) to maintainthe necessary density and dryness. The project of our house includes theability to install a heat recuperator. This device will help to keep up to 60% of the heat, which in normal ventilation mode just flew away to the street.

3. Theability to change the internal layout. Rectangular houses are limited in layoutchanges. There are load-bearing walls that cannot be removed. There are nointernal bearing walls in our dome house. You can change the layout, adaptingto changing needs. There are children – ordered a project from the nursery. The children left – cleaned the walls and expanded the room. Now there is a gym or a workshop. Since the house is heated by the “warm floor” technology, there will be no problems with heating the new room. You just have to follow the recommendations on the placement of the walls, so that there will always beenough “warm floor” sectors in the new premises.

4. The low weight of the domed house in comparison with other frame houses. Low weight allows the use of screw piles instead of an expensive frame. So our domed house can be placed on difficult grounds, without the cost of a complex and expensive foundation. In addition, our dome is ideal as a mini-hotel for ski resorts, as it allows you to place fairly large areas (200-370 m2) on steep slopes (taking into account safety requirements).

Additional options:
Built-in smart home system. Our house is designed taking into account the placement of devices “smart home”. We do not use wireless technologies to control smart home devices (WiFi, etc.). Why? Because, the more devices in the house that use microwave radiation, the higher the level of “microwave pollution”. In addition, if smart home devices are built on wireless technology, the attacker has a theoretical opportunity to take control of home systems or impede their operation, which can be fatal for the North House. We design a home control system based on the Ethernet wired network and mini-computers equipped with touchscreens. In more detail the control system of the house will be disassembled in separate article.

How does our solution differ from other dome building technologies?
The frame of our house is built on a stratodesic principle. Our dome consists of a set of arches with horizontal lintels. Unlike a geodesic dome consisting of pentagons. Thus, we achieve a perfectly smooth dome surface, in contrast to the angular surfaces of geodesic domes.

Our solution differs from other dome frame solutions in that it actually consists of two domes — an external and an internal; a layer of insulation is placed between the domes. This solution allows you to increase the strength of the dome design and to provide outstanding strength and heat performance indicators among other dome houses.