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Dome Homes: A Shelter from the Storm
Posted by nick_niesen on November 8th, 2010
Weather systems across the country have become more and more extreme over the last few years. Depending on which part of the country you live in, you could be at risk for tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, or earthquakes. We've all seen on the news, people who live in vulnerable areas have their homes demolished by the elements, only to rebuild in the same spot, with the same type of house. Where is the logic? If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. This same principle applies to housing options in risky areas. If you know that your traditional stick-built house didn't make it through the last hurricane, what makes you think that by simply replacing it, it will survive the next one? And remember, there will always be a next one.
One solution is to look for alternative housing construction. The best home on the market for surviving natural disasters is the monolithic dome home.
While these homes have been around since the 1960s, they have yet to catch on in mainstream real estate markets. Much of the prejudice comes from the exterior appearance of these homes. They don't have flat walls, and angled rooftops. They look futuristic and, well, strange.
Construction and design technologies have come a long way though, leading to a revolution in dome home styling. You can design a home to suit your tastes, and protect your property at the same time.
In states like Florida, where tornadoes and hurricanes tear down conventional homes without hesitation, a monolithic dome home may be the ideal structure for both private homes and school buildings.
Made of concrete and reinforced by steel, dome homes are very structurally sound. The heavy weight of these structures makes them invulnerable to being lifted off its foundation by tornadoes. In addition to the strength that comes from using steel and concrete in the construction of the home, the dome shape itself also adds to the integrity of the building. Arches are naturally strong, architecturally speaking, and practically impervious to the elements.
Because there are no flat walls on the exterior of the home, there are far fewer seams along the side of the building. The fewer the seams, the less chance there is that water will penetrate the walls. This is particularly beneficial during tropical storms, when buckets of rain are hammering down on your property.
Flooding is also something that can be prevented, or at the very least, minimized with the proper design. You can raise your living area off ground level, leaving the ground floor to be used as a garage area. When the flood waters come, they go into your garage, but leave the rest of your home untouched. Alternatively, you can design your home with the garage on the bottom level, but archways on the front and the back of the house leave your garage open on both sides. Water simply runs straight through.
Not only are monolithic dome homes ideal for residents along the Gulf Coast, but they are also good for residents living on the west coast. Dome homes are earthquake resistant, which makes them ideal structures for California and nearby states that sit along fault lines.
For Midwesterners who experience electrical storms, dome homes are also a wise choice. The shape of the rebar cage acts as a conductor, and draws the lightning straight to the ground, thereby minimizing any damage that may result from a lightning strike.
Floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and lightning; dome homes can survive almost anything. They are the ideal structure for anyone living in an area where nature is unpredictable and violent. The next time you're in the market for a new home, consider investing in a dome home, and keep your family safe.
Dome Homes: A Shelter from the Storm
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