Re: Homelessness in America

I had tried my best to stay out of this line of discussion becasue
I knew it was gonna degrade into an argument, but I now feel the need
to put in my $.02  so...

<Dons Asbestos Undies>

> This is simply not true.  Dome houses sell in accordance with the
> neighborhood in which they are built and whether it meets the 3/2
> standard (three bedrooms, two baths).  If a dome does not meet the 3/2
> standard, it sells for less than the neighborhood might call for, but
> this is going to be the case with any home.  If a dome is in a rural
> location, or an undesireable neighborhood, it is going to be more

I have to go along with Malcolm on this one, I KNOW that what you say is 
what SHOULD happen, but that fact of the matter is it ain't so.  Yes, I
know that there are appraisers that will give domes a fair shake, and I 
know that there are lending institutions that treat domes jusk like 
other houses, but these are the Exceptions, not the rule. 

A geodesic design is, to most people, odd looking, strange, unusual etc..
They have not been converted to the religion of Buckminster Fuller (like 
us enlightened souls) and corporate america will NOT invest in anything 
that is not an "established sound practice".  Banks are corporate America
and so are most consumers to one degree or another.
> To begin, building multiple small domes means that you have created a
> structure with just as much, in fact probably more, surface area and
> foundation area than a square/rectangle.  See you later any cost savings
> that you might be able to realize!  A single larger dome is dramatically
> less expensive than a dome cluster.

I'm gonna have to argue with you on this one as well.  While I know what 
you are saying has merit, I also know that if you state that a geodesic 
of x square feet saves you 1/3 the materials of a "box" house of the 
same square footage.  Then two of those domes STILL save you that 1/3
IF you don't connect them via a walkway. 

This may sound like I am splitting hairs but I am not.  Robert Conroy has a 
wonderful web site devoted to his 32' dome project.  My wife and some friends
of ours are in the process of buying some land.  On that land we intend to build
three of his 32' domes.  We have not decided yet weather we will connect them
by butting up against one another or by enclosed short (4-8') walkways. But in
either case, they are an efficeint and cost effective method to do the job.  

The other advantage of 3 small domes (or a dozen for that matter) is you can build
one NOW and the others later as you have time/money.  You simply can't do 
that with a bigger dome.  And the cost of bulding a bigger dome per square foot
does not save you that much.  I would rather spend another $1.00 or so per sq ft.
and be able to get in my dome NOW than save that $1.00 and not be able to move in 
for years.

> Secondly, you are not going to see a 45% savings in a dome versus a
> comparably built square/rectangle.  If you were to have a contractor
> build a square/rectangle and a dome of the same square footage and using
> the same finishing materials, you would see the dome come in at about
> $10.00 less per square foot.  A nice savings, but no 45%.  Contributed
> labor has a slightly larger impact in dome construction than in
> square/rectangle construction, but even there, given the same amount of
> contributed labor in both structures, you are not going to see a 45%
> difference.

Agreed, but I think you will in many cases save more than $10.00 per square foot.
In our area, the average new home goes for anywhere from $50.00 to $75.00 per 
square foot.  The most expensive dome I have looked at having built (from kit or
otherwise) has been in the $35-$40 range.  This is a difference more than $10.00
per sq ft in most cases and as a percentage, it is between 20% and 55%  so the 
45% number, while not the norm, is NOT unreasonable.

> What is the reason that they need to understand geometry?  All they need
> to know is that it is a superior building system.  I'm sure that there
> are a number of manufacturers like ourselves who would be happy to work
> with HfH.

Here at least we agree.  I think only one person, maybe 2, would need to really
understand the way these go togeather.  They could set up jigs and tell people what
to do.  The really great thing about Robert's design is it can be somewhat pre-fabbed.
by volunteer labor on weekends and afternoons in the shop, so that assembly, will only
take a few hours.

> -- 
> Thanks,
> Nathan Burke,
> Oregon Dome, Inc.
> E-mail:  oregon at domes dot com
> Web:
> Address:  3215 Meadow Lane, Eugene OR  97402
> Fax:  (541) 689-9275
> Phone:  (800) 572-8943 or (541) 689-3443

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