Re: Homelessness in America

I liked the post, and especially the discussion it generated.  It just
ignored the fact that there are two components to cost, materials and
labor.  No matter what the dome is going to save you in materials, the
cost to install a toilet in m/l is going to remain the same.  The
reduced surface area of a dome should mean some big savings, just not as
huge as put forth in the article.

I also am curious to see the figures, if there is any way to get them

Malcolm Rieke wrote:
> Hello Nathan,
>         Thanks for replying.  I figure someone
> activively involved with dome construction business
> would have the facts.  The report posted is
> an old one.  For reference here is the header
> and abstract;
> A paper written somewhere around 1971, transcribed by Ken G. Brown
> <kbrown at tnc dot com> with permission from J.C. Bohlen, 980719.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> J.C. Bohlen
> Research Scientist
> Department of the Environment
> Western Forest Products Laboratory
> Vancouver, B.C., Canada
> Abstract
> A concept of minimal-cost housing is presented which involves the use of
> geodesic spherical-domes fabricated and assembled with self-help labour. A
> unique low-cost wood-dowelled joint is used to connect the structural
> elements. An insulated wood shell and platform for a 16-foot diameter dome,
> arranged into a cluster of 5 assembled domes cost one-half of a
> conventional wood-frame house of equal floor space. Self-help labour
> further reduces the total cost to less than one-third.
> There are alot of assumptions going on in
> this paper and in my post.  My take on domes
> selling for less came from various discussions
> over the years with real-estate agents, which
> would hardly constitute a study.  There are
> several factors involved (I tried to acknowledge
> that there were acceptions) with the value of
> a home, location not being the least.
>         The report references "Self-help labour"
> throughout as a major cost reducing element in
> the concept.  I'm just not sure that that a dozen
> homeless/impoverished people chosen at random would have
> the geometry skills necessary to "Self-help labour"
> a dome together, teepee's are probably a better solution.
> Granted there is certainly no shortage of people who do
> have the geometry skills who would be willing to take
> part in the "Self-help labour" effort.  Jimmy Carter
> probably does.
> As a dome builder have you ever suggested dome
>         designs to Habitat for humanity?
> Are you aware of any response from Habitat for
>         Humanity to propositions of utilizing domes for
>         their contruction projects?
> What is the percentage savings of a "typical" dome
>         from Oregon Dome to a comparable square house
>         of the same living/bathing space?
> Cheers,
> Malcolm
> P.S. I've seen your web page and will probably be ordering
>         some of your literature soon :^)
> At 09:25 AM 7/23/98 -0700, you wrote:
> >Malcolm,
> >
> >I'd like to take a moment and add to your post, which related back to
> >yesterday's post about building "cost efficient" dome clusters.
> >
> >Malcolm Rieke wrote:
> >
> >> lives in.  It is fact that no matter what the
> >> square footage or quality of construction,
> >> dome houses sell for less due to the smaller
> >> market (a.k.a. probably most people on this
> >> list).  This is a general statement, which I
> >> believe to be generally true, I am sure there
> >> are exceptions (as there always are with everthing).
> >
> >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
> >difficult to sell, just like any other home.
> >
> ><snip>
> >
> >> I think the general consensus of the dome advocates
> >> (I am one) is that the dome has economic advantages in
> >> construction and operation. Assuming the report
> >> posted yesterday scales to today there is a 45% +
> >> reduction in costs for housing that is based on
> >> multi-200sqft dome modules.   I would rather
> >
> >Yesterday's post got my ire up due to some of the inaccuracies it
> >contained.  I didn't have time to address them yesterday, but I can sure
> >hit one or two of them today.
> >
> >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.
> >
> >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.
> >
> ><snip>
> >> There is another issue regarding the contruction
> >> of domes.  I doubt seriously that the average
> >> impoverished individual understands geometry.  This
> >> isn't an issue in the case of HfH as they basically
> >> build and hand off housing.
> >
> >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.
> >
> >--
> >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
> >
> >
> >


Nathan Burke,
Oregon Dome, Inc.

E-mail:  oregon at domes dot com
Address:  3215 Meadow Lane, Eugene OR  97402
Fax:  (541) 689-9275
Phone:  (800) 572-8943 or (541) 689-3443

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