Open Source Aquaponics
~ Reconnecting with Food
Geodesic Building

Geodesic Building


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We got a nice blanket of snow last month as well which didn’t last long on the dome.  Most of the snow had melted off within a day so snow loads don’t look to be a problem.  Structure is holding up well and hasn’t shifted noticeably at all.  The closed in foyer and split doorway entry into the dome has worked exceptionally well at keeping the warm air inside the dome from spilling out any time someone enters or leaves the dome.  Temperatures inside the dome remain minimally affected by outside air temperatures due to the high thermal mass stored in the water, sand and biomass within the greenhouse.

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Been a busy Fall getting the greenhouse ready for the cold.  Sorry for the delay between posts. :(
The 3 inch PVC line I added from the house furnace has worked exceptionally well giving a constant flow of dry warm air into the greenhouse.  This creates a positive pressure inside the greenhouse too which helps prevent the bitter cold drafts from coming in.  I also added a door to the foyer awning and sealed it up for Winter as well as added a LOT of leaves around the outside under the skirt of the greenhouse.  Temperatures have been consistent and warm with the inside air temp never dropping below 55 degrees and the fish tanks never dropping below 65 degrees with an average temp of around 73 degrees.  Click the link that follows to see a temp graph for the past three days...Last_Three_Days_Temp_Graph.png 
When the cold weather arrived and I had to keep the system closed up and humidity levels got so bad that it was like a rain-forest inside.  Humidity got so high that the tomatoes stalks started growing roots all over the place including one within it's own leaves! 
Too high humidity and low air flow is not ideal as mold and mildew started to appear on various surfaces through the greenhouse including some of the plants so I put a de-humidifier in the greenhouse to keep humidity as low as possible and minimize the threat of wide-spread mold.  I still have a bit growing in a few areas, but for the most part that took care of it.  The other problem I noticed with the high humidity is that all the plants had trouble releasing the water from their stomata.  Stomata are tiny pores in the leaves where water is released in a process called transpiration.  If the humidity gets very high, it becomes more difficult for the plant to release the water coming out of the stomata and the rate of movement of fluids throughout the plant is slowed… thus a slower growth rate.

I've also been working on an auto-estimator database that estimates the cost for building a dome given my construction method.  Currently it provides a fairly accurate estimate of the cost based on the size entered so that size vs. cost can be figured out before building to find the break points in cost/benefit.  So far it only estimates the dome materials so I need to add estimation for the lower walls if desired and have it generate a materials list before releasing it on the net.  Here’s a sneak peak at the interface so far...

Here’s a short slideshow of the progression of the structure from determining the location to digging the hole, etc.


If you'd like to see various images and my progress to date you can view the full photo gallery here...

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