Frequently Asked Questions
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What is a geodesic dome?
A geodesic dome is a hemispherical form in which triangular or polygonal surfaces formed by planes or frame elements are in large-scale tension and distribute the stresses on the structure. It was developed in the 20th century by American engineer and architect R. Buckminster Fuller to quickly form a sturdy and lightweight construction that can be placed directly on the ground.
What is a frequency?
The short answer for dome frequency is, the higher the “v”, or frequency, the more triangles there are in the geodesic dome. A higher frequency dome with more triangles will be stronger and more spherical than a lower frequency dome. And the higher frequency dome will be more complicated to build, as it will have more struts.
Can we use an Ekodome® all year round?
Yes, our domes can be used all year round in almost any climate condition.
What are your domes made of? What are your quality standards?
Ekodome® kits are manufactured with aluminum profiles in EN 755-9 standards. This European Standard specifies the tolerances on dimensions and forms for aluminum and aluminum alloy extruded struts with a cross-section within a circumscribing circle not greater than 800 mm.
Our hubs are made of aluminum casting with A360 (US) alloy. A360 is an aluminum alloy with excellent pressure tightness and fluidity. In addition, it has a high silicon content and offers high corrosion resistance as well as high strength, even in elevated temperatures.
Our provider for aluminum struts operates with ISO 9001 certification.
Why did you choose aluminum, not steel?
Aluminum is lightweight, corrosion-free, infinitely recyclable and soon to be made using carbon-free smelting technology. Please take a moment to read our blog post laying out the reasons we chose aluminum for our geodesic domes.
Are the frames weatherproof?
Yes. The extruded struts are equipped with 4 different angles. The angles allow both the hubs and the panels to fit face to face with the aluminum struts. The struts are equipped with TPE/SEBS seals to keep the water out.
However, the watertightness is very much dependent on your assembly. We also recommend applying silicone when installing the panels. You should also keep in mind that water tightness is usually sustained by regular maintenance.
Are the frames corrosion proof?
Aluminum alloys contain almost no iron, and without iron, the metal can’t rust, but it does oxidize. When the alloy is exposed to water, a film of aluminum oxide forms quickly on the surface. The hard oxide layer is quite resistant to further corrosion and protects the underlying metal.
Are the frames recyclable?
Yes. Aluminum, also known as “the element of sustainability,” is infinitely recyclable and highly durable; nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still used today. Aluminum is 100 percent recyclable and retains its properties indefinitely.
What is the thickness of the profiles and the weight of the frames?
Every meter (3,28 ft) of the aluminum struts weigh around 1 pound for the smaller sizes and 1.75 pounds for the larger domes. The thickness of the aluminum struts vary according to the size and at specific points of the profiles. For 1V, gauge varies between 0.098 to 0.12 in while 2V and 3V dome profiles are extruded with a thickness of 0.157 in.
What is the largest possible dome you would manufacture?
Increasing the frequency of the dome designs and thickness of the aluminum struts, we can cover a stadium’s roof and even a whole town. There is no limit technically, however this would be a labor-intensive project, with high costs of production.
Do you have any domes in stock?
All our domes are made to order. We do not stock dome kits at this moment.
Do you offer domes for rent?
No, we are not offering rentals yet, but we may offer in the future.
Is any building permit required?
Although there are common national standards, state and local codes vary, and in order to check compliance, you initially have to decide for what purposes you are going to use our domes for. For example, NY allows a structure under 144 sqft to be built without a permit, yet this is only for sheds/storages. If the building becomes a residence, the minimum size jumps to 800 square feet and requires a septic system, running water, and a full electrical system. But if you are building a greenhouse let’s say, it’s regarded as temporary structures, many building departments don’t even require permits.
So mainly, it will be your responsibility to contact your local building department to see how the codes apply. We also have a blog post giving some tips and insights regarding zoning and building regulations for geodomes.