Construction Problems

It has been said that in every life some rain must fall, I guess that a correlary to that is something like "In every dome built there will be a few screwups." Not very profound but we certainly found a few. The first explicit problem occured when we were trying to construct what I call an "eyebrow" over the windows and door of the outdoor room. We needed to remove the foam over the windows so that we could sink in some cement anchors and attach some 2X8's to the cement. We were going to hang the eyebrow from these 2X8's. When we got some of the foam off what did we see but a hole, we cleaned it out a bit by hand and stuck in a ruler.

Another hole at the corner of the eyebrow..

This photo is a little difficult to see given the low resolution but the dotted line above the windows and door is mainly rebar. Missing a little cement. The light area is foam we left in place.

After we got all of the foam off and started examining the holes it became clear that there was a lot of partially consolidated and unconsolidated bounceback over the windows. This had to be cleaned out before we could proceed.A closeup of the result of the cleaning..

The next photo shows about 8 feet of cleaned out cavities in the shell. More cleaned out cavities.

It was pretty obvious that this problem was caused by a failure to clean out the area above the window openings before they were sprayed with cement. Evidently a lot of bounceback got trapped on top and never got enough real cement to make a real solid wall. There were no problems higher up above the tops of the windows. The shell has a number of holes for various kinds of vents. Air exchange vent. This is a hole close to an air exchange vent. You can also see the roughness of the ceiling.


This is a properly placed window buck in a good window frame. This window is in the living room next to the window wall. This is a properly placed window buck in a poorly placed window frame. I have heard that if one were to place a large strap over the top of the dome it could possibly have flattened out the airform so that the window would have been more nearly vertical.

Floor Problems

The floor (slab) should have been tied to the foundation. Picture of some minor cracking where the foundation sunk a small amount.

Computer Room - Again the foundation settled a small amount cracking the stucco on the walls.  The second picture shows the gap and the third picture shows the material that cracked off.  

We have finished most of the structural stuff. The toilet for the outdoor room bathroom was misplaced.

More problems with bathrooms. The drain for the jetted tub in the guest bathroom needed to be moved.

Heating system. We had a serious problem with the geothermal unit.