Geodesic Dome Homes – Pros & Cons

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There are several pros and cons to geodesic dome homes and while living in one can be a fulfilling experience there are also some potential drawbacks.

Geodesic dome homes are an affordable and eco-friendly type of building, they are quick to build and surprisingly strong. However, the unusual construction method of using triangles can be a challenge when it comes to installing standard windows and accessories that are all based on right angles.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to living in a geodesic home. Below, we take a deeper look at both sides of the coin.

Geodesic Homes: Pros and Cons

Geodesic Homes: Pros

Living in a geodesic home has several advantages. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from living in such a dwelling:

Glamping house and volcano, rural landscape

Uses Less Building Materials

You will use up to 30% less building materials when you build a geodesic dome home as compared to conventional square and rectangular housing. You eliminate the regular process of adding a foundation and multiple frames for walls and sections.

Strong Mechanical Properties

Due to its design, a geodesic home is extremely strong. It is particularly useful in areas prone to powerful winds and extreme weather conditions. They can prove to be highly versatile in areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes like in the South Pacific countries and parts of the United States.

Energy Efficiency

Geodesic domes offer efficient air circulation and good thermal insulation. As a result, you will find indoor temperatures easier to maintain with an even distribution. The primary advantage of geodesic dome homes concerning energy efficiency is that the sunlight gets refracted within the dome which magnifies natural light, reducing the necessity for artificial lighting.

Cost Effectiveness

Geodesic dome homes cost less to build and once built, you will find them easy to maintain. Because the total surface area is typically less by 20% than traditional box-shaped homes you not only save on building materials but also save a lot on energy bills.

When you live in these dwellings you can save up to 50% on energy bills due to heat retention. You get an enhanced economy of air circulation and effective thermal insulation.

Aesthetic Aspects

Gorgeous dome home of the future.

A geodesic home with adequate architectural embellishments can become a unique landmark in the area and be pleasing to the eye at the same time. We all enjoy admiration when it comes to our homes, whether the praise is for the exteriors or interiors. With a well-built geodesic dome home, you can expect compliments from those who live in the surrounding area.  Those built well have been featured in major design outlets for their unique beauty.

High Speed of Construction

It takes far less time to build a geodesic home than to build a conventional brick-and-mortar residence. One of the primary reasons for the ease of construction is that geodesic structures rarely need a foundation. There is no need to dig foundations, so the stages of excavation and concrete pouring are eliminated.

Furthermore, most geodesic dome structures today come in easy-to-install prefabricated sections. All these factors result in a speedy building process.

Light and Portable

Unlike the permanent structures of traditional homes, a geodesic dome home is infinitely lighter and more portable. You can dismantle and transport most dwellings of this nature to another location with considerable ease.

Another added advantage of geodesic structures is that you rarely need a building permit, depending on the local building codes.

An Eco-friendly Housing Solution

Solar dome full immpression
Image Credit: Ecosolardome via Creative Commons

We consider geodesic dome homes to be eco-friendly by nature. Energy consumption is minimized due to the heat-efficient structure of the interiors. Even without green energy generation options, these homes make the maximum use of natural lighting, thereby reducing the necessity to use artificial light.

If you install green energy devices like solar panels or wind turbines, the eco-friendliness of your home gets even more enhanced.

Versatile Structures

Geodesic domes find use in several applications. Other than use for housing you will find geodesic domes used in industrial areas as factories, airplane hangars, disaster relief structures in the face of a natural calamity, and refugee relief camps. You will also see them being used for fairs and exhibitions where these spacious, temporary structures can be quickly installed and dismantled.

Customize According to Your Needs

Within the boundaries of a particular plot, you can choose the dome size for your geodesic home and customize it according to your requirements. Your facilities are not restricted only to the interiors of your home. You can add structures to the exterior like a garden, swimming pool, or play area for your kids.

The possibilities are endless in the way you can tailor your geodesic dome home to tailor your home to suit the needs of you and your family.

Geodesic Homes: Cons

Although much praise is being heaped on the concept of geodesic dome homes, here are a few downsides to living in one:

Not Compatible with Rectangular Shapes

A primary disadvantage of constructing geodesic homes is the non-non-standard geometric shapes. A geodesic structure typically consists of a series of triangles joined together to form a hemisphere.

To maintain structural stability, you would have to cut windows in a triangular profile. It can also be challenging to find suitable prefabricated doors, windows, and wall panels. These materials come in square and rectangular shapes and you would find it difficult to accommodate them in the triangular shapes of a geodesic dome home.

Difficulty Installing Additional Structures and Accessories

Due to the curved profile of the walls, you will find it challenging to install structures that are typically right-angular. For example, adding a porch to your dome home would have to accommodate the curved outer walls. It can also be awkward to install chimneys, vents, balconies, and other additional structures.

You might even face difficulties while installing accessories like electrical boxes and wall mountings. You would have to create a mounting surface to match the curved wall of the structure as most of these accessories are suited to plain, flat walls.

Attracts Undue Attention

In your locality, if there are no other geodesic homes or structures, you might well find yourself in the center of attraction. There are instances where inhabitants of geodesic homes have become tired of passersby who stopped to stare at their homes. Some people even dared to knock on their door, asking for a guided tour of their home as if it was a museum!

Height Issues

The outer surfaces of a geodesic home might be at a lower height, but towards the middle and center, it can reach cathedral-like heights. It can be challenging to install and maintain fittings that are located on the ceiling.

Acoustic Challenges

Due to the concave or parabolic profile of a geodesic dome home, you can end up with some undesirable acoustics. Although this might seem an insignificant aspect, over time you might find it annoying, especially when you need some privacy.

Heating and Lighting

Due to the huge volume of the interior of such a dwelling, it takes a long time to initially warm or cool the structure. Although these homes are acclaimed for being heat and energy efficient, you need to consider the fact of how long it takes to reach the desired temperature (be it heating or cooling). It is especially applicable if you are going to be at home only for a short while during the day.

Adequately lighting the interior of a geodesic home can be similarly challenging due to the height of the upper surfaces, especially near the center of the dome.

Are you on the verge of deciding on a geodesic dome home for your next move? After learning about the pros and cons of geodesic homes, you could click HERE to learn more about the subject to help you make an informed decision.

Dodecahedron house photo


How energy-efficient are geodesic domes?

According to estimates, geodesic domes are up to 50% more energy-efficient than traditional brick-and-mortar rectangular buildings. If the structure is underground, the energy efficiency increases to as much as 70%.

How do geodesic domes benefit us?

The primary benefits of geodesic domes are strength and durability. Their unique structure makes them capable of withstanding earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and other natural calamities.

What is the lifespan of a geodesic dome?

Some producers of geodesic domes which use high-performance materials create domes that can last for up to 500 years or more.

What are the components of a geodesic dome?

Geodesic domes are frames of triangles that join each other to form hemispheres and spheres. It is the triangular components that impart great strength to these structures.


Geodesic dome homes are built based on geometrical designs. It is a precision construction technique. These homes have been in existence since the 1940s. Geodesic geometry is a branch of mathematics dealing with spaces and shapes. It was Walther Bauersfeld, an engineer with Carl Zeiss, a company that manufactures lenses, who first constructed geodesic dome homes.

Later on, R. Buckminster Fuller an engineer and architect popularized geodesic structures, particularly as a cost-effective, sustainable, and comfortable form of housing. Geodesic dome homes create robust structures that withstand the elements but use a minimal amount of building material.

Typically, a geodesic structure comprises a series of triangles that come together to form a hemisphere or part of a sphere. The nature of the resulting structure is such that it prevents the walls from collapsing into themselves. It is also a lighter, cheaper, and more practical structure that you can build with limited resources even in areas with strict building codes.

It is a popular practice to use geodesic dome homes as vacation homes. They are also used in emergency shelters in disaster zones. Offices, schools, and community centers also use these structures from time to time. Many greenhouses also adopt this building model