Hey all,
I have been hired for a pretty massive greenhouse building project. It is for a 50 foot geodesic dome. I presume that 4v is the way to go with this, to keep the struts at a reasonable length.
Has anybody out there built one of this size?
I successfully built one that is 3v 28 foot and was quite happy with the results. It seemed like a pretty big project, now I am considering what a 50 foot one will be like!
I am just wondering if this is a bit overboard, or if there are major problems when one gets into a project this large. I am thinking to eliminate the bottom layer that most plans have that allows the dome to sit flat on the ground, making the dome shorter and less work/cost overall. This means then that the bottom layer won''t be flat and so will require some extra work to deal with this issue.
The frame will be 2 x 4s with concrete posts under each ground hub. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, or at least knowing that anybody else has attempted a project this large. Maybe we are a bit crazy...?
Thanks! :)

[ Comments 21 ]

posted by
admin

06/12/2011 22:27:59

Hi psydream, That's a real big dome! I don't see any problem getting it make though. OK you will definitely have to go 4v... so the half dome will have a flat base. Only 3v domes have the uneven base issue. Leave it with me and I'll do some calculations.

posted by
admin

06/12/2011 22:55:13

OK a 50ft 4v dome works out quite well, biggest strut is under 8ft. Take a look at the drawing...

posted by
psydream

11/12/2011 18:46:47

Thanks for the reply. What I am thinking is to eliminate the bottom layer, as it doesn't add much to the square footage, but adds considerably to the already very tall height. This would reduce costs and time, but adds the uneven base factor. Are there any plans that you know of that would have relative dimensions/measurements for the bottom layer of this type of dome (5/12 4v?)?
Thanks! :)

posted by
psydream

06/01/2012 04:39:00

So, I've decided to do a 40' 1/2 dome, smaller due to space constraints, and 1/2 instead of 5/12 for simplicity of design and due the fact that the dome will be smaller and easier to manage.
The folks I am building for have purchased the Eden Biodome ebook which outlines a fairly simple method of dome construction that does not use hubs, but simply has the struts cut into points which meet at the center and which are screwed together where the 2x4s meet. Has anybody else used and tested this design? I am hesitant to try this method with such a large project, I want to make sure this is going to hold together for the long run!
Any thoughts on dome construction without hubs?

posted by
admin

06/01/2012 12:47:02

I specialize in building domes without hubs and I would say it's the best way to build. There's a chap on youtube who has built a dome from the eden biodome book see his channel here Also check out my youtube channel for info about building without hubs: pauly1060

posted by
mamos

09/01/2012 13:42:07

Is it me or does the eden biodome method look very complicated to do.
mamos

posted by
admin

11/01/2012 02:26:57

Hi Mamos,
I wouldn't like to do the compound mitre joints and I think covering looks difficult. So it's not just you...

Have you had a look at my system?

posted by
Paul

12/01/2012 07:25:14

Psydream & admin, I am doing the same project for a greenhouse (40'D 4/8 ) and my concern is how to set up the jigs to make constant cuts for the compound angles. I plan to glue and screw and us Simpson Tie straps at the base to increase strength. Can you give me an email and tell me how you are doing? stg@whidey.com

posted by
admin

17/01/2012 00:15:03

Ok Guys, I'm doing these plans now, I'll post here as they progress.

posted by
Tim

14/02/2012 17:18:01

Please post when you have the plans done, including price and ordering info. Thank you.

posted by
LLS

12/03/2012 06:07:04

If the dome is 50 feet and a 4V the longest strut will be far more than 8 feet long -___-
I got plans for my 50foot geodesic greenhouse and it's a 6v. The longest strut is 10.661 feet...

posted by
admin

12/03/2012 22:55:04

I checked on the 4v calculation tool and a 50ft dome is about 15m diameter. longest length comes out at 2.44m - 8ft give or take. 50ft in a 3v has struts of 10ft would it be a pseudo 6v by any chance?

posted by
simon

13/03/2012 10:50:18

I make the longest strut of a 50' diameter 4v class I icosa dome 8.122992 ft, and the longest strut of a 50' diameter 6v class I icosa dome 5.415705 ft.

posted by
Tim

17/03/2012 18:45:24

Are you selling plans for the 50' diameter dome? Thank you. Also, simon and anyone who has built a 50' dome, would you please correspond w/ me by email? wyrogers@gmail.com

posted by
KrisCarter

15/05/2012 04:21:41

Hello all,
I'm about to embark on building an 80' 8v 3/8 dome for a commercial greenhouse and I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with building a dome of this magnitude using 2x6 struts and 3.5' pipe for hubs?
Any pointers or advice would be greatly appreciated. Please correspond with via email if possible.
kriscarter0527@gmail.com

posted by
ursula

26/07/2012 19:32:44

anybody from va, usa?im looking for someone that can help us build a geodesic green house.
ursla
ufoster1@ yahoo.com

posted by
Tim Owens

28/08/2012 01:31:19

I am researching the domes and have a question on some of the terminology. I'd like to know what, for example, 5/12 refers to?

posted by
simon

01/09/2012 20:37:34

Hi Tim.

To make a dome you have to slice a sphere. For example the vertices of a 2-frequency icosahedron lie on a great circle so it will slice exactly in two and give you a perfect hemisphere, but you don't have to slice it at a mid-plane, and depending on the polyhedron you started with and the frequency of subdivision the vertices might not conveniently lie on a mid plane anyway. The 5/12 thing just describes where you slice the sphere. The confusing bit is that there are two ways of describing the thing. I think I'm right in saying that Lloyd Kahn in Dome Book 2 denotes the fractional vertical height of the dome, so a 3v sliced above the mid-plane is a 3/8 dome - it's 3/8 the height of the full sphere, but you can also designate the cut by counting rows of sub-divided triangles on the polyhedron, and with this designation the same 3v dome sliced above the mid-plane is a 4/9 dome - there are a total of 9 rows of triangles in a 3v icosa. For my money the second designation is better because it's easy to understand for higher frequencies and solids other than the icosahedron.

posted by
chris casacci

29/11/2012 22:58:51

We just finished building a 42' geodesic dome if you need any help, I'd be happy to assist.

posted by
peco

21/12/2012 15:33:41

Hi Chris,
For your 42' geodesic dome , have you used timber or other material? thanks

posted by
Pangnirtung Greenhouse Corporation

25/08/2013 16:50:30

I am constructing two 42' geodesic greenhouse domes, and would love some help ! Please contact me at pangnirtung_greenhouse_corporation@live.com to further discuss