Handling the Texas Heat Wave: Bruco, our amazing caterpillar
We’re having a heat wave! A tropical heat wave!
Boy, are we ever! When this photo was taken, we here in Italy, Texas were enduring our 60th day of daytime temperatures of 100F degrees or more! And our nighttime temperatures stay in the 80s.
But Bruco, whose name is the Italian word for caterpillar, remained wonderfully cool – despite the fact that Bruco houses huge, automatic welders. We use these very expensive, radio frequency welders to attach the fabric when making Airforms. It’s a hot job!
Nevertheless, Bruco’s inside temperature did not exceed the upper 70s. We do keep the doors closed most of the time since we cannot have high humidity in this dome.
So what you are seeing is a 5-ton air conditioner cooling a 14,000-square-foot Monolithic Dome when the outside temperature remains at a horrific high, day after day after day.
Bruco in the winter
During the winter Texas does not get as cold as Idaho, but it gets cold enough to freeze the pond at our office complex.
But to heat Bruco, that 14,000-square-foot Monolithic Dome, all we do is leave the lights on at night. The temperature will drop down to about 60 at the very coldest for a few days.
That is the sum total of the heating and cooling needed for this manufacturing structure we call Bruco.
Analyzing a Monolithic Dome
If you are evaluating a Monolithic Dome, it’s extremely important that you do a 30-year analysis of the building. Your analysis should include the original cost, the cost of keeping the dome heated and cooled and the cost of insurance.
Remember a Monolithic Dome is built to FEMA 361 standards, so it will withstand a tornado. But obviously some of the doors and windows may get ripped off unless they also are certified.