Both Simple and Complex
Choosing a proper site for a Monolithic Dome is both simple and complex. Obviously, the easiest place to build is on a nice flat piece of land with good drainage, but a Monolithic Dome is so versatile it can be constructed on a limitless number of sites. You can put it on a mountainside, a valley or even over water. No matter where you build, be sure to take advantage of your property and sight lines.
If your available property is a hillside, you can set the dome into the hillside and backfill against it. If you are on a coast and you are vulnerable to flood waters, simply build the dome taller and leave cutouts for the water to flow under the dome. The structural integrity of the dome allows for a second floor to hang from the dome and a third if needed.
Keep in mind, the thing a dome can’t defend against is erosion. If building near water where erosion is possible, breakwaters may need to be built to protect the dome from erosion.
Macro and Micro View
The view from a home’s windows is as important as the home’s location. Many people think it’s a wonderful thing to build on a coast or to overlook a beautiful valley or mountain range. Indeed, if you have such property, you will have a great view. However, I learned early on in my home construction experience that there are two views to consider: the macro and micro view.
What we see in the distance is the macro view. Example: looking out a window and seeing the Grand Tetons, some other special mountain range or a beach front. The macro view has a tendency to become “wallpaper.” By that I mean, we get so used to it that after a while we don’t notice it too much.
The most important view to consider or create is the micro view — what we see just outside the windows, close to the structure. The micro view is always changing. In some cases, you have to create the micro view by building patios, adding landscaping, creating ponds and more. A micro view can even be created within the dome by building an interior atrium.
Another consideration is the placement of the home. If you’re in an area where street expansion is a future possibility, be sure to set the home back far enough from the street to allow for it.
Monolithic Domes can be built under big beautiful trees without any worry of trees falling in a storm and damaging the dome home. Cosmetic damage is possible, but there will be no structural damage to the dome itself. Just be sure not to cut a whole bunch of tree roots and kill the trees while constructing the dome.
Note: This information was originally presented in April 2005.