Hootenanny Two Takes Form

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 3:03 PM

Welcome back to Earth building. It’s been 14 years since I last practiced this art form, and I’m GLAD TO BE BACK!  

The plan is to start with a 12’ dome using a new, faster and more efficient approach. I’ve been pondering a project like this since we built Casa del las Domas.  It’s time to test the theory and strecth the possibility of cooperation among an earth buiilding team.  We will build the Teen Dome first, a 12’ (foot) diameter dome, equal in size to the current kitchen and bedroom domes.  But this will be a stand-alone dome with a single door, cool windows, and a simple sink for washing up.  It’s outlined below, and the plan is as follows:

The circle has been drawn to show where the outer edge of the backoe will dig.  Jose martin (same guy who dug our last domes) will level the ground, 3” below ground level in order to account for the cement floor to be poured at the end.  He will dig go down 2 bag depths (8”), as these become the ‘foundation’ of the dome. The outer layer of 14” bag will become the ‘buttress’ of the dome till we get to the ‘spring line’ - where we begin the arch.  This out ‘buttress’ layer of bags gets plastered over and provides shel and sitting space.

This is where the door to the Teen dome will be, offering a nice ‘grotto’ area out of the west-facing door onto the mesquite tree and cactus growth.

The Bedroom Dome will become a 13.5’ dome with an 8’ bathroom dome connected by a door at about 7:30 from the front door.  This chosen size is between the ‘Sunrise’ dome (15’) and the existing kitchen and bedroom sized domes (12’). Hopefully the sizing will fit the site.  And be small enough we can still ‘carve’ the windows prior to full curing.  We shall know by the time the Teen dome is attempted. This dome will be built with 16” bags, and because it’s on a slope (~ 2 feet I think), Jose Martin will dig a foundation level at 3” below surface (to account for a poured concrete floor) and the 2 bag depth for buttressing will be about 8”.  We will use the stabilized earth technique for the lower elevation areas (ie, same stuff in the bags, but poured directly into the cavity between the inner bag row and the dug out circle).

The Bathroom Dome at 8’ will be the smallest I’ve built, and will follow the lancet arch technique.  I moved the radial point 8” inside the bathrooom from the bedroom dome doorway because Kahlil used a similar technique in his Eco Dome design.  We shall see how it flows.  It should have anough space inside for a shower, sink, and toilet.  It may be tight - we shall know soon.

With instructions and the layout provided to Jose Martin, I now await the circles to become real, the floor leveled, and 3 door frames built.