We Provide Custom Architectural & Engineering Design, Consultancy and Training Services
Domeshells is a specialist in concrete and cement based composites and sandwich composites for constructing compound curved and dome shaped structures. We have been designing and building dome shaped structures since the year 2000 and during that time have tried and tested many methods of construction and material systems.
Now in 2017 we have narrowed down our focus to one method that we like the best. This method is the most simple and utilizes relatively low cost materials like split bamboo which is an acceptable form of concrete reinforcement in many Asian and tropical countries.
For Australia and other western countries, we have developed engineering using 'basalt fiber rebar' to comply with the Australian Building Code.
Although bamboo does not comply with the Australian Building code, some DIY builders have gone under the radar and built beautiful bamboo ferro cement structures.
What does it Cost - (Australian Building Costs)
Based on the construction method described in our Bamboo/Basalt Building Guide
Using Basalt Rebar (available through Domeshells)
Basic material costs for the shell structure and slab can be as low as $600 per square metre (of floor area)
Assuming you have free access to the right bamboo and you are going DIY the total materiel cost can be as low as AU$550 per square meter (floor area).
If you hire professional builders you can expect the overall meter rate cost to be from about AU$1,800 per m2 for completed slab and shell. Internal fit-out is additional cost and for ball park for completed home allow from $2,200 m2. Final costs depend on many variables.
NOTE: Australia has one of the highest building costs in the world and the above costs are not necessarily relevant in any other country
To comply with building code you will need plans and engineering certifications where we substitute bamboo with basalt fiber reinforcing bar.
Need a Builder?
We help you find a local builder and
We do not provide building services since 2016
If you have a project in mind. Please go to our Initial Project Brief form which is designed to provide us with sufficient information to enable us to give you a meaningful reply.
The designs on the website are not specifically priced but you can apply the above for a ball park cost.
Please complete our initial brief form if you have a project in mind
Otherwise, please enjoy viewing our history and projects featured on our website
Bamboo Concrete Dome
An ultra-low-tech way of utilizing bamboo, steel or fibre mesh, sand and cement to construct strong, safe, beautiful thin shell structures. For DIY, or countries where bamboo is understood and accepted as a building material.
Basalt Concrete Dome
We pioneer the "benefits of using Basalt reinforcing bar", an ideal material for the design and construction of unique, engineered compound curved, architecture. Cost effective does not rust and twice as strong as steel.
Architectural, Structural, Composites Engineering, Structural Engineering, Drafting, Plans.
Dome Shaped Structures - Inherent Strength and Beauty
One of the oldest best-preserved buildings in the world is a dome, the Pantheon in Rome. It is over 2000 years old and still in perfect condition. This magnificent dome structure has withstood the ravages of invasions and sacking through time where all other buildings in Rome are in ruins.
Inherent Advantages of Domes
There are several advantages inherent in domed shape buildings. To begin with they are extremely efficient in use of materials. A dome building covers a floor area with approximately 30% less external surface area that a conventional building.
Structurally a dome is very much more efficient than conventional buildings because a dome shell structure distributes load evenly around the structure allowing it to accept significantly higher load scenarios that conventional rectangular buildings
Living in a Dome House
People who live in dome houses are almost entirely in agreement that they would never want to move back to a rectangular building. Interesting! Why is that?
From all our experience with dome buildings and dome homes and having visited many dome homes in various countries there are a few aspects which really stand out and some of these hit you as soon as you walk into a dome.
Generally, the first impression is one of space and light. Contrary to external appearances the interior of a dome is much larger that it looks from outside due to the 30% less surface area of the building. It plays an illusion.
Second impression is how absolutely comfortable it feels inside a dome-shaped building. No corners, just smooth round walls and roof which feels very natural and nurturing to the human being.
Thirdly, furniture fits into a round space perfectly well. Pictures hang on the walls just the same way they do on a flat wall and actually the flow in a round space also feels a lot more comfortable.
The Purest Sound Inside a Dome
If you study how sound waves move and interact inside of a space of any kind it will give you a good impression of how the space feels to inhabit. For example inside of a hemispherical dome, sound is reflected from the dome shape back to the center of the structure at the diameter.
What this means is that there is absolutely no phase cancellation or standing wave action inside a dome. The sound is pure in contrast to rectangular buildings which severely distort the purity of sound because of reflections off the walls.
Behavior of sound in a dome shape illustrates very well how all the energy flows inside a dome - no stagnant energy stuck in corners.
In addition to orientation, Feng Shui in the design of a home or any other building deals primarily with energy and the flow of energy and how the building will FEEL to it's occupants.
The best aspects of Fen Shui are inherent in a dome.
Ventilation in Domes
A common comment made by people who live in dome houses is that they do not have a mold problem. This is due to the superior ventilation inherent when a dome is ventilated through an opening in the apex which causes the most efficient and thorough ventilation of the space below. In contrast to a conventional building, a dome draws air from around its circumference expelling through the apex.
Composite Materials for Dome Construction
Domeshells has been designing, developing and building dome-shaped structures since the year 2000 focusing on the use of composite materials and fabrication systems to build lightweight structures. Composite structural skins sandwiched over a light weight foam core creates relatively lightweight panels with excellent thermal insulation.
Seven years R&D in collaboration with QUT School of Engineering, Brisbane has given us the opportunity to develop various material systems which can be used to build domes using various mold systems.
In contrast to linear construction a dome geometry (the shape) must be formed by some means other than a straight line.
Compound Curves of the Dome Shape
Domeshells does NOT design or build geodesic domes which are created with triangular elements to form a dome shape with facets. Domeshells has always built completely compound curved surfaces using mostly hemispherical geometry. Our domes have smooth round surfaces
Compound curves mean that the surface curves in all direction. It is not just a mono curve. Creating compound curved elements requires a mold system. A pattern is made of the shape and then the composite material is applied over that shape to form the dome or the elements or pieces of the dome which can be joined at a later stage.
Methods of Constructing Domes Using Composite Material Systems
GRC/Polyurethane Foam Core
Domeshells has developed a patented system of fabricating dome structures using an air-form. An air-form is a balloon fabricated in the shape of the dome which is fixed around the circumference of the slab or foundation and inflated.
Once inflated, the inside of the balloon is accessed through an airlock system and from inside the air-form, the various composite materials are sprayed creating a monolithic shell structure.
This system utilized high strength polymer modified, glass fiber reinforced concrete structural coatings either side of a closed cell polyurethane foam core.
The Most Advanced Materials Dome Building System
FRP (Glass and Resign/Foam Core) Aerospace Materials
More recently Domeshells has been utilizing materials that are closer to aerospace materials than conventional building materials. Aerospace material systems are now cost competitive with other material systems in the construction industry. Laminated sandwich systems mean that domes can be produced with extremely high-performance characteristics in all respects.
Bamboo Domes - Most Advanced Low-Tech Dome Building System
Using these simple easy to get materials to build domes is very exciting because of its low cost and versatility. Low cost in materials although high labor content makes this system ideal for many parts of the world and for people who have more time than money.
Using Bamboo Mesh and Render for dome construction produces very strong 'monolithic shell structures'. Like a sea shell the dome has no seams and with continuous reinforcement together with the mesh and the bamboo the dome shell is capable of any load imposed provided the design is appropriate.
Common Uses for Dome Structures
A dome-shaped building can be used for any purpose that a conventional structure is used for including:
- Tourist accommodation
- Mining accommodation
- Storage silos
- Survival shelters
- Storm shelters
- Emergency shelter
- Disaster reconstruction
- Extreme conditions shelter
Dome Design Services Including Drafting, Architectural & Engineering
Domeshells provides a complete design service all the way to the council for any dome project. We will advise the most appropriate system for a particular project.
Speak with us early in your project to save money and get the best system for your purpose.
Our collective experience spans several continents and dome projects from tiny backyard cabins all the way to massive FRP domes in the Middle East.
Storm Shelters, Survival Shelters and Survival Bunkers
There is so much happening in our world today causing many people to think of preparing for the worst. Civil unrest and war causing massive migrations of people into refugee situations and climate change and natural disasters of all kinds are affecting millions of people all over the world.
No one can say that they are not aware of tremendous and rapid change happening all around us. Seems the world is going crazy and our politicians seem hell bent on war and total control of the people.
Depending on where you live these events may well make you consider alternative forms of shelter that will be more capable of providing safety and shelter in the precarious years ahead.
Domeshells Worked Towards Developing Extra Strong Shelters That Can be Adapted as Above Ground and even Underground Storm and Survival Shelters and Bunkers
For the Rebel In Ya! Build Your Own Dome Shelter or Survival Shelter
Not all of us want to go through our local building authorities or city council for permits and all the red tape associated with building habitable structures which are why we have always had in mind finding ways to do-it-yourself.
We are really excited about our Bamboo system because this system of building a shelter or bunker is relatively easy to do it yourself. We know this because we have tried and tested the system. To begin with, it is just about the cheapest in materials and secondly it can be learned by anyone. It is a total DIY Storm Shelter system.
If you have even the slightest feeling that you should be considering getting your own survival shelter or even that you must have an alternative form of storm safe shelter and you just don't have the cash - then the next best thing you can do is buy our Bamboo Mesh and Render dome building guide because if the worst comes to the worst this system will provide you with the cheapest and strongest storm safe shelter. We have proven that you can build a structure strong enough for an underground survival bunker.
One of the best things about our survival shelter design is that it can be utilized for any size structure and you can make it as strong as you like simply by increasing the thickness of the walls - Even if you just keep the Bamboo Mesh and Render Guide safe at home knowing that if you ever needed you will be ready to go
Our multi-disciplined team is uniquely experienced in design, production and engineering of shell structures and shell elements in GRC, FRP and "Hybrid Composites"........
For more information please fill out our CONTACT form or give us a call on Tel: 02 6680 5500 (International: +61 2 66805500).
REVIEWS4.7(based on 10 reviews)
Beautiful dome houses. Elizabeth M. 12/30/2016
a a 08/18/2016
AWESOME! Blobfish 08/05/2016
very good carl 07/26/2016
very good carl 07/23/2016
Very interesting Saul Contreras 01/15/2017
Very interesting information Nicole C. 01/15/2017
Like to get a price list look great Trevor James Beitz 02/07/2017
I was unable to find the price of workshops jo butterfield 02/16/2017