Recycled-wood domes


This experimental structure built in january '87 illustrate an economical strategy of building shelters with low grade materials collected from old wood cratings left over for recycling. This potato shape (2f ellipsoid dome) was very pleasant to be inside. It was strong enough to support any snow load. We fabricated it outside in winter on the table you can see inside the dome.

Geodesic domes are perceived as structure requiring a somewhat high degree of precision and sophistication in their manufacturing process. This trait may hinder their use by people living on a tight budget. Thus, we tested the feasibility of using recycled or low grade material for dome building. We gathered most of the wood we needed for free from industrial waste (mostly wood box and crate that were torn beyond repair). Is there a way to build your dome using scrap wood? The next drawing show a simple way to do it.

By keeping the strut's design simple, we could use the more complicated ellipsoid shape (for the fun of it) and keep everything under control. Only three parameter were applied (one length and two angles) on each strut. Bad parts of the planks were cut out like this so that we could use almost any scrap wood. While assembling this elliptical dome, we also discovered that we had to twist most struts to fit them. Luckily, the struts were thin and easy to twist.

In constructing these domes we used only the lowest grade crate board. Short lengths and torn pieces were welcome. Domes with up to 40 feet in diameter can be done with this technique. All the domes depicted here were covered with polyethylene film and tarps because they were needed only for a few years but all could have been rendered permanent by going on with recycling and completing.That way, we built our own recycled industrial site to carry on with our experiments.



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All drawings, photographs, texts and technologies shown on this site are the exclusive property of Guy Massicotte.
Tous les dessins, photographies, textes, et technologies présentés sur ce site sont la propriété exclusive de Guy Massicotte.
© Guy Massicotte, jan. 1997