Outdoor areas prove no problem with the DomePod home.
Outdoor areas prove no problem with the DomePod home.

Domes are space-age homes

THEY look like a house out of a science fiction movie and a Billinudgel company believes their radical dome-shaped design could revolutionise the building industry while having a minimal environmental effect.

DomeShell Technology, which will be featured on tonight’s Channel Seven television program Better Homes and Gardens, said while their designs looked space-age they were actually inspired by African Zulus.

“Chris Brown (managing director) lived in South Africa and lived in a traditional rotunda,” Erik Bigalk, the marketing manager of DomeShell Technology, said.

“They (the domes) are fire resistant, mould resistant and so efficient with energy. They have a 7.5 energy efficiency rating.

“They are incredibly strong, incredibly stable and have a high rating with earthquakes and a category five cyclone capability.”

In other words the domes, which can be modified into a number of sizes from three metres in diameter to a maximum of 10 metres, are nearly indestructible, while their circular design and unique shell help the homeowner use less energy. They are also constructed with 30 per cent less materials than conventional buildings.

The shell is made of two layers of glass fibre reinforced concrete (GRC), with a layer of polyurethane in between, which Mr Bigalk said gave the domes an ‘esky-like insulation’.

The shape is modelled on ‘Rondavels’, traditional dwellings made by Zulus, and is constructed by using a heavy gauge polyvinyl chloride (PVC) balloon.

The balloon inflates and the builder sprays on the three layers of GRC and polyurethane on the inside and eventually deflates the balloon – like paper mache in reverse.

The technology to make the domes took about 10 years to develop and DomeShells was helped by the Australian Research Council and the Queensland University of Technology.

Small DomePods have already been sold on the Northern Rivers and in South-East Queensland, while a larger house with interlocking multiple-domes has been built on the Sunshine Coast.

DomePods are being marketed as a quick and easy space fix for homes bulging at the seams. They do not require a council development application to be placed in backyards due their small floor area.

A DomePod is delivered right to your property and can be used even if you are renting, as it is classed as a removable structure and can be taken with you when you move. Prices start from $13,750.

Potentially, the domes could be used as ‘granny flat’ structures for affordable housing if the NSW Government changes its law on the letting of removable dwellings.

Furthermore, DomeShell is already looking at using domes to construct entire villages in undeveloped countries.

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