Architects Seek To Design Climate-Change-Proof Homes

Retired software programmer Jon duSaint wants to build a geodesic dome home in Bishop, California, a remote region east of the Sierra Nevada. Heat-reflecting and fire-resistant metal tiles will cover the dome. The dome’s solid exterior makes it simple to insulate against extreme temperatures and endure strong winds and plenty of snow. Buyers and builders concerned about the environment are increasingly interested in geodesic domes and other weatherproof home designs as harsh weather becomes more common. This movement has the potential to shake up the complacency that has hindered the United States’ efforts to adapt to climate change.

The loss of a house in a natural catastrophe has a significant psychological and social impact in addition to the physical and financial costs associated with climate change. As the planet heats, geodesic domes, which have been around for almost 70 years, are again becoming relevant. Geodesic domes like the one dubbed “Weatherbreak” are only one example of cutting-edge architecture built to withstand extreme weather. Steel and concrete allow their construction, making them a viable alternative to more expensive building methods. The cost of a disaster-resistant building is typically only around 10% more than that of conventional construction, and it more than pays for itself in the form of lower repair expenses in the aftermath of a significant event.

Most homebuyers lack the knowledge to insist on higher requirements, and builders hesitate to include resiliency. Building federal, state, and regional code enforcement might help close this disparity.

Because of rising catastrophe anxiety, architects and designers are increasingly creating homes with insulated concrete forms (ICF) that can resist strong winds and debris and keep their interior temperatures consistent even if the electricity goes out. Some designers also opt for fireproof steel exteriors, ironwood decks, and a 2,500-gallon cistern to store water. Even though these additions can drive up building expenses by as much as 10%, utilizing more affordable materials like stucco can reduce those prices by half.

The wind resistance and the dome’s superior thermal insulation make geodesic domes popular for residential construction. Geodesic domes have become increasingly popular as homeowners seek long-lasting, eco-friendly alternatives to conventional dwellings.