electricalplumbing.htm

INSTALLATION OF ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING,

VENT PIPES, FIREPLACES, SOLAR, PHOTOVOTAICS, ETC.

IN THE DOME SHELL

 

Q: How are electrical wiring and plumbing pipes installed in the dome shell?
A: The electrical and plumbing will be contained in the interior frame walls in the same manner as conventional housing.  To install electrical wiring in the exterior dome walls simply cut a groove through the wallboard and the E.P.S. insulation and insert the wire and fill the groove with spray expanding foam.  To install electrical boxes, conduit, or plumbing pipes: cut through the wall board and E.P.S. insulation slightly larger than needed, insert the box or pipe and fill in the opening with spray expanding foam.  The spray foam will harden in about one half hour, holding the box or pipes secure.  Use tape and joint compound to finish the areas.

Q: How are plumbing vent pipes installed in the dome shell?
A: The plumbing vent pipes can be routed sideways through the interior framing and can sometimes be joined together before they exit our dome. Where the vent pipe is to exit through the dome shell, all you need do is make a hole through the thin panel concrete in the appropriate location, extend the pipe through, concrete back up against the pipe, caulk and paint. The plumbing vent pipes are sealed to our concrete dome with caulk, e.g. urethane or butyl rubber. A plumbing boot like the type used on shingled houses is not used.

                                                                       

                                                    On the left side of this 34' dome you can

                                          see an installed plumbing vent pipe and

                                          an exhaust fan outlet.

Q: Can the dome have a fireplace and how is a fireplace installed?
A: Yes the dome can have a fireplace. We suggest that dome owners try to locate their fireplace toward the middle of the dome, rather than along the outside edge which would cause the flue to be very high on the outside. This puts more of the flue pipe inside the house where it can radiate the heat. As long as the flue pipe is round, you simply bust a hole in the thin panel concrete (you do not cut into the concreted seams).  To enlarge the hole, remove some of the E.P.S., insert the flue pipe, replace the E.P.S. with 2” thick fiberglass insulation, then concrete around the flue pipe, caulk and paint. Use a nonsilicon caulk like urethane or latex. A fireplace can be added to any dome. But it may affect the second floor framing, so the stock plan might need to be modified.          

Click on the photos to enlarge them.                                                                               

                                                                                 

 This fireplace was built on an        Another view of the fireplace        The fireplace on the left is within

 exterior wall of a 34' dome.           on the left.                                this 34' dome.  You can see the

                                                                                               exposed metal flue pipe.  The client

                                                                                               chose to not frame in and stucco

                                                                                               around the flue.

                                                  

 

                                                       

 

This is a see-through fireplace                The fireplace on the left is within

built in a 40' dome.                               this 40' dome.  Note the chimney

                                                        has to be taller than the cupola so    

                                                        smoke does not enter the cupola windows.

 

 

                               

            This photo shows a fire in the see-through

          fireplace.

 

Q: How is hot air and moisture exhausted out of the top of the dome?
A: When the air conditioner is operating, the moisture level will be controlled by condensation at the evaporator coil. Moisture can accumulate inside a house when its not air conditioned.  It can be easily controlled by occasionally opening a window at the top of the dome where most of the moisture accumulates.

If you build without a cupola, simply install an exhaust fan in an interior wall near the peak of the dome which will allow you to remove excess moisture with the flip of a switch.  Dryer ducting connects the fan to the exhaust vent flap.  The dryer ducting can be routed through the interior wall and through the floor joist to exhaust out in a vertical wall under an entryway.  This way no vent flap is installed on top the dome to collect water.

Q: How are Solar Hot Water Panels installed in the dome shell?

A: Solar Hot Water panels can be designed to set on top of the entryways or link. Anchors are buried into the entryway concrete on site. Grooves are cut in the E.P.S. insulation to lay the pipes in and the water pipe(s) are inserted through the entryway E.P.S. before the entryway is concreted.  Some of our clients have solar hot water panels mounted on their dome link.  The panel sits on the link and lies against the side of the dome.  To hide the ends of the solar panel, fill in the ends with E.P.S. and stucco over the E.P.S. so it matches the dome.   

 

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

 

                                                        

 

      Look to the right of the                 On top of the entryway to the

        garage door to see a                     left of the front doors is

        solar hot water panel                    a solar hot water heater

        installed on top a link

        and anchored to the

        dome.

 

Q: Can photovoltaics be used with your dome?
A:
Yes.
  The following is a reprint of an article on the Collar domes that ran in the Home Power magazine.

What do you need when you are going to live in a high desert (7,500 ft. elev.) 40 miles from the nearest town with the winters reaching down 20 degrees below zero?  That is where Jim and Mary Collar planned to build their solar retirement home.  To extend electric power to their home site would cost $22,000.00 so the Collars decided to produce their power using photovoltaic solar cells with a back up generator.  Their primary source of heat would be their fireplace.  In 1995 after researching many alternative-building methods, they found their home, an American Ingenuity 45' Dome House and 30’ Dome Garage.  American Ingenuity's dome kit was selected for its strength, energy efficiency and its affordability.  They selected subcontractors for the construction of their two domes with Mary being the general contractor. Jim was commuting 40 miles to his job but on evenings and weekends they could work together.  They were asked by the state of Utah to participate in “Utahs’ 1998 Tour of Innovative Homes” which is in conjunction with the American solar Energy Society’s National Tour of solar Homes.  They can be emailed at jim@footprints-inc.com

 

Other Photovoltaic experts are Phil Mayrand at 910-799-9220 and Bill Northey of Radiant Floor Company in Vermont whose number is 802-755-6324.

 

                                                               

                                                An American Ingenuity Dome built in Vermont

                                                            utilizing photovotaics.

                                                       Click on the photo to enlarge it.

 

 

 

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*Photos Added July 2005

 

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