Our House Construction - Exterior Shell - Page 2
Double car garage and shop domes.
Second Week This week we will continue to prep the foamed shell for concrete.
Marking horizontal lines where the horizontal rebar.will be mounted. Notice the wires sticking out of the shell? These are referred to as stickers. I designed a machine to make them to speed up the process. They stick into the foam shell and will be anchored in place. Once anchored they will hold the rebar in place before covering them in concrete.
Window openings and electrical conduit path and the box locations are marked on the walls.
Can't forget the skylight!
Here we marked the openings for the garage and shop and also determined the curve at the corners. This will be blocked out on the inside of the dome so we don't spray concrete in the opening (wouldn't be much of an opening if we did).
Rebar arrives! Now we are set to add the internal structure to the dome
Window and door openings must be blocked out so they don't get filled with concrete. This is accomplished with 'bucks'. They are made by cutting 3/4" lumber to match the curvature of the dome walls and foamed into place. A laser sure helps in deterring what is straight and what is not in a curved structure.

Corner detail of one window and a buck laid out and cut on the table.
Third Week
Alex of Autograph Electric arrived to rough in the electrical work for the shop and one garage. He routed out a 3/4" wide trough in the foam to lay the conduit into and mounted electrical boxes on the wall.
He taped over the face of each electrical box so they will not be filled with cement when the wall is created.
The first (of many) concrete trucks arrive and positions himself behind the concrete pump.
Keeping the pump hopper filled is key here. The pump pumps the concrete into the dome through large hoses and air pressure is used at the end of the hose to spray the concrete onto the wall.
Spraying concrete is a very messy job! Mark prepares his outfit complete with duct tape bow tie. Mark it isn't necessary to dress up!
Mert is ready, indicated by his thumb's up. He begins to spray the first coat of shotcrete onto the shop wall.
Continuing around with the help of his helpers. Soon he will have the entire interior of the dome coated.

Mark where are you? It gets very hazy the more you pump.
Wow! The next five domes are stored under the trailer. Hard to imagine that only a few months ago we made each of them ourselves (see Airforms). The largest dome shell weights about 40lbs.

Hard to imaging that that pile of plastic will become our home. Keep watching and you will see it happen.
Lets open up the wall leading to the patio so we have some working room!
There that's better and now we must clean up the footing.
Too much mud has collected.
Driving in the steel anchors so the dome wont take off like a balloon in the air.
Attaching the boards to attach the dome to.
OhOh looks what's comings!
Looks like Beth is ready to inflate! She is bring the patio dome over to the site. Guess she is anxious to get it up!
Kind if a cool picture taken from within the garage
looking out into the patio area.
Beginning to attach the airform to the footing.
Its not a one man job!
Continue around the entire dome area. Large shape in the middle is the scaffolding set up in the center of the dome.
Lets inflate the patio!
Of course the wind has to give it a kick or two!
Almost there! Wow that is big!
Illuminating a new dome at night is so cool! Check it out!

We will foam them tomorrow so this is the only chance to light it up!
View of the garage intersection into the patio.
Adding rebar to the face of the pre-shell in
preparation for the final shotcrete coatings.
Close-up of the rebar. It is mounted to the wall with the stickers we placed into the foam and then the vertical rebar is 'tied' to the horizontal rebar runs.
Lets complete the garage building by adding the third dome!
The third dome will occupy the center of the building so we must cut away the excess portions of the two end domes. A chain saw does quick work of it!
Here the south dome is now opened up.
Wow we have an amphitheater! Ray says NO NO that's my shop!
Both ends of the building are now cut away.
The next step is to add the forms to
hold the airform down when inflated.
Lets stretch out the airform.
It must be guided over the scaffolding and boy is it noisy!
Crinkle crinkle crinkle!
And did I mention how hot it is under it?
Beth has flipped the switch on the blower!
Almost full of air!
We have a center dome in place!
Lighting it up at night is so great!
Things are taking shape! Lets add the PATIO!