Are these low carbon domes the future of sustainable living? Urban Planning

When the design and architecture start-up Geoship reached its crowdfunding goal of $ 100,000 in just five days in January 2020, founder and CEO Morgan Bierschenk knew that the young company had something special in its hands. The product? Sustainable, affordable living space in the form of unique geodesic domes that are also carbon-free.

Rendering of the blue geodesic dome house in the backyard of a large modern house

Geoship built its first dome prototype in 2015 and worked with Zappos in 2019 to address the homelessness crisis in downtown Las Vegas where the company is headquartered. The partnership has since created a scalable village model that specifically aims to eradicate homelessness in the United States by 2030.

Related: Create your own geodesic dome in the back yard with these super affordable DIY kits

3D diagram of the blue geodesic dome with open doors

What makes these domes so special? A 100% bio-ceramic material in combination with basalt and hemp fibers (similar to bones and shells) is used to construct the frames, insulations and panels in such a way that they represent an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional building materials. This ceramic composite is designed for extreme temperatures and is therefore fire-resistant up to 2300 degrees Fahrenheit. The dome shape distributes the pressure evenly over the structure, which, according to Geoship, makes it both earthquake and hurricane-proof. In addition, the material does not attract mold or insects and does not rust, rot or deteriorate.

Representation of three people in a domed house with a small sofa

The minerals used to produce the bioceramics can be obtained from sustainable natural resources such as seawater desalination plants and non-toxic treatment plants. Old material can either be converted into new plates or used as fertilizer. Currently, the estimated turnkey prices for the domes are between $ 45,000 and $ 230,000, depending on their size. The price includes everything from delivery, approval, installation, mechanical systems, interior design, equipment and materials for passive solar heating and cooling.

Representation of three people in a domed house with wall shelves, small tables and a small orange sofa

Geoship is unique in that it is structured as a “Social Purpose Corporation”, a multi-stakeholder cooperative in which customers, in addition to investors and employees, will also be important owners of the company. Bierschenk believes that consumers were only too willing. “Old school capitalism makes rich people richer, and everyone takes responsibility as our planet pays the price,” Bierschenk said. “We are changing this paradigm by making our seed capital investment widely accessible and distributing equity to customers and the world.”

+ Geoship

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