Framing Construction Notes
After the concrete had cured a couple of weeks, the framing began. The house plans were designed using a 35' and a 20' dome combination. An engineer's stamp was not required in the State of Washington at that time. We used a portable generator supplied by the land developers since the lot was sold as having power supplied and the power lines were still a mile away.
2x10 floor joists with 1 1/8" plywood subflooring
Floor Joists and Subfloor
A Paslode pneumatic nail gun was used for nailing the T&G plywood 1 1/8th inch subfloor/underlayment. Be aware that this product has occasional voids which can be a problem under sheet floor coverings unless they are filled. Otherwise, it makes an excellent deck. During the open framing frequentl rains during the night left a couple of inches of water on the decking. This did not seem to affect the floor joists or the plywood decking. The 2" x 10" joists were spaced 32" apart and supported by double joists which were supported every 10' on pier pads. The deck was also glued down to the joists with construction adhesive. This floor has been solid and quiet.
Base Walls
Before the dome framing begins, the base walls must be erected. We used a 4' wall to allow for furniture placement and the height of the openings as well as the second floor placement. There are 5 base walls for each dome. The two metal straps seen protruding from the foundation at the mud sill level below the wall pictured were used to tie down the base wall. Simpson Strong-Tie did not have earthquake tiedowns in 1979. 20 years later we were able to get earthquake insurance because of these straps. Now there are designed earthquake tie-down bracketing available.
4' base walls on a 20' 3/8ths dome
Dome Framing
Now for the really fun, fast part! You can do this yourself or have a party with friends. The 20' 3/8ths dome took two slow men about two hours to assemble. We assembled the first ring of the 35' 5/8ths dome and then went home for the day. You may notice that this is a hub and strut dome frame design using an older star hub design. Timberline Geodesics were not an option in 1979. Today, Timberline manufactures a superior product with greater design flexiblity than we had available when this dome was built.
Three sections of 7' rolling scaffolding were used to reach the top of the 35' 5/8ths dome. Since this was 2" x 4" framing the entire dome packagefor both domes fit into two pickup truck loads! Dome framing can save up to 40% in natural resources. Talk about "Green Construction"!
3/8ths, 20' dia. dome frame 5/8th, 35' dia. dome frame
20' 5/8ths dome with 4' base walls connected to a 35' 5/8ths dome on the right
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