One of Japan’s latest strokes of genius comes in the form of foam dome homes
. They may look like TeleTubby huts, but the foam structures are energy-efficient, easy to construct and cheap as all get-out.
The Japanese Dome House Co., Ltd. produces prefabricated dome house kits that come in parts ready for assembly. Pieces are lightweight and inexpensive, weighing in at a mere 175 lbs. per part and providing a 7-inch thick wall. Once assembled, the dome home creates approximately 475 square feet of living space, though the kits can be attached to one another for extra space.
The foam used in these modules is much more densely constructed than what you’d expect. This actually gives the home benefits over wood and metal structures; foam won’t rot, rust or attract insects, it is resistant to natural disasters like hurricanes and typhoons, and has been treated with a flame-retardant coating to prevent toxic fumes in a fire. Foam domes also offer natural thermal qualities to minimize heating and cooling costs.
A karaoke bar in Japan finished their dome to look like a big mushroom.
Foam dome kits start at $30,000 and can easily be constructed by a couple of your friends in just a few hours. Once the kit is complete, the shell should be finished with a layer of mortar and paint to protect the pod from the elements.
These homes are tremendously versatile and multifunctional, so they’re being finished in a wide range of unique and unusual ways. Some look like igloos. Others look like haciendas. There’s no end to the imaginative finishes that can be applied to the inside and outside of the dome home.
Not only are they very cheap and efficient homes, but they’re also being used for restaurants, retail shops, offices, hotel rooms, steam rooms and even freezer rooms. It remains to be seen if the foam dome home will be the wave of the future in residential construction, but they make a sure statement about efficiency - in a roundabout kind of way.
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