Welcome to the Belize Eco Village Bulletin 14 update. As more eco-friendly people are reaching out to find an eco tribe we hope you consider our BEV project. If you share our values, virtues, and visions we are eager to connect with you. We are happy to share our lessons learned to help you and ask for your help in return. We are looking at EcoShell I dome homes as our next model home and are eager to learn how you feel about living in one. A special thanks to Rodney McGraw for sharing his personal construction experience and suggestions regarding his dome home built near Corozal, Belize. He also showed me the dome home of Grady Davidson. This is a brief picture and progress update.
Our Executive Investment Summary is on the Beltraide website. After eight years of blood, sweat and tears it is time to find an expert joint venture partner to take the lead. All comments, questions and shares are greatly appreciated.
After a tour of the Monolithic Dome Institute October 20, 2018 we feel domes are a better choice than the current SCEB. Meeting Rodney and learning about his dome construction experience convinced me domes will require less labor, material and time-saving money compared to SCEB homes. The EcoShell I dome homes can be built to stay cool and be even more eco friendly.
We believe early investors will be able to buy a .25 acre lot and a two EcoShell I dome homes (excluding Stamp Tax and General Sales Tax – GST) for under $79 K USD which is even less than the $99 K USD we project for SCEB homes. With a lower cost of living we believe a couple can then live comfortably on a small retirement benefit or Social Security of $1,000 per month.
The Monolithic Dome Institute in Italy, Texas has great information on the many benefits of dome homes as well as the dome eco-lodging we are considering. We have many questions and are asking for additional input from interested people to ask for more details at our next MDI meeting. Your ideas will help us evaluate the design and options associated with building EcoShell I dome homes in our Belize Eco Village.
EcoShell I Dome Home
EcoShell I dome are recent designs with vertical walls and a dome top. The airform is reusable which is a big advantage for building multiple dome homes. We can reuse the airform and spread the cost over many homes. The MDI designed an EcoShell I village in New Ngelepen, Indonesia using one airform and build 72 homes. Here are some interesting benefits and observations about EcoShell dome homes:
- Aerodynamic design is attractive, practical and super strong against any high winds or hurricanes.
- Disaster, fire, termite and weather resistant ecoshell domes are made with concrete and rebar. Magnesium oxide may be a future option.
- Easy concrete and rebar construction with a local labor force saves money.
- Passive design features and minimal energy usage keeps the house cool and costs low. (We will test a model home with no AC).
- Sacred geometry (round shapes are common in nature).
- Uses less material for construction compared to other structures.
- EcoShell domes at the MDI had green vines growing on them to provide cooler temperatures due to the shading effect.
How do you feel about a round EcoShell dome home? How well would it work for you? For additional more room we can build two or three domes next to each other. The number of doors and windows is somewhat optional based on design and desires. How do you feel about only a few windows? We believe a separate screened in porch would help with indoor/ outdoor living. A skylight and vent at the top will be tested. Please review ecoshell dome floor plans online and let us know what you think. Share your additional comments, ideas and questions.
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Dome homes look great! Also see DomeGaia.com My take on domes is that they are hurricane resistant (which I’m guessing will be needed in Belize) and beautiful, easy to cool in hot summers because of thick concrete walls and skylights. Here off the Gulf Coast of Florida, see Cape Romano dome home: https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/04/06/cape-romano-dome-house-an-abandoned-luxury-home-with-a-tangled-history-is-being-swallowed-up-by-the-sea/ The dome shape was used to collect rainwater to store in cisterns and even after several hurricanes, the domes still have not been destroyed, even though the coast line has eroded so the home is now “out to sea” ! The home used several innovations including solar power and heated flooring. These technologies are now readily available, so please make sure to use them as well!
Alice thanks for sharing this information. While he had a great idea he unfortunately built it in a location that was not optimal. Our Belize Eco Village is about 3 miles from the Caribbean and the land is 80 feet above sea level and below the soil is 30 to 50 feet of solid clay and material so our foundations and dome homes should last for centuries without concerns. We invested over 5 years to find the right property so that hundreds of homes could be built and peoples investments would be protected.
Hi Michael, I also wanted to suggest looking into using “air-Crete” for building domes. By mixing a foaming agent into the concrete (dish soap), the material is much lighter to work with, super insulating, etc. and uses less concrete. The equipment used is very inexpensive, too! At Domegaia it looks like they are making bricks with it. Maybe it would work just as well being poured into MDI forms with rebar for extra strength – and maybe save even more on materials. All the very best 💖 Alice
Hi Alice. Thanks. Yes I have looked into air crete also. MDI has concerns about it meeting building codes for durability and strength in event of hurricanes. We are looking into basalt reinforcement and thin shell concrete right now which seems to be getting engineering approval. Check out this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsauwY_NU1w .
Here is a project in Brenham, TX close to where I live that I visited last year. This community is about as affordable, attractive and eco as I have seen that is also hurricane and tornado proof. https://www.monolithic.org/rentals/the-inn-place-new-rentals-old-pattern