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Recent Email Questions and Answers 3-20-09

Also see: Q&A 3/2011  5/2009  3/2009  11/2008  2008  2007  3/2007  2003  Testimonials

Re: ripped panels

On May 16, 2009

We just had a terrible wind storm in Albuquerque and it ripped two of the top panels where they join the grommet on my GroDome 20 Greenhouse.

How do I fix it?

Order two replacement Panels for top of 20' GD


Alternatively you can replace a whole panel if a tear is immediately adjacent to a clip. Order the same panel from Shelter Systems. 1) Arrange the replacement panel over top of the damaged panel so that it is in the same orientation.2) Remove only one clip from your dome being careful not to disrupt the layering sequence of the panels on your dome. If you can not get the clip off use a pliers and brake the ring part of the clip (you will receive 4 extra Heavy Duty Grip Clips with each replacement panels). 3) Take your time to carefully slide out the corner of your damaged panel and insert your replacement panel into the same layering sequence as that of the damaged panel. 4) Now with all layers in the same order and orientation as before; gather these tightly around the male clip and slip over the female clip as described below. When many layers are involved as is the case with the corners of the windows, attaching the female clip can be difficult; practicing on scraps and making the layers warm with the sun or heat lamp (be careful not to melt the covering by getting it to hot) can help. If your dome is flattened by snow, carefully remove the snow without tearing its covering. You may find it will pop back up or that you have to remove some of the poles and set up again. Replace any broken poles.


Bob Gillis


Am I going to have to take the dome down or can I use a ladder on the inside? The panels are at the top of the dome.

It can be done by removing all poles around each of the 9 Grip Clips that join the two top panels. It will be tricky putting the poles back in but doable. Be sure to wear eye protection.


Bob Gillis

Date: May 14, 2009

Hello Bob,
On one hand, I attach you with the dome design we are thinking with two entrances in both sides. It could be possible??
In other hand, I want to comment something:
We don’t want to put the water drums at the dome sides, so, we are thinking in installing a dais/platform on your blue floor, this platform would have enough weight to hold the dome. The question is, how cold we tie this platform with the sides dome??


I see that my wild guess at the shipping was way off but this is a big dome. As to the two way open arch. It may be possible but it will weaken the structure. If you decide to go that way put the dome up and secure it first then remove the poles under one arch at a time. Unclip by the two doors bases and roll up and tie the covering under the arch. See what you think; then do the other side and check to see that the dome is strong enough for you. If you expect wind, do Not create open arch ways as the dome is weaken and could fail.


Bob Gillis

Subject: Re: Geo-

On May 13, 2009,

We're considering using one of your yurtdomes as a promo tool as they resemble our biomes at the Eden Project http://www.edenproject.com/ . Would it be possible to have one made entirely out of clear plastic? If so, could you give us prices for the various sizes and an idea of delivery times?


Hi Katy

We do make our domes using a greenhouse covering: http://www.shelter-systems.com/greenhouses.html

Shelter Systems' Special Super Strong Woven Ripstop Films
Shelter Systems' coverings are made by taking a special plastic copolymer (a simple compound composed of carbon and hydrogen which is chemically similar to wax) and stretching it until it becomes stiff. At this point, the material is at its maximum tensile (pull) strength. It is then sliced into thin strips and woven into a fabric. This gives it amazing tear resistance. The fabric is then laminated on both sides with some sheets of the same stretch-strengthened material and is thereby stabilized and super strengthened. You cannot tear it with your hands.

Shelter Systems' Translucent Greenhouse Covering (to the right): Lets 90% of sunlight through (more than glass). UV transmission is over 75%. Designed for greenhouse and solar use.

Greenhouse fabric: uvB=59% transmission; uvA=68% transmission; visible light transmission=84%

also see: http://www.shelter-systems.com/large.html


Bob Gillis

On May 13, 2009a

Hi Aurora

Your questions are answered below:


Bob Gillis

To Whom It May Concern:

I’m Aurora Arroyo from a Spanish communication agency and we’re writing to enquire about the shelter systems you offer in your web page. I tried contact with your commercial department but it was impossible I think due to time difference, and I left a voicemail in your voicebox.

We’re interesting in the Shelter Systems 20’ or 30’ PlayaDome Shelters, to use it a Prommotional Brand Road Show that will tour several cities, so we would like clear up some doubts:

- Sizes and prices.

The prices are correct on the web site: http://www.shelter-systems.com/playadomes.html http://www.shelter-systems.com/solor-dome.html

For sizes see: http://www.shelter-systems.com/sizes.html

- Sort of material both tarps and structure.

The covering is a woven rip-stop film that is UV and FR. The poles are PVC.

- Way of shelter grip into the floor. Stick Type.

Grip Clips are used to tie the floor to the walls of the domes: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

- Transport way.

Our standard shipping is UPS Air. About 1 to 2 weeks depending on stock.

- Send method and times.

And we have other questions like:

- Is there a possibility you supply floor or dais? Which material is it? Do you supply windows too?

Floors: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html is of woven rip-stop film. The 20' comes with 3 windows and 4 doors. The 30' by 16' comes with 4 doors and up to 8 windows ($35 each). The window do not open.

- Is there a way to set up another open mechanism, the entrance, instead of we have sawn, could be take up more part of the doom?

See: http://www.shelter-systems.com/arch-domes.html

- We would like to know if is there is a possibility some tarps there is colour tarps or some of them would be transparent, and if you could print the tarps as well too

The only color we use is white. For strength reasons we only install window in the triangular panels. We do not print on our domes but others have; test first.

I would be grateful if you clear up us these doubts and if you could explain us more shelter possibilities that are unknown for us, anyway, I would try to contact you again.

See: http://www.shelter-systems.com/yurt-dome-testimonials.html and http://www.shelter-systems.com/qanda.html

Thank you very much for your attention, and I look forward to your reply,


Just a main question, we haven’t clear the way/system to fix the structure into the ground without hammer it. You explained that it was with “Grip Clips” but, I think you are refering the joint among walls and floor, but I am refering about fix the structure into the ground, but we need a without hammer system. We cant stick the structure into the ground. It could be possible? Could you help us please?

Thanks a lot.


What is your appication? is it to be inside?


Bob Gillis

No, on principle, the application is outside,
But I mean that we can’t stick into ground because some places doesn’t allow us.
We are going to put it into paving or road surface, I mean, a hard/stiff surface.

Is there a possibility to fix the structure into the ground without stick it, and without make holes into the ground/paving??



I understand now. The way this is usually done is with many large water barrel drums placed all around the dome. The dome's clips are then tied with strong cord though the holes in the top of the barrels. You Must use enough weight to hold the dome down and stable against unexpected strong wind.


Bob Gillis

Thanks Bob.

Could you sell us these water barrels drums?? Do you have a picture of them please?? We need to know how they are…

And I have another question, I think I asked you it before:
We want serigraph the covering/traps in a printer store. (it would be possible??),

One source: http://www.bayteccontainers.com/waterbarrels.html but I would think you could find these in a city near where you live.

Most customers have banners printed on white vinyl by a banner printer and then hang them against the walls of the dome.


Bob Gillis

Subject: Re: Grip Clips

On May 10, 2009
We love the concept of your grip clips. Could it be used on heavy duty plastic sheets that we use to cover our garden to protect from frost? Also, can it be purchased from local stores like Home Depot etc?

Thanks for your info.

Hi Michelle

You can use them on 4 and 6 mill plastic sheets. We do not "yet" have them at Home Depot or other retailers.


Bob Gillis

Dear Eleanor,
We are quoting the shipping from MIami to C.Rica. We will let you know the exact dates when we will need the domes.
Please Eleanor, we asked Bob if it was possible to have any other color other than white, and no answer so far. Could you please let us know? And the structure?
Many thanks.

Dear Laura,

Please see attached quote. I was a bit shocked at the price for shipping to be honest. We ship UPS Air. They are usually a bit expensive but very dependable and fast but these prices are really high. I would recommend trying to ship somewhere in the United States and then shipping the goods to yourself in some other way. Total shipping cost for shipping within the US for the same order is only $560.

You will be responsible for any additional import fees, duties and taxes if applicable.
Please note that we require a bank transfer for most international orders.

Thank you for your continued interest in our products and please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Regards, Eleanor

On Apr 24, 2009

Re: Information

Hi Laura

We only offer the domes in white.
1) White reflects light the best; you can light up the whole dome with on candle.
2) White does not color fatigue the eyes as do most other colors; for example if you spend time in a red dome when you step out everything appears blue. The red-sensitive cones in your eyes adapt and lose their sensitivity. (Like other primary sensory cells, they stop firing if bombarded for too long with a stimulus.) Once these red cones lost their sensitivity, the opposing cones kicked into action. White does not do this.
3) White does not heat up as much in the sun on a hot day as other colors do.
4) By choosing only one color to make our domes we save all our customers money since it would cost more to stock multiple colors.


Bob Gillis

On May 6, 2009
: wind problems

we have am 18'(?) dome and it is not faring so well in our recent windstorms- this afternoon it got sort of squashed down on one side- I pulled it back into shape- will need to replace one piece of pipe- we have spares for that job.

because the dome is not yet in use- we have had the doors rolled up- in your experience does that make any difference for handling wind- maybe 20 mph gusts.

anything else we might do to remedy this problem?

Bob Taylor
Hi Bob

Your dome is considerably stronger with the doors hooked closed. The reason for this is that when the door coverings are hooked closed they add diagonal tension lines to the otherwise unsupported openings.


Bob Gillis

On Apr 30, 2009

I'm involved in an archeology project and we are considering buying
one of your domes to cover an excavation site. One concern that I have
is whether we can attach our equipment to the frame. We will have from
4 to 8 cameras attached to the frame, each weighting 6lb. Do you think
that the Extra Strong 18' Yurt Dome can handle this kind of load?


Re: Question regarding Extra Strong 18' Yurt Dome

Hi Daniel

Yes, if you spread the load out a bit. Attach loads to clips at the pole crossings (inside (they each have 2 holes) or out (there are cords)). If you have to have the entire load all at one clip then I would recommend that you add a support pole inside extending from the clip to the ground of 2" by 2" wood.

If you end up using one of our domes we would love to see a photo.


Bob Gillis

Re: yurt vs tipis

On Apr 29, 2009
hi bob -

i'm researching housing options and wondering how your solor domes compare to tipis. my main concern is heating and light, as i intend to use this in all weather. is there a way to have a fire? also. how long are those poles?


Our domes and tipis each have there advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages: Our domes are light weight (18' is 70 lb, portable (poles 5.5' long); good head room and easy to put up (1 hour, first time); easy to heat and good solar influx
Disadvantages: They will only hold so much snow; you can not have an open fire in them (you can use a wood stove however)

Advantages: Tipis shed snow well, you can have an open fire (my experience has always been smokey however)
Disadvantages: Poles are very long and heavy; head room is very limited do to the steep sloping walls; poor solar influx; heat tends to get caught at the top of the cone.


Bob Gillis


Two years ago I bought the GroDome 14 and have been experimenting with it ever since. Since I live the the northeast where spring temperatures can fluctuate considerably (30 F at night to 50 F during the day), I am having trouble keeping a consistent temperature inside the dome. After temperatures in the dome start to heat up during the late morning (up to 80-90 F) I open the flaps and try to maintain a temperature in the 70s but when I close up at night, despite keeping the dome as tightly sealed as possible (the dome sits on the south side of my house, over a garden plot) I can't stop the temperatures from dropping into the 40s during the night (I am using max min monitor). Ideas I have considered include getting a kalwall cylinder to hold water and thus be a heat source during the night and getting the GroDome liner to prevent heat loss but these are big expenses. I use sand bags to tighten the 4 doors at the interface with the ground holding the fabric tighter against the dome. Do you have any other suggestions for me? I am trying to grow dwarf fruit trees in containers inside the dome but the temperature swings seem too severe.

Thanks for any help here


Subject: Greenhouse question

Hi Ken

I am not an expert in managing greenhouse temperatures but I suggest you consider the following ideas:

* The soil that your plants are in most likely will be warmer than the air in your dome at night in that the ground has absorbed some of the warmth of the day.

* Bring in containers of water into your greenhouse these will absorb some of warmth of the day and release it at night.

* You can make your own liner from inexpensive 2 or 4 mill polyethene sheeting. One way to do that is to take a large sheet and with a Grip Clip join the center of the sheet to the inside of the top clip of your dome. Working your way down join and shape the sheet to fit tight inside your dome with other clips.


Bob Gillis

Subject: Re: Geodesic Tent

Date: April 23, 2009

I am planning to construct a temporary home on a site in the south of Spain and am wondering if your geodesic yurtdome structure would be suitable.

The structure would need to be waterproof, insectproof, insulated and afford UV sunlight protection. It would be expected to have at least 2-3 years use.

The preferred structure would have a large central dome with 2 - 3 attached domes (sleeping, bathroom, kitchen)

Awaiting your reply,
With thanks,

Hi Thomas

Thank you for your interest in our shelters. I am not sure if our domes will meet your expectations but they have been used for extended time in many locations: see: http://www.shelter-systems.com/yurt-dome-testimonials.html

Our dome's coverings are UV stabilized and tent to last in excess 3 years but this depends also on the local conditions including elevation. Our covering has been tested in FL and AZ USA and in that harsh sun climate it lasted 3+ years. We guanretee it for 1.5 years as we cannot control how or where they are used.

We do offer bug net doors: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html but these will not make your dome insect "proof" as insects find their way in all types of dwellings. Take a look at our manual if you have not already done so: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

I would suggest that if you are interested in our YurtDomes that you start by getting one and seeing if it will work for you before committing to four. I also recommend that you get a sunshade: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

Take a look at our manual if you have not already done so: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html
and our question and answer section: http://www.shelter-systems.com/qanda.html


Bob Gillis

On Apr 10, 2009

I'm really excited to find your site, I have been looking for several years for a huge tent with a reasonable price tag. I travel to Utah a couple of times a year to climb. Just hang out in the desert and enjoy the beauty of the place with friends. The group tent functions for cooking and when the weather is too cold or windy to hang out under the stars.

The weather has destroyed 1 large tent so far in the past 5 years, it was a 14 foot X 14 foot cabin tent-just couldn't handle the wind, had it staked out with tons of guy lines. She truly lasted longer then expected. Finally buckled the 1" aluminum poles, destroyed the fabric, and what was left of the zippers. I replaced it with a Eureka Equinox 6 tent last year, with it staked around the perimeter and also guyed from the upper corners (about top of door height) to the ground about 5 feet from each corner. It handles the wind effectively and keeps the sand out for the most part. The door zipper went bad after a couple of weeks out (I'm not blaming the manufacture), and it is way too small for my needs. I'm looking at getting one of your 18's if you think it would be as strong as the Eureka in the wind and rain. I'm not trying to nail you down here, just need some sort of reasonable baseline comparison. I plan on guying every possible way.

I have no experience with the Eureka tent you talk about but my guess is that the 18'er would work for you. Do read our wind warning: http://www.shelter-systems.com/warning.html

I like the idea of no zippers, I have destroyed zippers in a couple of weeks on a group tent. The fine sand chews them up.

You may want some sticky back velcro for your doors if you are in a windy area. http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

Couple of questions:

On a rainy, windy day will the rain blow under the shingles? I realize this is a tough question but lets just say a 15-20 mph wind. I would like to avoid taping if possible, maybe lots of Velcro dots?

You could take some velcro and the white tape mentioned in the online manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html with you just in case.

I just got back from a month trip to the high desert, spring time is typically windy, periods of rain and snow ,(not more then a few inches for the most part).

Are there storm flaps at the base?


Just something to pile sand on to keep the wind from going underneath.

Lastly, could I get a sample of the fabric you use? Please email or call: 866-777-1066 eleanor@shelter-systems.com


On Apr 9, 2009

Hi Bob,
Is this good for burning man? Is it playa dust proof 75mph winds and dust storms

Subject: dust and wind

Hi Tom

Is anything playa dust proof? What we offer are very strong dome tents that have been used a Burning Man for the past 15 years. There are most likely 100's at use each year now and they have held up well with winds at Burning Man so far. But they are still not 100% playa dust proof. Our domes, as we provide them, do quite well on the playa and with some additional prep work with tape and velcro (see online manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html ) can be significantly improved). All this does not mean that our domes are dust proof or that they can hold up to any wind. Our strongest domes are the 10', 18' and 30'. Be sure to read our wind warnings: http://www.shelter-systems.com/warning.html


Bob Gillis

On Apr 7, 2009
it seems from reading your webpage that the domes do not come with flooring? i am interested in 14' or 18" dome. so they are open on the bottom letting in air and other outside forces? if this is true do you all offer a floor plan to enclose the domes. i am interested in using a dome as a living space but i need to be able to have the walls closed off so that i can prevent intrusions for the most part from the bugs of hawaii. i dont think that just a platform will solve my issue?

Hi Patrick

We do offer a floor; see: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

Please also see our Online Manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html
and consider getting some sticky back velcro and tape described in the manual to seal your floor to your dome's wall and your doors


Bob Gillis

On Apr 2, 2009
Hello Bob

We are interested in purchasing a yurt dome for a project we are working on.
I have some technical questions -

1) Is the fabric integral to the structure or can the pole structure stand up
without the fabric attached?
2) What kind of fabric is used?

Best Regards

Benjamin Piperes

Hi Benjamin

The pole structure will not stand without the covering.

Shelter Systems' Special Super Strong Woven Ripstop Films
Shelter Systems' coverings are made by taking a special plastic copolymer (a simple compound composed of carbon and hydrogen which is chemically similar to wax) and stretching it until it becomes stiff. At this point, the material is at its maximum tensile (pull) strength. It is then sliced into thin strips and woven into a fabric. This gives it amazing tear resistance. The fabric is then laminated on both sides with some sheets of the same stretch-strengthened material and is thereby stabilized and super strengthened. You cannot tear it with your hands.


Bob Gillis

Date: March 27, 2009

Hi Eleanor,
I'm an archaeologist who works a lot in Alaska and Nevada during the summer, and we're looking into replacing our musty old canvas wall tent with a lightweight, sturdy shelter. This summer we have a 4-week project planned in the backcountry near Denali National Park, and then one for 2 weeks on the Seward Peninsula in Alaska. Are your shelters strong enough to withstand rain and wind for days in Alaska? How tightly do they pack? Do the prices quoted on your web page include all of the materials needed to set them up?

Finally, where are you located? Is there a way to see one of your domes in person before buying one?

Professor of Anthropology

Hi Ted

My guess is our domes will work for you. They handle rain well. And wind except for the extreme. Our two strongest domes are the 18 and 30'. but unless you get hit with a big one all our domes are strong. They are also field repairable as the poles are PVC and can be repaired with an inserted section of a branch.

Some pages you might want to look at are: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

See for pack size: http://www.shelter-systems.com/sizes.html You can also vacuum pack:

You can use a house vacuum to compress your packed dome to about 1/2 its volume; roll and pack up your dome as above; warp in its wrapper it came with; tape the long seam of the wrapper; tape any holes in the wrapper. twist one end tight and then fold and tape this twisted end to the package; insert your vacuum hose in the other end twist and tape it tight; turn on your vacuum; with the vacuum on push on the package and it will compress to about 1/2 its original size; now tape around and around your package with the vacuum still on (this is to hold the package compressed when you remove the vacuum. now remove the vacuum and tape the end of your package closed.

You may want to get a sunshade and floor: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

We are in Northern California and do not have a showroom. We do not give out customers information but do look at:
http://www.shelter-systems.com/yurt-dome-testimonials.html and http://www.shelter-systems.com/qanda.html


Bob Gillis

On Mar 20, 2009

back in the late 1990's, i bought a 18' dome.

during those years,
i owned a place in the bahamas and wanted to take the dome from island to island
well>>> that never happened....my home projects took up so much of my time that i had
to squeeze in surfing......and the dome travelling from island to island remains a dream.

anyway...the dome has continued to be in storage in a garage.
....for the last 10 years, i have been travelling around the world.and didn't used the dome.

yesterday, i decided to setup the dome.....everything is brand new....still in the box.....the pvc is still
in the bag (never opened) and the dome skin was never untied from it's bundled shape.....the screen
looks like it's ok.

the problem is it looks like a rat chewed multiple holes into the white skin material ...as it was trying to find a cozy spot.
....after all this time of visualizing the erection of the dome>>> it's got asymmetrical-jagged holes in it.

i looked through your website (of which, looks great and is full of answers) and felt it best to contact you directly with my
predicament....it may be unique or has happened before.

what do you recommend ?

maybe a patch kit?? (i will look thru my assessories box to see what's in there.

thank you , jim godfreySubject: Re: dome problems

Hi Jim

The simple fix it UV stable white tape: Get Scotch Heavy Duty Gray All-Weather Duct Tape and or Scotch Transparent Long Lasting Duct Tape 1-800-494-3552 (regular duct tape does not hold up in the sun) both tapes are available at many hardware stores. The Heavy Duty lasts a bit longer in the sun then the Transparent but both hold up well over time. The Transparent looks better. Use for sealing up unused doors, floor to wall or shingleing when in extream dust conditions.

A longer lasting fix is: Repair a small hole: The simplest way to repair a hole or cut in the covering is to cut a patch from the material the dome came wrapped in. Use 100% silicon rubber to glue your patch on the outside of the tear. If the tear is small you may be able to plug it up with a blob of silicon rubber alone.

Be sure to update your manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html



Bob Gillis

Aloha Eleanor,

I found your site searching for a solution to hammering grommets in sports towels. I print photos on products, looking to improve on the towels available to me. Finding metal grommets hard on fabrics after repeated washings (towels stretch and grommet falls out), not to mention how hard metal grommets are on washing machine tubs.

I've located a clip system that might work or might eventually destroy the fabric after repeated clippings, it too is metal.

Target audience: golfers, water sports, runners, strollers....

Looking for an easy-on easy-off product that could incorporate a clip for hanging on a belt loop or bag.

My questions are:

What thickness can your product work with? Needs to secure a folded microfiber towel

Size - do you have a smaller version - about 1" in diameter?

Can your product survive a washer and dryer treatment (or hundreds?)

Thanks for your time, I appreciate any feedback you can provide.

Best Regards,


Light-Fabric Grip Clip Black (1 3/8") is tough and small. Use for thin nylon tarps and fabric. Weight ..2 oz, White Micro Grip Clip (1 1/8") ultra light Weight .085 oz

The light fabric can clip one layer of the 4 mill blue tarps.

Also see: http://shelter-systems.com/gripclips/ultra-light-silicon-tarps.html where you can add a "gasket" to grip thinner cloth.

I have not noticed any deterioration in the grip clips due to washer and dryers. You should test it in your own dryer to confirm it works to your specs.


Bob Gillis

On Mar 18, 2009

I have been reading about your Geodesic yurts - awesome!

In reading some of your recent Q & A's a new set of the PVC frame is 10% of the cost of the dome.

I have a question - I would be interested in buying just the frame without the covering. Can I purchase just a frame and if so, could I please get a quote for the Geodesic yurt 11' and the 14'?

I would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you for your time! jean

Subject: Re: Geodesic Turts

The price for pole sets is 10% cost of the dome. Do note that they do not include connectors and will not stand without the covering. The covering stabilized and strengthens the pole sets.


Bob Gillis

On Mar 14, 2009

Good evening,
I have two questions.
Do people put tent stoves into these shelters?

Yes, see: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

If so, how is the smoke expelled?

Also see above manual.

Do you sell accessories for stove pipes?

No but suggest you use isolated stove pipe and fittings designed for that pipe to run it through the plywood safely.

What temperatures have these tents endured?

They will handle the heat of a very hot day but if you are talking about your stove: keep it about 20" from your wall or far enough that you can keep your hand there without it getting too hot or you could melt the dome's cover.

Thank you,

On Mar 16, 2009
we have a 19' ? dome shelter, just recently set up. had a minor disaster- we had a late, evidently wet snow, which collapsed the shelter, broke poles, bent others. appears that we should have gone out and shook off the snow a couple of times :( fortunately, nothing had been planted in the grow beds in the dome, so no serious damage- other than the hassle with replacing the poles.

we did have a previous storm- and I did go out and knock the snow off- but it was after the storm was over, so I extrapolated and felt that it would not be necessary until the storm was over- wrong !!

anyway- short of paying better attention to the weather and shaking snow off during the storm, is there anything else we could do to help prevent this problem in the future?


Subject: Re: problem with dome shelter

You may want to consider putting a small stove in your dome which you could turn on when you are not around to melt the snow and cause it to slide off. You may be able to rig up a device to turn on or up your stove when a certain weight of snow fell when you were not around. I have not done this my self but it would seem to be possible. Take care so that your stove will not get so hot it melts your dome and that any device you make works with out error.


Bob Gillis

On Mar 14, 2009

Hello Eleanor and Bob,
Your product or part of it may be the answer to my prayers. I am leaving to Dominican Republic to build some concrete domes on my land and for the community starting April 24th. I was hoping to use the monolithic airform as my form for the concrete but shipping and getting it there both in time and economically is proving impossible. So I was looking for another solution.

Can you construct your frame without the canvas? If so is it then strong enough to have some metal flashing or similar draped over it? I am looking for a quick set up and disassemble otherwise I could fashion my own rig.
We would then use this as our form for concreting an initial layer of the dome with the rebar also in place. Once hardened and other layers added we would then want to go inside and disassemble the frame to use on another dome. If this proved successful this would be a great alternative to the airform which is more costly and difficult to get into many 3rd world regions.

If any of this idea is in the least bit feasible please get back in touch with me to discuss this further and let me know how much you would charge me for a 20' frame and how much the frame alone would weigh. This venture is being funded solely by myself and not with any charity except my own. This could be a new idea for your company to help with more permanent housing in areas which desperately need it.

I would be grateful for your prompt reply.

Best wishes


The frame is supported and stabilized by the covering and will not stand without it. Netting is too stretchy to replace the covering. You could put the dome up with the frame and covering and then cover the frame with say, our sun shade ( http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html ) or the like: you can buy this as rolls from Home pot and other gardening stores, and then apply a light coat of foam and then if it is strong enough (I do not know if this will work) apply say, chicken wire and a thin coat of concrete. If it works, you could then cut the clip cords to dome's cover to free it for reuse by attaching cords, connectors, and poles. With out the foam I do not think the dome with its cover is strong enough to hole the weight of the concrete. Even with the foam I do not know if it will work. Sounds like a good project. If you try it let me know how it works out.


Bob Gillis

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