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Date: October 18, 2009 7:19:26 PM PDT

Date: October 18, 2009 7:19:26 PM PDT
To: Eleanor Hamner <[email protected]>
Cc: [email protected]
Subject: Dome damage photos

Sorry for the delay. I am attaching only a few photos to keep the email size
manageable. Let me know if there are specific shots you would like to see.

The snow happened later and did no further damage. A couple gentle taps from
the inside on each panel caused it to slide right off. Heavy sticky snow is an
aberration in this area. Winters generally are cold and dry, resulting in
powdery blowing snow.

There were five grip clips that failed, one already broken upon arrival and
the others due to severed cords. One pole failed, but I cannot ascertain which
one since several were detached during the storm. One panel tore completely
away close to its gripclip. There is a mid-panel tear above the humanure
composter that likely rubbed through during the catastrophic failure on the
north side. There are several other smaller holes that I discovered after
reassembling everything. The aforementioned detached panel is held in place
temporarily using some of the small velcro pads.

Many of the cords failed. I used plastic cable ties to secure some of the
doors that repeatedly unclipped. In retrospect, this caused fraying in some
instances and may not have been prudent.

I have concerns regarding the dome material itself. There seems to be
excessive points of failure, many of them inexplicable. Perhaps it was a bad
batch? My plan is to reevaluate after the winter. The poles squeak and creak
but retain no memory when bent repeatedly. However, I am reticent to test this
once the weather turns frigid. If there is no further damage by spring, life
is good. Otherwise, some replacement panels may be necessary.

One of the photos show the buried shipping containers with southern exposure.
The GroDome will attach to the bale tarp at the rear entrance to facilitate
summer ventilation via a thermal chimney effect and use waste heat from the
masonry heater to extend the growing season in winter. The heavy duty
gripclips ordered for this purpose have arrived. Thank you.


On Mon, 5 Oct 2009 05:30:38 -0700, Eleanor Hamner wrote
Dear Mark,

Thank you for your detailed email. I am going to forward it to the
designer and, yes send photos of the damage and I will forward them
on to the designer as well. I think it is always valuable for him
to see what happens in extreme conditions with our shelters.

Unfortunately we cannot send replacement panels by USPS because our
warehouse is not in a district that the USPS services. I can
certainly send cord to you by USPS though. Cord is 25 cents per foot.

The material is rip-stop meaning that it should not continue to tear
where it was damaged. You can use duct tape to make patches. They
even make white duct tape these days that looks better on the
material than silver. For more info on repairs, please feel free to
email or call the designer. [email protected]

Your GripClips were mailed by USPS about a week and a half ago. They
should arrive to you any day.

For shipping price quotes for additional parts (cord, etc), please
send me a list of what you need. I think you were just looking for
cord and some general purpose clips, but let me know how much and
how many. We do not save any credit card info on file, so we will
need a new order to be placed. You can do that by phone or online
once I have a shipping price quote for you.

Regards, Eleanor

On Oct 2, 2009,

The dome was raised a week ago, just before 70km/h winds started. I
one broken gripclip cord eyelet and some fabric stains but nothing too
serious. While digging in the buried cindercrete block anchors, the
side kept dimpling in two panels across. I finally realized the broken
gripclip was allowing its vertical strut to shift about 10cm to one
side. The
wind gusts were too strong at that point to replace the gripclip so
I cross
lashed the poles with baler twine and everything held fine.

Later that week during my absence we had an uncommonly severe
windstorm. A
neighbour saw the dome flatten in the storm, but upon inspection
yesterday it
had sprung up again. Not without damage, however. Several poles
detached and
one buckled. Another one had bent during initial installation but
spares were
provided. A couple of the gripclips failed and one panel tore away
from its
gripclip, leaving a shredded void where its corner used to be. There
is also a
right angle tear in the middle of one of the top most panels.

With absolutely no trace of sarcasm, this is a great product. The
allows me to repair/replace almost everything as necessary with a
minimum of
skill/effort. Pvc to your provided specifications can be sourced
locally and
fabric/gripclips ordered from you. The only omission is that
wonderful cord. I
used it all (including the packing string) to wrap the buried
blocks. Since
you do not offer it on the website, can you provide a specification
shopping elsewhere?

My heavy duty gripclips have not arrived yet. If they are not
shipped please
include a package of the general strength gripclips (do you still
have my
credit card information?) so I can fashion a patch out of my packing
fastening it to the damaged panel and the original gripclip. Is this
acceptable solution? The top tear is mid panel so I plan to silicone
it as
recommended. Does that fabric ever run its tears, or can I leave it
for now?

One more question: if I decide to replace the damaged panels later
instead of
patching them, how large can you ship through USPS? Thank you for the
commiseration regarding UPS, by the way.


PS – Let me know if you want some pictures of the damage for your

On Fri, 18 Sep 2009 11:30:14 -0700, Eleanor Hamner wrote
Dear Mark,

Thank you for your feedback about UPS. I too wish we could use the
US Postal Service to Canada for our domes. Our packaged exceed
their size limits and it is very unfortunate. We had used DHL when
they were still around and they were absolutely great for Canadian
shipments. Super cheap and super fast. Unfortunately now that they
are no longer around, we had to go back to UPS. I am constantly
dismayed at all international shipping options. Seems like with
globalization we could have better options. I’m very sorry you had
a bad experience with them.

It looks like I made a mistake and did not tell the warehouse to
ship you the extra clips. I am very sorry for my mistake. I will
ship them ASAP by US Postal Service (it’s a small enough package to
use USPS).

Regards, Eleanor