Package vs. DIY Geodesic Greenhouse Which One Wins?
Guest Post by: Dylan Curtis
When considering building or installing a greenhouse consider a DIY Geodesic Greenhouse vs. a Package Dome System.
First the benefits: Geodesic Greenhouses are wind resistant, can survive harsh climates, (they are used in Antarctica where the strongest storms in the world blow), are easy to assemble and best of all energy efficient.
The dome of the greenhouse traps the most heat energy with less surface area than your typical rectangular greenhouse. A biodome is generally thirty degrees warmer in Fahrenheit than the outdoor temperature with five to six hours of sunlight per day. A passive solar heating kit can also be installed to maximize energy storage inside the dome. This allows for year-round fruit and vegetable growth as well as flowers and micro-greens.
There are many advantages to building a DIY Geodesic Greenhouse, here are just a few.
- Less pests inside the dome than in the wild and therefor less temptation to use pesticides.
- Growing your own produce is a cheaper and a more environmentally safe way of gardening.
- No fossil fuels are used, if you only utilizing passive energy.
- Consider it your own adult playhouse.
- Easy to build and long lasting you will wonder why it took you this long to get one.
If you are going to build your own dome. First check local building codes to see if you will need a permit. Then get an instruction manual to refer to as you do your build. Better yet pay for access to a video library of every step of building a dome like the one found here. Using the exact system shown here my buddy Sasha built a 24′ dome — with a cement foundation and north side insulation — for under three grand.
That being said, if you prefer to pay more but have less worry and potentially an easier build (as long as they ship everything!) then you may want to look at a package system. Watch out for sticker shock though! Because the prices quoted below are without a foundation and don’t include labor and sometimes shipping too!
Geodesic Greenhouses come in many sizes so it is important to measure the potential area it is to be placed prior to choosing as well as what type of climate your dome will be residing in.
Starting out a basic kit goes for $6250 for a 15 ft. Diameter, 9 ft. 6 in high dome, roughly 150 s.f. floor space. This comes with 5 walls with polycarbonate glazed panels, 24 inch foundation, pre-cut color coded struts and framing, hardy board siding, one door with a window, under soil heating and cooling fan, insulation, all hardware and shade cloth. All domes have a heat activated automatic opening vents and temperature stabilizing water tanks.
A wind kit can be added to the dome for $250. This is for domes that are located in areas that get wind up to 60 mph. There’s also a desert heat package for $500 for climates that exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
The next size up is 18 ft. Diameter, 10 ft. 10 in high, 250 sf floor space dome for $8450. This dome can produce enough produce for three to four people. The wind package is $300 and the desert package is $500.
The 22 ft. Diameter dome (and larger) is ideal for growing small trees such as figs and dwarf citrus. It is 10 ft. 10 in high and has 350 sf of floor area for $10,950 and can produce for four to five people. The wind package is $340 and the desert package is $500.
The 26 ft. Diameter dome is ideal for growing small trees such as figs and dwarf citrus. It is 12 ft. 6 in high and has 550 sf of floor area for $13,950 and can produce for five to six people. It comes with a solar powered cooling fan. The wind package is $430 and the desert package is $550.
Next up is the 33 ft. Diameter dome is also ideal for growing small trees such as figs and dwarf citrus. It is 14 ft. 10 in high and has 850 sf of floor area for $19,950 and can produce for eight to ten people. It comes with a solar powered cooling fan. The wind package is $360 and the desert package is $440.This dome is ideal for schools or commercial use.
The largest dome is 42 ft. in diameter, 16 ft 6 in high, 1,300 sf floor and comes with two doors. This one is recommended for commercial growing and it runs $32, 950 for the basic package.
All of the domes also have upgrades. They include a solar powered waterfall which provides aeration for the water tank, slows down algae production in passive solar water tanks and provides a nice ambiance to your dome.
Metal glazing upgrade using strong roofing tape covered by custom made aluminum strips. This provides a lower maintenance and longer lasting seal in the dome as well as the redwood trim finish upgrade at the base of your dome.
For the larger kits consider a solar powered cooling upgrade. This is an additional solar powered cooling fan good for the desert areas. Also, for the larger domes consider an extra door for air circulation or cross ventilation.
All of these dome kits can be found at: www.geodesic-greenhouse-kits.com (not an affiliate link).
So there you have it. A few advantages and disadvantages for DIY vs. Package dome builds. If you need more info feel free to ask a question or sign up for the dome newsletter below.
Whatever dome you choose you will find it to be an excellent place to grow for both you, your family and your garden.