Green Homes Cambridge MA

Local resource for green homes in Cambridge. Includes detailed information on local businesses that provide access to green construction, green building materials, alternative energy, wind power, solar power and contractors, as well as advice and content on green construction and home building.

Apex Green Roofs, Inc.
617-629-2739
170 School St.
Somerville, MA
 
North/East Roofing Contractors Association
(781) 849-0555
150 Grossman Drive Street
Braintree, MA
 
Star Roofing
(617) 354-2791
403 Windsor St
Cambridge, MA
 
Beacon Roofing & Skylight Co
(617) 354-5587
Cambridge, MA
 
Armor Roofing Contractors
(617) 876-4710
Cambridge, MA
 
North/East Roofing Contractors Association
(781) 849-0555
150 Grossman Drive Street
Braintree, MA
 
Apex Green Roofs, Inc.
617-629-2739
170 School St.
Somerville, MA
 
Star Roofing
(617) 354-6510
403 Windsor St
Cambridge, MA
 
Cambridge Gutter & Roofing Company
(617) 864-0900
Cambridge, MA
 
Eastern Construction Company
(617) 497-0081
Cambridge, MA
 

The Way to Go Dome

April 29, 2009
by  Oliver Witte
Chinese Alliance Church in Wheaton, Ill., completed in 1993, consists of two domes.
Chinese Alliance Church in Wheaton, Ill., completed in 1993, consists of two domes.
Not all the good ideas for energy conservation are new ones. Some are decades or centuries old and are being rediscovered and adapted to today’s urgent need to be more frugal in the way buildings are designed and built.

A classic example is the dome, which has been used for centuries. Examples include the Pantheon in Rome, the Duomo Cathedral in Florence, Italy, and even the igloo.

A more modern variation is the geodesic design.

Today, domed structures can be found for every building type, from two-car garages to stadiums, churches to offices, and houses to warehouses.

The modern day dome was originally developed in 1922 by a German inventor and popularized in the 1950s and 1960s by American futurist R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983). Among his most famous buildings are Spaceship Earth at Disney’s EPCOT Center in Florida and the Climatron in St. Louis.

A geodesic structure is composed of a repeating network of triangles. Although it looks like a dome, it is actually composed entirely of flat surfaces. The dome’s nearly spherical shape enables it to enclose more space with less surface area than a rectangular structure. Strength comes from the egg-like shape, further reducing material costs and structural support.

These advantages translate into:
• Rapid construction without heavy equipment.
• Light-weight materials that can be erected by inexperienced two- to six-member crews in two days or less.
• Low construction costs.
In fact, construction is so light, quick and easy that half of all sales are made to owners who do their own erection.

Simple and sensible

Dozens of manufacturers supply pre-engineered kits that builders can erect on a prepared foundation. Off-the-shelf designs are available for a variety of sizes, configurations and building types.

A church, for example, might have two domes — one for the sanctuary and the other for a fellowship hall — joined by a narthex. The dome gives an exalted feeling to the sanctuary and plenty of ceiling height for basketball or badminton in the fellowship hall. Or a custom design can be created by the manufacturers, usually at no increase in cost.

Because of the inherent strength of the shape, dome buildings are well-suited for difficult locations, especially those subject to extreme winds such as tornadoes and hurricanes or earthquakes.

Advocates of green building appreciate the dome’s design. Heating and cooling the dome is more efficient because air circulates naturally with few (or no) sharp corners to trap heat. Domes are especially well-adapted to solar panels. One surprise for owners might be the excellent acoustics of dome buildings, especially churches, where the sanctuary typically is open.

Variations on a theme
Three variations t...

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