Monday, June 20, 2011

Adobe Dome Compression and Water Test

My goal with this test was to understand the mechanical techniques of using the compass method Auroville Earth Institute has listed in their downloadable pdfs. ...and to see: how a dome falls down under water erosion if not protected/stabilized, how quickly it does so, and if it could hold any weight on top.

Warning: before attempting a dome of larger size, make sure you read and understand the information on dome building found at: person....

...two people...

...can only get three people, about 350 pounds, on the dome at the same time. I then jumped up and down on it by myself with no damage to the dome (or to me).

....after 10 minutes of simulated rain....

....and what remains after 23 minutes of simulated rain. Pure clay adobe; no cow manure, ashes, asphalt stabilizer, nor cement. Will use a two inch plaster of 10% cement and 90% adobe on final dome.


  1. Hi,

    I am interested in using this method to create the form for a 20' dome and then spray with poly urethane and shotcrete. Please tell me how you got your form to be so perfectly dome shaped. Thanks

    1. David,
      1-A very flat and round foundation;
      2-The center rod is crucial:
      a) it gives you the distance from the center for each brick layer;
      b) it gives you the angle of the face of each brick
      (the rod must lay flat on the face of each brick)
      3-rock or dried adobe shims help get the angle you need for each layer;
      4- ...and, as always, awareness of the consequences of everything you do :)


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